Looking and feeling good after bariatric surgery
By Kathleen McKinney | Styling by Molly Rivers Photographs by Sarah Hess, www.fleetingmomentsphotography.com Makeup Design by Angela Karr, www.angelakarr.com Hair Design by Melisa Morgan of Salon Posh, www.salonposhwaco.com
After her third child, Sarah Voss was ready to lose weight. But because she was juggling work, school and family, she didn’t have much success with diets or exercise. Determined to get healthy, Voss finally opted for bariatric surgery. She’s completely changed her lifestyle since her surgery a year ago, and her commitment shows. Here, Voss shows off her new look as she models four great outfits from some of Waco’s local boutiques.
Sarah Voss Age: 30 | Height: 5’7” | Occupation: Registered nurse — nursing supervisor & 3 East charge nurse at Providence Health Center. Method of weight loss: Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery on February 7, 2011 | Starting weight: 270 Current weight: 120 | Total weight loss to date: 150 pounds
WACOAN: When did your weight first become a concern for you? Voss: After my second baby. Kind of on and off my whole life, I’ve been heavier than I wanted to be, but I wouldn’t have been big enough to qualify [for the surgery]. After my first child, I lost all the weight. Then after my second daughter, I didn’t lose any of the weight, and I got pregnant a third time. It’s just hard to get it off. WACOAN: Had you ever tried any of the typical fad diets? Voss: I tried every diet there ever was. I’ve been in Weight Watchers. I’ve done Atkins. I tried just healthy eating and working out. I did Nutrisystem. I did Metabolic Research Center. WACOAN: Why do you think none of those diets worked for you? Voss: I think it’s really hard to stick with it when you don’t see results that are fast enough. I think another thing is I’m just really busy. I’m in school, I work, I have three kids, and it’s really hard to plan meals around all of that. WACOAN: What are you in school for? Voss: I’m getting my bachelor’s in nursing. I’m a registered nurse already, but I’m getting my bachelor’s now and my master’s as soon as my littlest starts school. WACOAN: How old are your children? Voss: Hannah is 8, Eva Grace is 5, and Emma is 2. WACOAN: What ultimately made you decide to have the surgery? Voss: I wanted something where I could get the weight off and keep it off and not have to feel that I was on a diet constantly. I just wanted to
get it off and live the rest of my life without worrying about it. WACOAN: How has the surgery affected your lifestyle? Voss: I work out a lot. I run 20 to 30 miles a week. I eat really healthy. I eat lots of lean meats and vegetables. I don’t crave the bad stuff anymore. It’s been such a long time since I’ve eaten the sweets and the bad things that I don’t crave them anymore. WACOAN: Beyond just eating less, do you have to change your diet to successfully lose weight after the surgery? Voss: You do. If you still eat [unhealthy foods], it makes you sick. You can get very vitamin deficient if you don’t eat what you’re supposed to. WACOAN: So what are you supposed to eat? Voss: Pretty much what everybody is supposed to eat — lean meat, chicken, vegetables. It’s a lot of protein. High protein. Low carb. Avoid sugar. Normal stuff. Pretty much everything you’re supposed to avoid. You pretty much eat like you’re diabetic. WACOAN: How else have you been affected? Voss: I feel excellent. I can run 20 or 30 miles a week, which I couldn’t do before. I’m not tired all the time. I can keep up with my kids. I can keep up with school and work and help out with my mom. Just everything. My kids are eating healthier. I’m eating healthier. My husband is eating healthier because I’m eating healthier. It’s kind of changed everybody’s life that’s around me. WACOAN: Has the weight loss changed how you see yourself?
Voss: I don’t feel different in my head. When I think about it I still see myself the way I was. When I see pictures, it’s kind of scary sometimes. It doesn’t feel like the same as what I see. WACOAN: Has it helped your self-confidence? Voss: I think it has, but I think when you go being heavy for that long you just don’t all of a sudden feel like a supermodel. In your mind, you still feel like you. WACOAN: What have been your family’s reactions? Voss: People really fought me about it in the beginning. My husband didn’t want me to do it. My parents didn’t want me to do it. But now they’re glad I did. WACOAN: What were they concerned about? Voss: That I wouldn’t be healthy. That I would be vitamin deficient. That I’d be sick all the time. That I’d be really tired from not eating a lot. That [the staple line] would leak or I would have a complication. But I haven’t had anything. I’ve been fine. WACOAN: If someone were considering bariatric surgery, what would you say to him or her? Voss: The only thing I regret is not doing it sooner. You have to really think about it, and you have to be committed to eating right and exercising and doing what they say or nothing is going to work. If you’re committed to all these things, it is one of the easiest things you could do to make yourself healthier. I think people are scared because it sounds like such a big surgery, but it’s really not. There are risks with it, like anything else, but there are more risks with being overweight.
Ladies Night White dress with metallic piping by Ark & Co., available at Roots Boutique, $58; black patent leather heels by Jessica Simpson, available at MĂŠlange Boutique, $72; silver hammered bracelet, available at Kindlerâ€™s Gem Jewelers, price upon request; sterling silver and freshwater pearl ring, available at Design House, price upon request; pink agate Allison earrings by Kendra Scott, available at Coreopsis, $55.
The Fashionista Mom Yellow silk Whitney blouse by Diane von Furstenberg, available at Prefontaine, $198; dark wash skinny jeans by 7 for all Mankind, available at Roots Boutique, $150; tan gladiator sandals by Kiss Me, available at Spice Village, $24; brown leather tote, available at Compass Trading Co., $49; three-strand cluster necklace, available at Plum of Spice Village, $35; gold-plated and crystal earrings, available at Laneâ€™s on Austin Avenue, $87; Roni filigree oversize cuff in gold by Kendra Scott, available at Coreopsis, $120; turquoise and gold ring, available at Laneâ€™s on Austin Avenue, $185.
Ready to Work Beige silky blouse by Bella Dahl, available at Roots Boutique, $112; black pencil skirt by Joseph Ribkoff, available at Collage Boutique, $84; black patent pumps by Jessica Simpson, available at MĂŠlange Boutique, $72; orange leather purse by Melie Bianco, available at Rock Bottom Boutique, $92; Grayce statement necklace in Lily by Kendra Scott, available at Coreopsis, $196; Zaire cuff in peach by Kendra Scott, available at Coreopsis, $120.
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Out to Lunch Tweed jacket by Trina Turk, available at Amelia’s Fashion Exchange, $24; Dojo wide leg flare jeans by 7 for all Mankind, available at Roots Boutique, $154; white crew neck shirt by Michael Stars, available at Rock Bottom Boutique, $50; brown leather wedges by Seychelles, available at Rock Bottom Boutique, $108; brown leather clutch, available at Jute of Spice Village, $29; turquoise and gold circle necklace, available at Lane’s on Austin Avenue, $40; turquoise and tiger’s eye bracelet, available at Jan’s Perfect Presents, $24; turquoise and diamond earrings, available at Kindler’s Gem Jewelers, price upon request; turquoise and diamond square ring, available at Kindler’s Gem Jewelers, price upon request.