“You enjoy something so much more if you work for it.”
To say Mark has worked hard for where he is now is an understatement. Somehow, it has been one year mark since his gastric sleeve procedure. As a way to congratulate Mark, we are sharing the milestones he’s achieved since his surgery. You can read about the first few months of Mark’s journey here.
This is a snapshot of Mark’s statistics at the time of his surgery:
Weight: 250 lbs.
Surgery date: Dec 19, 2017
As of March 2019, these are Mark’s new statistics:
Weight: 160 lbs.
After experiencing weight issues for the majority of his adult life where Mark would try to yo-yo diet only to fall off the wagon, his total weight loss of 90 pounds is an incredible accomplishment. Once wearing a size XXL t-shirt, Mark now wears a size Small. He proudly admits to having “baby abs,” a hard earned four-pack. It’s no surprise that the once unconfident, emotionally hidden man has transformed into a happy person who can walk with his head held high.
Mark’s rediscovery of happiness is due to working hard in the three areas critical to long-term weight loss success: diet, exercise, and emotional health. And he takes his vitamins.
Food does not control Mark anymore. He flipped that script. Instead of following a crazy food plan, he decided to keep it simple stupid, where no guesswork would be involved. He researched different aspects of nutrition and figured out a plan that works for him, and sticks to it. Mark follows what he describes as a “keto-ish” lifestyle. This includes keeping his carb count down to 20-50 grams per day and closely monitoring his sugar intake eliminating sweets and fruit. As a result of his diet change, Mark doesn’t crave the sweets and sugar as he used to. With his “keto-ish” lifestyle, Mark is still able to have fun. He stays on track with low-carb ginger beer from Whole Foods to use for Moscow Mules and low-carb wines. Everything in moderation. In addition to a diet overhaul, Mark also eats mindfully - he only eats when he is hungry, and stops when he starts to feel full.
Eating cleanly is not something Mark even thinks about anymore. “I just do it,” he says. Like everyone, Mark will occasionally deviate from his diet plan. However, he doesn’t allow it to turn into a downward spiral. “If I have a couple slices of pizza for lunch, I just make sure I go back to having healthy foods the rest of the day.”
What Mark was not prepared for were comments from people such as “Go eat a sandwich.” However, instead of internalizing these comments and letting them make him feel down, Mark realizes comments like these come from people’s own insecurities. “Be prepared for when you lose weight that people will make comments you need to block out,” Mark wants new weight loss surgery patients to know.
Good-bye couch potato Mark. Hello 5:30A.M. workouts of Barry’s Bootcamp twice a week and going to the gym for one hour on other days doing sets of burpees, working with kettlebells, and push-ups. Instead of weight-lifting machines, Mark prefers group classes with an instructor that are based on weight-bearing exercises.
For people who are just getting into a fitness routine, Mark recommends trying everything out and find out what you enjoy doing. For example, Mark would not be motivated or enjoy going to the gym and just getting on a treadmill or aimlessly wandering trying to figure out which weight machines to use. But by doing different exercise classes, Mark discovered what he liked.
“Exercising is like brushing my teeth. It’s just a habit.”
Life for Mark Today
For someone as disciplined as Mark when it comes to fitness and diet, he is not obsessed with the number on the scale. He rarely weighs himself. Mark is able to gauge where he’s at just by how his clothes fit and how he feels. His new lifestyle doesn’t feel like a burden- it’s natural. When asked about the little things that excite him, Mark mentions how crazy it is when the Facebook memories pop up from prior years when he was much heavier and how much his life changed since those years.
For those who like travel, it can be difficult to eat healthily on long flights where there are a lot more chip options than salad options. Mark brings healthy snacks on the plane, including mini protein bars, chooses to walk in whatever city he is in, and just orders the healthy options on a menu. If he travels somewhere locally such as San Francisco to visit friends, Mark will sign up for an early workout class. He gets in the exercise time while his friends are still sleeping!
As advice to patients who are starting their weight loss journey, his number one tip is to throw away the old clothes as soon as they are too loose. “The old clothes were your armour, that’s the old you. You don’t need that. That doesn’t define who you are anymore. It’s time to upgrade by downgrading your sizes.”
Emotional Well Being
Mark’s biggest weapon even greater than his diet and exercise routine is his mindset. He looks at his life as a before and after. Once Mark decided to have his procedure, he knew things would be different. Health became a top priority, if not the top priority. He came to terms that he was going to change his life. Mark was ready for it. He forced this new way of life as the new normal. Mark attends the support groups to stay focused and keep himself accountable, which he credits to keeping him healthy. As a result of Mark’s efforts, it’s no surprise he’s had zero regrets.
Mark wants to continue to build on the successes of this past year. Aside from rock hard abs that are certainly in his future, he is fiercely determined to being a long-term success statistic and prove changing your way of eating long-term is successful.
While some patients are more private about their surgeries, Mark has started to become more open about his experience. He is not embarrassed to open up about the fact he had the weight loss surgery. However someone reacts is on them, not on him.
Mark wants to be able to talk to prospective weight loss surgery patients to give them real insight into the process instead believing the negative press weight loss surgery sometimes garners. He doesn’t want anyone who is severely overweight to continue the life he once had.
Mark says it best: “If I can do it, anyone can do it.”
To learn more or schedule a consultation with Dr. Korman, contact us here or call the office: 310-577-5540.