Christina Baldivino had battled her weight for most of her life. She had tried a number of different diets and healthy eating plans, and even had success losing weight with many of them. However, like many people, she struggled with emotional eating. When life got too stressful or difficult she would self-medicate with food, regaining the weight she lost and then some.
But stress was a given for Christina, a busy mom with three kids age six and under — including one who has special needs. To make things even more difficult, she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia following the birth of her second baby.
Christina was only 34 years old. But her weight (270 pounds) and the debilitating pain from her disease, made her feel like she just had to give up on her quality of life.
But all of that changed when she walked into a MultiCare Weight Loss Surgery seminar in September 2015 and learned about the long-term weight loss success rates than can be achieved through weight loss surgery.
After learning about the types of surgeries, Christina and her surgeon, Hanafy Hanafy, MD, decided that a Sleeve Gastrectomy was a great choice for her given her age, overall health and busy lifestyle. The Sleeve Gastrectomy works by removing a significant portion of your stomach, and leaving a smaller sleeved-shaped stomach. This surgery boasts slightly lower complication rates, a faster recovery and the ability to eat more normally following surgery compared to gastric bypass surgery.
Christina recognized that while surgery is a powerful tool, permanent lifestyle changes — including making different food choices and moving more — are necessary for long-term weight loss success. So even before surgery, she started developing new habits and lost over 50 pounds. Just three months after surgery she lost nearly additional 40 pounds more. Currently Christina weighs 180 pounds, and has gone from 44 percent body fat to less than 35 percent.
Christina feels great about her progress so far, but it does come with new challenges. She is learning how to eat all over again as she figures out how to fit all of her nutritional needs into the small amount that she can eat. In addition, she has learned how foods feel in her new, smaller stomach, which helps her make healthier choices.
She still experiences cravings and “head hunger,” but the smaller portion sizes she eats helps keep her from falling off the bandwagon completely. Even on a difficult day, the physical restrictions help her get back on track quickly. As her weight loss continues, life feels brighter as she learns the balance and develops the habits needed for long-term success!