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Jessica: She Just Does It

Patient: Jessica 

Age:  31

Height: 5’2”

Highest Weight: 232 lbs.

BMI: 42.4

Current Weight: 175 lbs. 

BMI: 32

Bariatric Surgery: Gastric Sleeve 

Surgery Date:  12/12/22

Largest Size: 22 

Current Size: 10

Weight related diseases: No 

Medications: No 






Life Before Surgery: The Start of Weight Obstacles


Although Jessica had an average body size growing up, as a competitive dancer, she was surrounded by extremely thin individuals. Being in this spotlight heightened Jessica’s awareness in comparing her body type to those on stage with her. This only compounded in high school when Jessica was a cheerleader- a similar scenario where the difference between her body and those cheering alongside her. The stress from the scrutinization of performing alongside thinner girls manifested in food struggles, particularly binge-eating issues. 


By the time Jessica graduated from college, she weighed approximately 230 pounds (which was her highest weight). 


After receiving her MBA, Jessica moved to Los Angeles in June 2021. Between the stress of moving, being isolated from not having a social network in a new city, and generally feeling depressed, Jessica gained seventy-two pounds through binge-eating. The end result was sitting with the reality of the weight gain, at 220 pounds, and deciding something permanent needed to change. 


Go-To Foods


Before undergoing weight loss surgery, the foods that contributed to Jessica’s weight gain include Taco Bell, pizza rolls, and ice-cream.


Initial Weight Loss Attempts


After Jessica’s weight peaked post-college, Jessica decided she needed to lose excess pounds. With social media being a resource and an inspiration, Jessica followed an influencer on Instagram. She decided to implement the food and workout plan the influencer promoted, which included a highly restrictive, extremely low-calorie diet. Jessica’s weight did decrease to 160 pounds. However, like the majority of crash diets, the weight loss wasn’t permanent. 


Getting to Surgery


In 2022, after moving to Los Angeles and regaining approximately seventy pounds, it was time for Jesica to look in the mirror: she decided something needed to change. With an “all or nothing” mentality, Jessica knew that weight loss surgery would be a decision requiring 100% commitment, which is what she was ready for. Another major factor in Jessica’s decision to undergo a bariatric procedure was that her father had a history of heart problems and type 2 diabetes. Studies show undergoing bariatric surgery reduces the risk of these diseases drastically.


Jessica found Dr. Korman by doing a Google search for “best bariatric surgeons in Los Angeles” and seeing his name. After meeting Dr. Korman for an initial consultation in September 2022, Jessica was confident in his ability to perform her gastric sleeve. 


At this time, Jessica also decided to start documenting her bariatric journey on social media. You can follow her @jessgetsfit0 on Instagram and TikTok.


Surgical Experience


That December, Dr. Korman performed the gastric sleeve on Jessica. Unlike many patients who undergo any surgery, Jessica was not nervous. She also never doubted the effectiveness of undergoing the procedure would be for her weight loss. When she woke up from the surgery, Jessica immediately wanted to make a TikTok for her followers so they could see her experience. Jessica describes both Bridgette Agee, the Bariatric Program Director for the Marina Weight Management Program, and Lily Lam, the Registered Dietitian, as being fantastic professionals. She said overall the whole surgical team was awesome. 


Life After Surgery


Today, Jessica utilizes her social media presence to inspire and educate others who are deciding to undergo a weight loss procedure, or are current bariatric patients. Her determination and discipline has translated into success that motivates thousands of individuals every day. The two main components to Jessica’s success are nutrition and physical activity.


Diet


Jessica’s nutritional intake has been completely overhauled since her surgery. Instead of using food to cope with boredom, Jessica now views it as a source of fuel. With the daily nutrition goals in mind, Jessica plans out and also preps her meals for the week. Preferring to eat in frequent intervals throughout the day, Jessica will eat about every two hours. For example, she will eat half of her breakfast meal at 8am, and then the remainder at 10am.



In order to hit her daily water intake goals, Jessica opts for smaller water bottles throughout the day. Each time she finishes a bottle, it’s a sense of accomplishment.


Below are examples of Jessica’s daily meals:


Breakfast: a strawberry-kiwi yogurt parfait with almonds, or egg omelet

Lunch: beef and broccoli or cabbage chicken taco soup

Dinner: stuffed bell peppers with ground turkey and cabbage 


Snacks: roasted edamame beans


Exercise


Jessica loves staying active by doing HIIT workouts, spinning, and weight lifting.


Favorite Bariatric Tools


  • Food scale that has a corresponding app that provides its nutritional profile on a digital screen

  • Air fryer 

  • Good blender for smoothies 



Words of Wisdom


 “Your mindset is the most important part in all of this. This whole process is like playing a video game. Every day there’s a series of quests. For example, you need to work out, take your vitamins, hit your protein goals and water intake. When you do this, then you win the game every day.”


(Similar to Beyonce’s “Sasha Fierce,”) Jessica invented an alter ego for herself by creating a mood board. It includes different types of workouts she would do, types of food she’d eat, an alarm clock showing she wakes up early .


We are so proud of Jessica's efforts and translating them into a healthy success!

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