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‘I Lost 150 Pounds After Dealing With Hypothyroidism For Years’

Women's Health logo Women's Health 22-06-2019 Desiree Alexis-Kae Mize as told to Aryelle Siclait
a woman posing for a picture: After being diagnosed with hyporthyroidism at eight years old, Desiree's life was all diets and gyms until she learned about gastric bypass which she says was the best decision ever. © Desiree Mize After being diagnosed with hyporthyroidism at eight years old, Desiree's life was all diets and gyms until she learned about gastric bypass which she says was the best decision ever.

I can't remember a time when I wasn't overweight. In preschool, at just 5 years old, I weighed 90 pounds.

At 8 years old, when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (a condition which slowed my metabolism), I wasn't surprised. I had been through child health bootcamps and never lost weight from them, so my hypothyroidism diagnosis just confirmed that losing weight was extra hard for me.

After my diagnosis, I thew myself into as many sports as possible, and tried as many diets as I could, in an effort to do more to lose weight. Sometimes, it worked; I'd lose 20 pounds, but then I'd plateau, and gain it back. I also have four sisters-including my twin-who are all thin and tall, so I constantly compared myself to them, which didn't help with my self esteem.

At 21, I weighed 260 pounds, so my doctor suggested surgery.

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At that point, I had been gaining weight steadily every year. With no end to my weight gain in sight, my doctor told me about gastric bypass surgery. He explained that the procedure would reduce the size of my stomach from the size of a football to the size of an egg and restrict the amount of food I could eat.

I wanted to get the surgery that year, but skepticism from my family and friends about weight-loss surgeries being “the easy way out” on top of my own fears about surgical complications held me back.

I spent the next three years closely following the experiences of women who'd had gastric bypass surgery and shared their stories on YouTube and Instagram.

I also learned that the surgery would help me with portion control, but my weight-loss would still require the discipline that I’d been working on my entire life. The only difference was this time, I’d actually see results.

I knew I had to finally get surgery when my ankles started getting so swollen at the end of the day.

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A post shared by Desiree Alexis-Kae Mize (@wokeuplikedez) on Mar 7, 2019 at 3:42pm PST


The swelling happened because my body and mostly my legs had to support my weight all day. I came home crying one day and immediately went to my doctor for another gastric bypass surgery referral-this time at 298 pounds.

Three months later, I went under the knife, and it turned out to be the best decision I've ever made.

After surgery, my diet was extremely restricted, because my stomach couldn't hold a lot of food.

I also had to eat a lot of bland food, just so my stomach wouldn't feel irritated-so I ate small portions of soft foods like rice and eggs.

But now, a year post-op, I’m reintroducing my stomach to my favorite foods. Before surgery, while I never binge ate, I frequently ate Mexican food, I snacked a lot, and served myself large portions. But now, so that my stomach doesn’t stretch back out, I don’t eat meals larger than the palm of my hand.

I also track my macronutrients using MyFitnessPal, I meal prep, and I’ve found alternatives to my favorite foods, such as burrito bowls made with lean ground turkey and zoodles. But still, I’ll have a few bites of cake for dessert of I’m craving it.

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When I eat at home, a day of meals might look like this:

  • Breakfast: Chobani flips or cottage cheese and fruit with coffee
  • Lunch: Salad with either chicken or ground turkey or lettuce wraps
  • Snack: A ONE Almond Bliss protein bar or hummus and vegetables
  • Dinner: Zucchini pizza

Since my gastric bypass surgery, I've lost 150 pounds.

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A post shared by Desiree Alexis-Kae Mize (@wokeuplikedez) on Mar 4, 2019 at 10:21pm PST


While I'm proud of my weight loss, my next goal is to build more muscle to fill out the loose skin I now have because of my rapid drop in weight. I go to the gym five days a week and try to incorporate a mix of cardio and strength training (I also spent some time in the sauna after every workout to relax).

Now, I feel like I’m finally happy and confident with myself and my body. I know gastric bypass surgery isn't the best choice for everyone, but it was the right choice for me, and it definitely wasn't the "easy way out." It not only helped me see results I never thought were possible because of my health condition-but it has also helped me stay healthier by keeping my weight in check.

Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are the author's own and MSN does not endorse them in any way. Neither can MSN independently verify any claims made in the article. You should consult your physician before starting any weight loss or health management programme to determine if it is right for your needs.

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(video courtesy Health.com)

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