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BMI Limbo

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

To get a Cosmetic Procedure your BMI has to be Below 30. To get a Gastric Sleeve or ByPass in the US it has has to be above 40. So, what to do if you are in between?

As I wrote on Our Journey blog, I have been overweight for as long as I can remember. I have struggled with eating disorders since I was a child. Only those of us who have been in that horrible cycle of depression and eating disorders, where you eat because you are depressed, but you are depressed because you are fat, know about the lonely hell I am talking about. I lived there for most of my life. I tried all diets, all supplements, everything under the sun to lose weight. It has taken me over ten years to reach my ideal weight. I am 5'2, and I currently weigh 130 lbs, and although I should be 120 lbs due to my small frame and height, my ideal weight is 130 lbs. I feel healthy, beautiful, and finally satisfied with the number I see on the scale.

I am writing this blog to share with you what worked for me, but eventually, you will find what works for you. We are all different; our metabolisms, dietary preferences, budgets, and routines are different. So, we all have to find the perfect formula that works for us. I found mine, changed my life. But it took me years of trial and error, so don't give up; you will find yours too! At the end of the blog, you will have a list of resources to explore.

So, as a disclaimer, I am not a doctor or nutritionist; I am not encouraging you to do what I did; I am just sharing what worked for me. I strongly recommend consulting your doctor before starting a diet, routine, supplement, etc.

Okay, so let me give you a quick weight-loss timeline.

At 24, I reached 250 lbs, and it took me almost three years to get to 130 lbs. To achieve that goal, I used Herbalife and had a personal trainer; I went to the gym twice daily. An hour in the morning and an hour at the end of the day, five days per week. I drank the Herbalife shakes, ate the bars, and only had real food for lunch, which consisted of salad and protein. I used the personal trainer for about a year, then learned how to do the exercises myself. I hated my life; I hated Herbalife and the gym. I am still not a fan of gym and diet supplements. But it got the job done, and I was motivated by the results.

I met my husband, got married, and got pregnant. My starting weight was 135 lbs; I gave birth at 180 lbs. After I delivered, I went down to 160 lbs and fluctuated between 150 and 170 lbs for two years. During those years, I didn't go to the gym; I didn't use Herbalife; I tried all other diets and supplements that didn't work for me. Also, with a child, it gets harder to put me as a priority and stick to a gym routine and diet. I worked full time, being a wife and a mom, on a budget; it was not the same. I got pregnant with my second child, and I was 160 lbs; I gave birth at 180 lbs again. Now, losing weight would be even harder; I had two kids. I found myself in the same spot, yo-yo weight between 150lbs and 170lbs but less time to do any type of exercise, cook healthy, etc. I was feeling defeated, depressed, and just hopeless.

Then, 2020 hit, COVID took my uncle, who was like a father to me, and I went into a deep depression and anxiety and reached 180 lbs. It got so bad my skin was breaking out severe eczema; I could not stop scratching to the point of bleeding. At the same time, I could not stop binging on food. I went to the doctor and got a referral to a psychiatrist, who diagnosed me with anxiety and ADHD. I have been taking medication ever since; it has helped me tremendously. I stopped scratching and binging.

That same year, my friend Laura got her mommy makeover. I supported her through her journey, I was like her diary. On December 2020, I saw her final results and how happy she was with her body; I decided to get that done for me too. However, my BMI was 35; I went to a plastic surgeon in Atlanta that quoted me 25k to get the mommy makeover (Lipo, bbl and tummy tuck). I felt hopeless, I would never have that money, and my BMI was too high. Laura encouraged me to go to Colombia and get it done for half of the price! So, it took me almost two years to save the money and go from 170 lbs to 140 lbs.

How I lost the weight to lower my BMI and qualify for plastic surgery

In short, CICO and intermittent fasting. The CICO (Calorie In Calorie Out) equation is straightforward; It's not a specific diet. Instead, it's the concept that creating a calorie deficit — consuming fewer calories than you burn daily — leads to weight loss, while eating more calories than you burn causes weight gain. With intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific time. Fasting for a certain number of hours each day or eating just one meal a couple of days a week can help your body burn fat.

To get started, I tracked how many calories I usually ate per day for a week. I was eating about 2200 calories per day, more or less. Also, when my first and last meals were. For example, I ate breakfast at around 7 am, dinner at about 8 pm, and late snacks at 10 pm while watching TV.

I use a Fitbit to track my calories; I can see how many calories I am burning and how many I am intaking. The Fitbit app has a feature where you can enter the calories you intake. However, you don't have to use a Fitbit; you can use many other tools.

The goal is to burn more calories than you intake and stick to the eating schedule. For example, if I had taken more calories than I burnt at the end of the day, I would run around the living room until I reached my goal!

I only followed this diet during the week; on the weekends, I would eat whatever I wanted at whatever time I wanted. I would not binge or go crazy, but I didn't log my calories or look at my Fitbit. To me, having the weekend breaks helped me stay consistent. You just have to ask yourself, is this worth the calories? Is this going to give me the best nutrition, regardless of the calories?

I did not exercise at all. I would do ZUMBA videos from YouTube about twice a week for fun. I also played with my kids on weekends or went on walks with my husband. If you like to exercise, please incorporate it!

I would only weight myself twice per month, usually on Monday mornings after using the bathroom. I found that if I weight myself more than that, I would get obsessed with the number on the scale.

I wore a Bodysuit (Faja) to help control my appetite and mold my body as I lost the weight. I also used a cream to help my skin attach to my body as I lost the weight.

I drank 1/2 gallon of water per day (I still do!). Water keeps you full and hydrated! I also took vitamins and supplements; I only ate FACTOR meals that fit the calorie budget and selected low-calorie snacks.

You will see all resources I used and progress pictures at the end of the blog.

The Routine

Months 1-3 - Easy; I lost about 5 lbs.

Goal: 1800 Calories per day and 12-hour fasting

Breakfast at 8 am: Two boiled eggs, coffee, and toast.

Lunch at 12pm: FACTOR Meal

Dinner 8pm: FACTOR meal

Snacks between meals: Fruit, cheese, popcorn, granola bars, protein shakes, avocado spread, and peanut butter.

Months 4-8 - Not hard; I lost about 8 lbs.

Goal: 1600 Calories per day and 14-hour fasting

Breakfast at 10 am: Two boiled eggs and coffee

Lunch at 2pm: FACTOR Meal

Dinner 8pm: FACTOR meal

Snacks between meals: Fruit, cheese, popcorn, granola bars, protein shakes, avocado spread, and peanut butter.

Months 9-16 - The fasting gets more challenging, and you will hit a plateau. Last month I didn't lose any weight!

Goal: 1400 Calories per day and 16-hour fasting

Breakfast at 12pm: One boiled eggs and coffee

Lunch at 4 pm: FACTOR Meal

Dinner 8pm: FACTOR Meal

Snacks between meals: Fruit, cheese, popcorn, granola bars, protein shakes, avocado spread, and peanut butter.

Months 17-20- The fasting and low-calorie intake get very challenging, but I broke my plateau and lost 10 lbs. So please don't do this for more than three months. You can avoid this stage by exercising more.

Goal: 1200 Calories per day and 18-hour fasting

Breakfast at 2 pm: One boiled eggs and Protein Shake

Lunch at 4 pm: FACTOR Meal

Dinner 8pm: FACTOR Meal

Snacks between meals: Fruit, cheese, popcorn, granola bars, protein shakes, avocado spread, and peanut butter.

Once I reached 140 lbs, I returned to the 1600 calories goal and 16-hour fasting routine. It helped me maintain my weight and lowered my BMI to 26. Although, after my surgery in April 2022, I did not fast or count calories, I had to eat very healthily to give my body strength to heal.

I got back to my routine in August, I am currently doing 1500 calories, 16-hour fasting, and I do ZUMBA and aerobics three times per week for 30 minutes. I can't do weights or anything more aggressive until almost November to avoid messing up my tummy tuck incisions. I don't see myself doing it anyway; I will stick to ZUMBA and aerobics.

If your BMI is higher than 30 and you want to get plastic surgery done, focus on the end goal, and you will reach your goal! If I did it, you can do it too! If your BMI is closer to 40, you can still work on losing weight through diet and exercise, but maybe consider getting a bariatric procedure done like the Gastric Sleeve or Bypass. My mom, two aunts and my cousin got it done and it was a permanent solution for their weight issues. However, you will still have to diet and take care of yourself, you can gain the weight back. If you are interested in Bariatric Procedures, the requirement is to have a BMI of 35 or higher. To learn more click here!

How I saved the money

I would send Laura as much money as I could every two weeks for her to save it for me. I used Zelle; she saved my money in her savings account. I knew that if I had the money in my account, I would use the money. So I cut off eating out, buying unnecessary things, etc., to send her every penny I could get every two weeks. I purchased my plane ticket about six months in advance using a friend's Delta credit card, they let me use their miles, and I made small payments on the card. I paid less than $1000 for a round trip to Bogota; I came back in first class, and it was awesome! I could lay down the entire flight; it was the best flying experience. However, on my way to Bogota, I was in the back of the plane. Many airlines go to Bogota, but I recommend Delta based on my bad experiences with Spirit and AA.

Laura helped me save the money. We offer layaway programs to help you save money and stay committed to it! We also offer financing if you are looking to get the money faster. Learn about our Payment Options here.

I hope this information is helpful! My goal is to help everyone who feels hopeless. I thought that after two pregnancies, being on a budget, over 30 years old, I would never feel happy about my body. I got my confidence back, I feel better than ever, and I want to gift that feeling to everyone, especially moms out there like Laura and me, who thought it was too late for us.

If you're interested in medical tourism in Bogota, Colombia, consider My Body by Design. At My Body by Design, we specialize in providing medical tourism services in Colombia, with our most popular procedures being Gastric Sleeve, Dental Veneers, Gender Affirmation, and Tummy Tuck. Take advantage of the opportunity to save on medical procedures while receiving top-notch care. With our no-fee layaway and financing options, you can make your dream procedure a reality without breaking the bank.

We understand that you may have many questions and concerns about medical tourism, so we offer a FREE Q&A consultation to help you learn more and feel more comfortable with your decision. We have a team of experts dedicated to providing you with the highest quality care and support throughout your medical journey. If you are ready to take the next step towards a happier, healthier you, request a quote today!


Progress Pictures

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