From Weight Limit to Weight Loss: My Journey of Transformation and Empowerment
By Akeia Blue

Two years ago, as I was watching a show called Family By The Ton, I had a realization: I had hit my weight limit. If I gained any more weight, it was going to kill me. I shed some tears and started thinking about how I was going to fix this problem – for real this time. My health insurance excluded weight loss surgery and I couldn’t afford the surgery. I had tried weight loss pills before and the side effects were too much. I was at a point where the pain in my knees and back was so bad, that I could barely stand to be on my feet for more than 5 minutes without being in excruciating pain, making exercise seem impossible.

My body was a ticking time bomb and I didn’t know how to escape it. In my mind, I was one severe injury or illness away from being bedridden. And bedridden and obesity generally equals death. Maybe I was being dramatic in thinking this, but I definitely didn’t want to find out the hard way.

December 2021, my mom and I went to Phoenix and I decided to go for a hot air balloon ride. The booking agent called me while I was with my mom and I had to say my weight out loud, in front of my mom for the first time in years. She didn’t say anything, which I appreciated, but I know she was concerned. A few weeks later, while I was home visiting for the holidays, she told me to start the process to identify a hospital to have surgery and she would pull the money out of her 401K to pay for it. And thus began my weight loss journey.

Most of 2022 was spent meeting the requirements to have the surgery while trying to lose a few pounds. I used this time to share my feelings and experiences with my weight with my friends and closest family – something I had never really done before. I shared about how 90% of the time when I was with them, I was in pain. How there was literally nothing that I did in a day that wasn’t painful – sitting hurt, standing hurt, walking hurt, even sleeping hurt because of the pressure on my joints when I laid on one side too long. They saw that I wouldn’t sit in certain chairs because of fear of breaking them. I told them how uncomfortable flying was and how excited I was to never have to use a seat belt extender again.

In November 2022, I had gastric bypass surgery and in the six months since I’ve lost over 70 pounds. Overall, I’ve lost more than 100 pounds from my highest weight. It’s a life changing accomplishment that I never imagined I would be able to achieve.

This process has taught me so much, not just about myself, but about my relationships with the people in my life:

  1. Opening up and sharing with my people has helped me feel so much more connected to them and helped me feel more supported in my journey. After spending much of my life trying to hide and make myself small, I feel seen in a way that I never had before. I am not always an open person and even got physically sick to my stomach when I shared too much about my weight with the wrong person. But sharing with the right people has made me feel great and has allowed them to have more empathy for people who live with obesity.
  2. Being reflective helped me move forward. Years ago, I was asked by my trainer what I was afraid of because I kept giving up during our sessions. I didn’t have the answer then, but reflecting helped me realize that the reason I kept giving up on exercise and myself was because of the shame that I felt for my weight getting so out of control. Having those moments helped me to avoid those same blocks this time around.
  3. I could not have done this without my support system. While I didn’t have any physical complications resulting from surgery, I needed the support of my people to get me through the initial healing and the mental challenges I had including body dysmorphia and being scared to eat. From my mom walking with me multiple times a day in the days following my surgery, to one of my good friends cooking my meals for me once I started eating again, I could not have done this without my tribe.
  4. I am beyond blessed to have a mom who was willing and able to pay for the surgery. I have wanted to have surgery for over 10 years, but it was never covered under any of my insurances. Even though weight loss surgery is often the best course of treatment for people with obesity – and especially those with other comorbidities like diabetes or heart problems – it is often excluded from health insurance plans. There are so many people who could benefit from surgery but aren’t able to and it’s truly unfair.
  5. Surgery is not the “easy way out”. If you have ever accused someone of “taking the easy way out” by having surgery, I have something to tell you: there is nothing easy about it. There are a ton of hurdles that you have to jump through before you can even have the surgery. Then you have to get through the surgery and hopefully with little to no physical complications. You have to relearn how to eat, not just what to eat, but actually how to eat: things like taking baby sized bites, over chewing food, not drinking out of straws. Six months later and I still sometimes forget that I can no longer gulp down a glass of water without pain. Also, the surgery is a tool, not a miracle. If you don’t learn to eat properly, it’s possible to struggle with weight loss and even possible to gain weight. Not to mention the mental repercussions of surgery including body dysmorphia and fear of eating. Surgery has not been easy and even left me regretting my decision at times, even without having any complications.

I still have a long way to go with my weight loss, but I am proud of what I have accomplished so far. More importantly, I am grateful for this renewed lease on life. My pain is minimal and for the first time in a long time, I am excited to try things that I had put on hold. There are so many lessons to learn on this journey and I hope that I can help anyone who is considering their own journey. If you have any questions, I’m happy to chat!

Trending Topics

Features

Download and distribute powerful vaccination QI resources for your community.

Sign up now to support health equity and sustainable health outcomes in your community.

MCED tests use a simple blood draw to screen for many kinds of cancer at once.

FYHN is a bridge connecting health information providers to BIPOC communities in a trusted environment.

Discover an honest look at our Medicare system.

ARC was launched to create a network of community clinicians to diversify and bring clinical trials to communities of color and other communities that have been underrepresented.

The single most important purpose of our healthcare system is to reduce patient risk for an acute event.

Related Posts
8 takeaways from Megan Thee Stallion's Women's Health cover story, from face masks to therapy to UGK

houstonchronicle

South Side walking group leads way to better health for Latino residents

milwaukeenns

How To Talk About Major Depressive Disorder Stigma

wellandgood

Scroll to Top
Featured Articles
square_large.jpg
8 takeaways from Megan Thee Stallion's Women's Health cover story, ...

houstonchronicle

53602739858_e0b01ef014_o-scaled.jpg
South Side walking group leads way to better health for Latino residents

milwaukeenns

1268679_Takeda_CCA_Feature_r5.jpg
How To Talk About Major Depressive Disorder Stigma

wellandgood

img.jpg
Rethinking the term 'geriatric pregnancy' as more women wait

upworthy

pubmed-meta-image-v2.jpg
Five Dimensions of Needs for Help: The Efficacy of a Technology-Based Interve...

pubmed

0923-Durham-Deployment_DeMille-11-1.jpg
New Air Quality Monitors Could Expose Factory Farming and Environmental Racism

sentientmedia

Categories
BIPOC News
Cancer
Clinical Trials
Covid-19 Updates
Diseases of the Body
Environment
Health Data
Health Policy
LGBTQ Health
Mental Health
Original Story
Summaries
Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our latest news​
All Stories
square_large.jpg
8 takeaways from Megan Thee Stallion's Women's Health cover story, ...

houstonchronicle

53602739858_e0b01ef014_o-scaled.jpg
South Side walking group leads way to better health for Latino residents

milwaukeenns

1268679_Takeda_CCA_Feature_r5.jpg
How To Talk About Major Depressive Disorder Stigma

wellandgood

BIPOC News
53602739858_e0b01ef014_o-scaled.jpg
South Side walking group leads way to better health for Latino residents

milwaukeenns

Endometriosis is a Silent Struggle Impacting Women of Color Nationwide
investment-category-5.jpg
MotherToBaby Launches Spanish-Language Digital Health Website to Reach Unders...

agrifrica

Environment
0923-Durham-Deployment_DeMille-11-1.jpg
New Air Quality Monitors Could Expose Factory Farming and Environmental Racism

sentientmedia

2-Climate-Justice-Flyer.png
Achieving Climate Justice for Low-Income Consumers

law.berkeley.edu

35133282_web1_NativeNetwork-JUE-240124-1_1.jpg
An Alaska Native mutual aid network tackles the climate crisis

juneauempire

Work Force
zoi231549f1_1705443708.73945.png
Physician Perspectives on Addressing Anti-Black Racism | Equity, Diversity, a...

jamwork

0123-cmo-legacy-blackstock-2622095-640x360.jpg
Doctor fighting systemic bias and racism in health care releases memoir

cbsnews

pubmed-meta-image-v2.jpg
An Exploration of Racial Differences of Psychosocial Stressors and Their Asso...

pubmed

Clinical Trials
90427455db984fb1cd752906491d656e.jpg
Shining a light on breast cancer on minority women

cbsnews

pubmed-meta-image-v2.jpg
Variation in patterns of second primary malignancies across U.S. race and eth...

pubmed

pubmed-meta-image-v2.jpg
Latina immigrants' breast and colon cancer causal attributions: genetics is key

pubmed

Covid-19 Updates
HAN-Logo240x116px
CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory: Urgent Need to Increase Immun...
Combined Covid and Flu Vaccines A Promising Approach Backed by Research
Combined Covid and Flu Vaccines: A Promising Approach Backed by Research
Covid Vaccine
COVID is not over | Public Health Emergency
Other Categories
Cancer
Read the latest Cancer stories trending around the world
Diseases of the Body
Read about the latest Diseases of the Body trending around the world
Health Data
Read the latest Health Data stories trending around the world
Health Policy
Read the latest Health Policy stories trending around the world
LGBTQ Health
Read the latest LGBTQ Health stories trending around the world
Mental Health
Read the latest Mental Health stories trending around the world
Original Story
Read the latest stories from For Your Health News trending now
Podcasts
Listen to the latest stories that are trending around the world
Summaries
Read summarized stories from For Your Health News trending now
Top Stories
Read the top stories trending around the world
Videos
Watch the latest stories that are trending around the world
Women’s Health
Read the latest Women’s Health stories trending around the world