My name is Amy Martinez.
I married my sweetheart and am a mother of six children, with four grandchildren. We are all very close and my family means everything to me. I have been overweight off and on for 25 years. I have tried to lose weight many times, in many ways. I even had weight loss surgery in 2005 that didn’t work out for me.
In 2015, I started to see the symptoms of some pretty serious health problems. For as heavy as I was, I never really had any problems before this time. But in 2015, that changed. Seemingly overnight, I developed giant hives that were 3 to 4 inches around and covered a majority of my body. I was miserable. I sought advice from several doctors, and all were unable to figure out what the problem was. The only thing that relieved my itching and diminished the hives was steroids; and as soon as I stopped taking them, the hives would come right back. The doctors began talking about autoimmune diseases. My blood work was mostly normal with a few problems that they really didn’t understand.
Things got worse… I had knee pain, back pain, and foot pain on top of the depression and anxiety symptoms that I had been battling for decades. I was always tired and I never felt good. I really never wanted to go out and do anything; unless it involved going out to eat or being around my children and grandchildren. Food and family were my only means to cope.
In the face of all this, my family doctor suggested a gastric sleeve or gastric bypass. I went through all the qualifications for my insurance company, and found that I qualified for the surgery. I was so excited! My family was very supportive. During that qualification period, I lost about 30 pounds and that was being on and off of the steroids.
When I met Dr. McKinley, I felt very comfortable and knew I was going to be successful. I attended the meetings and decided on the gastric bypass surgery.
On December 16, 2015, weighing 340 pounds, I had my surgery. Everything went very well. I began feeling good and lost weight right away. I am very committed to staying on the 70/30 plan with no cheats. I even once accidentally licked my finger making a fruit salad with whipped cream and found myself wiping my tongue off with a napkin! I was that determined not to cheat. People often ask me, “don’t you have a little bite of this or that every now and again?” I always give the same answer… “Nope!”
I know that I am a food addict and I can’t open that door again. I was losing weigh consistently throughout the year. I was becoming more active and able to get down on the floor and play with my grandchildren. I started to not mind getting my picture taken so much either. I could even walk around the store without getting out of breath.
On my December 16, 2016, one year after my surgery, I was 150 pounds less than my starting weight. I weighed 190 pounds! 150 pounds gone forever! I have never been more happy or excited!
Currently I have 50 more pounds to go, and I still don’t cheat, I stay right on track with the 70/30. I’ve not done much exercise at this point, but 2017 is my year for exercise. I know it will help me reach my goals. My husband bought me a new bike for Christmas, and I’m excited for the weather to warm up so I can get out and ride it.
Today I am able to walk around parks, go camping, walk up and down the stairs with ease, and even cross my legs. This year I was able to walk around Temple Square to see the lights with my family. This is something we haven’t done for years because I could never have kept up with them. I am loving my new life and my family is so proud of me. Having a gastric bypass by Dr. McKinley was the best decision I ever made!