Austin, TX

Hey, I'm Amber, and at 30 years old, I've faced a lifetime of weight struggles. At my highest, I tipped the scales at 323 pounds, all packed into my petite 5-feet frame. It was March 2015, a turning point that propelled me to take charge. Opting for VSG (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy) surgery on November 5, 2015, marked the beginning of my transformative journey. On the day of the surgery, I weighed 297 pounds.

In the honeymoon phase, spanning two years, I shed a remarkable 132 pounds. However, sustaining the weight loss and addressing the mental aspect proved to be a challenge. Despite acing the required psych exam, I slipped back into old habits of overeating, leading to a gradual regain of 55 pounds over the following year.

But here's the truth: Regain does not equate to failure. It's a recognition that the journey may need a restart, and that's perfectly okay.

As I grappled with regaining control of my health in March 2020, life threw me another curveball. I lost my sister to an aggressive cancer, taking on the role of her caregiver. To compound matters, the pandemic hit, casting a dark shadow over the world. Attempting to climb out of this emotional abyss, I embarked on a fitness challenge in April 2020, only to tear my meniscus and undergo surgery, further impeding my progress.

Always transparent about my mental health struggles, I've battled depression, mood disorders, and severe anxiety, all of which intricately intertwine with weight loss efforts.

In a particularly trying period last summer, I reached a point where I attempted suicide. It was a wake-up call that propelled me into psychotherapy, attending counseling sessions twice a week, and engaging in group therapy. This experience shed light on the psychological connection between my eating habits and mental health, leading me to better understand and control my tendency to binge eat.

Resetting wasn't just about physical changes; it started with a mindset shift. Engaging in various challenges for accountability and utilizing my apartment gym for daily walks on the treadmill marked the beginning. Now, I'm committed to working out twice a day, incorporating fasted cardio and strength training into my routine.

You can find me in the gym daily, embodying the mantra, "Give up on giving up." It's about believing that those who count you out don't have the whole picture. Trusting the process, giving yourself time, and recognizing that it's a journey, not a sprint, are the keys to success. Amber's journey isn't just about transforming her body; it's a testament to resilience, mental fortitude, and the strength found in embracing a fresh start.

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