I live in a third-floor walk-up. Every day when I would come home from work, it would be so hard to walk up those stairs. I’d be out of breath before I reached the second floor and when I’d get to the second floor, I’d feel like I was ready to pass out. Sometimes I’d think I wasn’t going to make it. I tried every weight loss program out there. I would lose weight, gain weight, lose weight, gain weight. It was time for me to take my life back. I thought there had to be something out there that would help me lose the weight permanently. After doing research, I decided that weight loss surgery was what I needed. If I didn’t do it, I gave myself 5 years. I thought I was not going to be around anymore.

Surgery wasn’t the easy fix people think it is. I lost weight but there was a time when the numbers on the scale were not moving. The best advice the doctor gave me was to stop focusing on the numbers. The doctor would ask me “Timika, how do you feel? Do you feel good?” I would say “Yes, I feel amazing!” Once I started to focus on how I felt and stopped obsessing over the numbers, the weight started to come off again.

The major physical change I’ve seen in my life is that I’m able to breathe again! I have so much energy. I feel better about myself. I have more confidence. I’m smiling more, and people can see I’m genuinely happy. So it’s really not about how you look on the outside; it’s about how you feel on the inside. And I can truly say I’m extremely happy I made this choice.