Transformation of the Day: Kamara lost 115 pounds. She was tired of achy knees, yo-yo dieting, and constantly feeling tired. At 47 years old, she decided to change her lifestyle to ensure her health in the future. Weight loss surgery is the tool she used to transform her habits and she had surgery overseas.
What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going, even when you wanted to give up?
Here I was, 47 years old, and all I could keep thinking was that I didn’t want to be an obese elderly person. I was just tired. I promised my nieces and nephews that I’d take them on a trip of their choice when they graduated from high school. However, I knew that I would never be able to keep up with them if I didn’t do something about my weight.
I was also tired from achy knees, constantly being exhausted, and the constant yo-yo of dieting. But, today, I keep going because I know this is my 2nd chance at a better life. I keep going because I KNOW that I have what it takes to be successful.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
Yes, it was. I initially had a Lap-band in 2004 while living in Abu Dhabi. However, I was not prepared for what it took to be successful. I thought I could eat anything I wanted, just in smaller quantities. Then my Lap-band was too tight, and I had to have the liquid pulled out. That led to steady weight gain along with poor food choices.
Around October 2020, I decided that my Lap-band needed to come out. I was on Facebook and saw that a friend had just gone to Mexico, and I immediately looked up her company. I had no idea that I could have my Lap-band taken out and get a different surgery. Ultimately, I went with another company, and it was seamless from start to finish. I chose to go to Mexico because I live and work in Cairo, Egypt. I also know that medical tourism is an affordable way to get procedures done. You just have to do your research. So I elected to have my surgery revised to a mini bypass on June 28, 2021. It was the best decision of my life.
How did you change your eating habits?
I HAD to change my eating habits because of the weight loss procedures I chose to have. The mini bypass prevents you from eating certain foods. I was forced (initially) to eat smaller and healthier foods. However, a few months post-op, when I was allowed to reintroduce foods into my diet, I really started to examine what I was eating and why.
Working with a therapist and nutritionist has helped me realize that there are no bad or good foods, just foods that are better for my body, journey, and goals. Meal prep is now a central part of my weekly routine. I’m also forced to focus on my protein and water intake, so that takes precedence over all else.
What did your workout routine consist of? How often did you work out?
I didn’t start working out for four months. However, once I’d lost a bit of weight, I decided to hire a trainer to help me meet my goals. I work out with my trainer twice a week (strength training), and I do cardio three times a week. I spin or walk for cardio. Also, Grow with Jo on Youtube is my absolute favorite!
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight was 317 pounds, and I currently weigh 202 pounds. My goal weight is 175-180 lbs. It was 150 lbs, but my nutritionist and I settled on the range above.
What is your height?
When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
I got the Lap-band in 2004, and that proved unsuccessful. While I lost close to 80 pounds, I gained it all back plus some. So I revised to a mini bypass on June 28, 2021. I know that I’m still losing and will just keep pushing ahead.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
I’m learning to always bet on myself. I do have what it takes to be successful. I just have to want it badly enough. I’ve also learned that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of my journey. I did what was best for me.
What advice do you have for women who want to lose weight?
Do whatever it takes to lose weight and make yourself happy! Whatever path you take is the right one for you.