A young woman who lost 270 pounds after bariatric surgery discusses "what they never tell you" about rapid and dramatic weight loss, in a first-person report for CNN
"At 27 years old, I weighed 486 pounds and decided to have gastric bypass surgery. I know what you might be thinking: Oh, you took the easy way out." says Shannon Britton of Tampa. "Let me tell you, having weight loss surgery is far from easy. It involves a total commitment to a lifestyle change."
Before her surgery nearly three years ago, Britton met with a surgeon, nutritionists, exercise coaches, and a psychologist. She went to classes and learned about meals, exercise and how her body would change.
"I was prepared, or so I thought," she tells CNN.
On November 23, 2011, the day before Thanksgiving, she went under the knife. Since then, she has lost 268 pounds.
"But the thing they do not prepare you for is how you change emotionally after losing a large amount of weight. At first, I thought I would just have this newfound confidence. I'd be thinner and want to run around naked," she notes. "OK, maybe not naked, but I had this fantasy in my head that one day I would wake up with a body that I loved and would feel comfortable putting into a bikini —that I'd have no body shame whatsoever.
"People would accept me more because I wasn't seen as obese and unhealthy. Dating would get easier. Clothes would fit better. I wouldn't be judgmental toward other extremely obese people because I was once huge. Boy, was I wrong."