By Scott Thompson
THIS NINETEEN-STONE mum-of-three dropped TEN STONE after worrying she’d DIE and leave her children motherless – and it’s taken FOUR surgeries to remove the EXCESS SKIN.
Stay-at-home-mum, Lisa Rothenberg (34) from Sparta, New Jersey, USA has been married to her husband Charles (42) for eight years. She used to work as a urologist and never had any problems with her weight, always staying at about 11st 6lb until she became a mother.
However, after having her first child Colton (8) in March 2011 Lisa really struggled with her weight and after having another two children, Liam (6) and Aubrey (4) she started piling on the pounds until she weighed 19st 3lb at her heaviest in 2017 where she was wearing a sizeable UK dress size 26.
Lisa tried to lose weight following several diets such as weight watchers and liquid diets, but the fat wouldn’t budge. This was taking a toll on Lisa’s life in more ways than one. She felt too embarrassed to be intimate with her husband, she couldn’t walk upstairs, tie her shoes and she struggled to play with her three active children.
Lisa’s blood pressure was through the roof and she was forced to take three tablets a day to help her keep it under control and she started to feel like she was going to die if she didn’t lose weight. One day everything took a toll on Lisa when she couldn’t even climb the stairs at home and her mind was flooded with thoughts about dying and leaving her three young children behind.
Refusing to accept that as her fate Lisa decided to take drastic measures to protect her children and in February 2018 she had vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) weight loss surgery to remove up to 80 per cent of her stomach which forced her to eat much less than before. Within just one year she lost an incredible 10st and now wears a super slim UK size 4.
“I’ve been married for over eight years to my wonderful husband Charles and I have three children who keep me busy. There’s Colton, Liam and Aubrey. Before I had children, I always weighed about 11st 6lb, but after each child I had I gained more and more weight and found it increasingly more difficult to lose it,” Lisa said.
“Everything was getting harder in my day to day life. It was harder to walk far, harder to put on my shoes, even playing with my children was just too much for me. I was always out of breath so quickly and it made me not want to do anything.
“I hated my body and I knew I was going to die if I didn’t lose this weight. My blood pressure was sky high and I was on three pills a day to combat it. I did really try several diets including weight watchers and liquid diets but none of them were helping much.
“At my heaviest I weighed 19st 3lb and I was wearing a huge UK dress size 26.
“Then in 2017 I remember trying to walk upstairs at home and it was incredibly difficult. All these thoughts were rushing through my mind about my weight, about being obese, about my children. It’s all I could think about. My children are so young and they need their mum. Could you imagine leaving your three kids behind? This gave me the push I needed to tell myself ‘now is the time Lisa’.
“So to protect my family, on February 19, 2017 I had VSG surgery where they cut 70-80 per cent of your stomach out. This allowed me to change my relationship with food and now I eat to live not live to eat. After just one year I lost 10st.”
Shifting the pounds left Lisa with lots of excess skin and she had four operations to have this removed with a fifth one planned in April 2020.
But Lisa says losing the weight and dealing with all that excess skin has certainly been worth it because she’s no longer hiding away from the crowds. She’s more confident, she’s in control and she can finally be more active with her three children.
“I had a lot of extra skin after losing weight. I have had most of it removed now. I had to have a lower body lift, breast lift, augmentation and a thigh lift. I’ll be finishing my plastic surgery journey with my arm surgery in April 2020,” Lisa continued.
“The hardest part of this journey has been being consistent with continuing to work out and focus on the food intake even when your results aren’t coming in immediately.
“I can’t tell you how much this has changed who I am as a person. I’m completely different now, I’m so outgoing and I’m so confident. Before I never wanted to go out or see anyone and I hated talking to strangers. But now… wow, I do all of those things. Losing weight has certainly been the best thing I have ever done for myself I don’t regret a thing. I’m so glad I took control of my life.
“One of the greatest things about this journey is that I’m now here for my children fully. I can be active with them, I have more energy, I can take them places and they see all the joy in my face being able to be with them this way.
“Some people don’t even recognise me anymore. They simply say, ‘Wow,’ this is especially true of those I haven’t seen in a long time. They are amazed and ask how I did it.
“If you want to lose weight too honestly just get out there and do it. Start somewhere, anywhere. Start by changing little habits, those little habits will eventually make it easier for you to include even more habits and then you’ll start seeing results and you’ll feel amazing.
“Take control now, I wish I’d done it sooner but I’m so glad I eventually did.”
You can follow Lisa’s journey on Instagram