I am just one person, with my own limited experiences.  This is exactly why I love to share other people’s Healthy Tipping Point stories, especially ones that show ‘success’ isn’t a linear path and that there’s no ‘right’ way do things.  Jasmine approached me about writing a guest post about her experiences with weight loss and gastric bypass, and I think her story is not only extremely well-written, but also a profound look into her own perspective.  Enjoy!


Jasmine says: 


I wish I could say that my personal "healthy tipping point" came as a result of my own profound insight. I really wish I could say it came at a moment when the changes I needed to make became crystal clear and I could fool myself no longer.  Unfortunately, that would be a lie.  It all started when I was sitting in my doctor’s office. I’d known him nearly my entire life. He’d been with me through a dozen or more diets. He’d personally prescribed me several medications to help with weight loss. He’d referred me to a nutritionist. He’d had heart to hearts with my mother. He’d seen me lose and gain more weight than most women will ever weigh. 


That day, I was there for something routine. I had a cold, a sinus infection, something. But when he asked me how I was feeling, I inexplicably burst into tears.  "What wrong?" he asked.  "What isn’t wrong?" was my reply. I didn’t even know how to explain it. I was tired, tired of being morbidly obese. Tired of being 343 pounds. Tired of trying and failing, failing and trying. "What’s going to happen to me?" I asked. "You’re going to change," he said. "Because if you don’t, you’re going to die."


I didn’t even cringe. I’d known it for a long time. At 5-foot-1-inch, I was tiny and petite like my mother. It made being 343 pounds all the more dangerous. "I don’t know what to do anymore."


He sat down, crossing his legs primly, the way he’d done my whole life.  "Have you ever heard of bariatric surgery?"

Heavy Decisions

When I heard the words, I felt something break inside me. The shame, the embarrassment that sometimes comes with membership in the morbidly obese community seems to know no bounds. These things rolled over me in waves. It was bad enough to wear my insecurities, fears, and challenges on the outside of my body, but to also choose an option that the know-it-all media had already branded the "easy way out?" It was impossible to me. And yet, having tried literally all my life, it couldn’t be casually ruled out. 


Not wanting to base my decision on hearsay, I did my homework. I researched the options, talked to doctors and surgeons, and eventually I talked to my family. After seventeen months of indecision, of fear, of wrestling with the idea and then, with the insurance company, I had roux-n-y gastric bypass surgery.


I have said that my personal "healthy tipping point" didn’t come to me in any profound way. Instead, it came to me like a seed, planting itself quietly, but firmly, growing in my mind and my body as roots beneath the soil. When it finally broke through the surface, it felt natural, as if this was how my life would have always been, though that was far from the truth.  This tipping came after I had the surgery, after my struggle to get in enough calories and protein. It came after I joined a gym, after I’d spent more than two years working to get the weight off. It was two years of mindless workouts, hours spent in the gym, hours spent obsessing over every calorie that went into my body. 


I surpassed the expectations of my doctors, of my family. I lost 201 pounds in the matter of two years through a combination of the surgery, obsessive gym habits, and purposely starving myself. Like so many people with weight issues, I took my obsession with food and turned it on its head. Instead of obsessing over when my next meal would be, I obsessed over the calories in my meals, punishing my body in the opposite direction.


At 142 pounds, I was thinner, but no happier than I’d been at 343 pounds. It was this realization that forced that seedling to break through the surface of my consciousness. It was this "tipping point" that made me realize that being healthy isn’t all about weight loss, that a life of body-obsession was not a success for the books. It was, in fact, a tragedy.


It was 2008, three and a half years after my surgery, when my healthy tipping point finally dawned. I started a blog, Eat Move Write, and began to document not just my food and exercise, but my struggles, my challenges, and my passions. Because, I realized, a healthy life is made up of so much more than calories and fitness minutes.

The Controversy

Over the years, I have confronted my own issues with having gastric bypass, but when I started my blog, I was forced to also confront other people’s issues with it. People still ask me all the time what my take is on gastric bypass. They ask if I’m a "supporter" and I never know how to answer that question. 


Gastric bypass and weight loss surgeries in general are controversial. They ignite people’s passions in a way that is both stunning and understandable. It goes back to weight loss, which has and always will be as much an emotional issue as it is a physical one. I realize that it is easy to look at what I did and say, why couldn’t you have just done the exercise and nutrition portion without the weight loss surgery? My answer is a simple one: Isn’t hindsight always 20/20? Don’t we always question what we might have done if all the other things that failed us previously had worked instead? 


I have seen people attack nearly every weight loss tool out there, and the truth is that all weight loss tools are basically the same. Yes, even gastric bypass. They are tools, tools that help people who have not been able to help themselves. I think it’s fantastic that we are surrounded by a community of bloggers and blog readers who pursue health like it’s their business (in some cases, it is!). I consider myself one of those people now, too. But, my path to get here was meandering. My wake-up call was more drastic. That’s just the reality. My path was gastric bypass; maybe yours isn’t. We’re different. Life goes on.



Today, I continue to chronicle my success story on my blog. I no longer cringe to call myself a success story, as I did those years ago when I was at my thinnest and, yet, most unhappy. I realize now that living a happy and successful life requires acknowledgement of your own successes and failures. It requires an understanding of the moments when you tip for the better and the opportunities to continue that journey. It also helps a whole lot if you come armed with a load of positivity to safeguard you against all the bumps in the road. 


I think that’s where blogs come in. I’m grateful for the healthy living blog community, which continues to provide for me examples of this positive "healthy tipping" on a daily basis. We are a group of committed success stories, and I’m so proud to be part of it.


Other Healthy Tipping Point Stories:


  • January Joiners’ Stories
  • Maura:  Single and Strong
  • Michele:  Love Shouldn’t Hurt
  • Cynthia:  Healthy is More than Size / Dealing with IBS
  • Erica:  Positive Thinking in Real Life
  • Ben: A 120 Pound Journey to an Ironman
  • Erin: Young, Strong, and Beating Distorted Thinking
  • Tina:  Two Pink Lines Motivated Her to Get Healthy
  • Bo: A Man’s Healthy Tipping Point Journey
  • Emily:  A Slow Switch Helped Her Lose Nearly 100 Pounds 
  • Kayla:  The Fear of Going Blind Motivated Her to Get Healthy 
  • Maria:  A Gallbladder Stone Scare Showed Her The Importance of Real Food
  • Dani:  Learning to Run Through the Couch to 5K Program
  • Maissa:  Finding a New Outlet for Negative Emotions
  • Freya:  A Journey Out of Anorexia
  • Carrie:  Ditched Distorted Thinking and Ran a Marathon
  • Amy:  A Mom Who Lost Baby Weight and Became a Triathlete
  • Jenny:  Saw Lance Armstrong on Oprah and Decided to Ride a Century
  • Lauren:  Stays Active Despite Being a Busy Associate at a Financial Firm
  • Beth:  A Friend’s Serious Illness Inspired Her to Focus on Her Own Health


  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) February 12, 2011, 9:01 am

    Thanks for sharing this. I love Jasmine’s blog because it never fails to inspire and tell it like it is.

  • maria @ Chasing the Now February 12, 2011, 9:06 am

    What a wonderful guest post! There are many paths to health and not one path is right for every person.

  • Stephanie@Thorns Have Roses February 12, 2011, 9:06 am

    Loved this.

  • Michele @ Healthy Cultivations February 12, 2011, 9:06 am

    I’m so happy to read that Jasmine doesn’t praise bariatric surgery as the life-saving tool that will solve the obesity issues of the country. I’m even more happy to read that she dealt with the emotional issues too. It’s never easy to lose a significant amount of weight… no matter how you do it… because the emotional issues are what it’s really about. It’s simply not about the food. Eckhart Tolle states in “The Power of Now” that if we repair the inside, the outside will follow.

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table February 12, 2011, 9:11 am

    Fantastic post! I am always inspired by people’s ability to overcome and take charge of their lives. So relevant to a variety of obstacles we face.

  • Katie @ peacebeme February 12, 2011, 9:25 am

    Thank you for sharing, this is one of the most touching HTP stories I have read on here. I especially admire how you reached both extremes with eating and found a balance and how hard you continue to work for happiness. Great post!

  • Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete February 12, 2011, 9:36 am

    Jasmine thank you for sharing your story — I have heard from other people how gastric bypass is “the easy way out” and reading this helps me see that it is not true! I agree with you that any weight loss tool is controversial — look at how many “choices” are out there! You have to find the one that works for you, that will make you healthy, that will keep yo healthy.

    That is why I love healthy living blogs too — they inspire me to do more and stay healthy and active.

  • Janene @ One Run at a Time February 12, 2011, 9:39 am

    Wow. This is such a powerful story. I absolutely resonate with the idea that the “tipping point” is sometimes more like a seed, slowly growing and taking shape, than an overnight epiphany. Jasmine, this is so well-written and moving… Thanks so much for sharing, and thanks to you, too, Caitlin! Jasmine, I’m really excited to check out your blog! 🙂

  • Angie February 12, 2011, 9:51 am

    t was this “tipping point” that made me realize that being healthy isn’t all about weight loss,

    I cannot agree wiht this statement more I’ve lost 25 lbs and thought happiness would come from that. It doesn’t. Life doesnt change becuase of your weight. It CHANGES because of your OUTLOOK and MINDSET

  • Jen @ keepitsimplefoods February 12, 2011, 9:55 am

    Thank you for sharing this amazing story. Jasmine’s honesty and vulnerability make her story moving and inspiring. I admire how real she is- that change doesn’t come easily, it takes years of hard work to acheive our goals. Never give up!

  • Ashley February 12, 2011, 9:56 am

    So inspiring! Thanks for sharing this story!

  • Baking 'n' Books February 12, 2011, 10:00 am

    So glad you are showcasing Jasmine’s story. Her blog allows me to reflect, think, and laugh at all once. She is very real.

    Everyone has a different experience. What worked for her may not work for you – but no one should judge or make assumptions. We all just have to do our things in this world.

  • Kelly February 12, 2011, 10:08 am

    Jasmine- such a great story, thanks for sharing it with us. I don’t think there is really an “easy way” when it comes to weight loss and being healthy- I’m glad you have got yourself there, even if was a wavering path 🙂

  • Kelly February 12, 2011, 10:10 am

    All I have is one word: wow! What an amazing story!

  • Laurie February 12, 2011, 10:31 am

    I’m running (not walking) right over to Jasmine’s blog…not only is this a great story, but so beautifully written. Thanks for sharing, Caitlin.

  • Camille February 12, 2011, 11:00 am

    I am so glad you did a post on Jasmine! I have been following her blog for a long time and I was lucky enough to meet her last month (she is stalking me from San Diego to Oregon). She is absolutely one of the kindest, most real people I have ever met and I feel very lucky to be able to call her my friend.
    Not only is her story incredible, but she is freaking hilarious and she lets that shine through on her blog.

  • annette February 12, 2011, 11:22 am

    What a great story- thank you so much for sharing!!!

  • Meredith February 12, 2011, 11:22 am

    Great post! I’m doing my dietetic internship now, and I LOVED my bari rotation! I’m so glad Jasmine described bari surgery as a TOOL — exactly what I tell my pts! It’s a major surgery, and it’s not going to make a difference unless the pts stick with the dietary guidelines afterwards. For those of the pts who do, they make such incredible progress and it just lifts your heart! But then there are others who don’t follow the guidelines and so the surgery doesn’t work for them (such as the pt who loses only 1# in a month post-op). So glad this all worked out for Jasmine!!! Very informative and inspiring!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) February 12, 2011, 11:57 am

    What a story! Thank you for sharing! 😀

  • Lee February 12, 2011, 12:00 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Natalia - a side of simple February 12, 2011, 12:00 pm

    Jasmine, thank you so much for sharing your personal journey, not only on HTP but especially through your blog. I’m an avid reader of Eat, Move, Write, and I’m so happy Caitlin featured you on her site!

  • Nicci (NiftyEats) February 12, 2011, 12:03 pm

    Great story, I follow Jasmine’s blog and she is very inspiring. I believe it is true about surgery being another tool. I’ve had friends and close family go through surgeries b/c they could not help themselves…seeing them healthy and free from health issues is what matters.

  • Carly (Swim, Run, Om) February 12, 2011, 1:08 pm

    I am a big fan of Jasmine and her writing, and was so glad to see her featured here. As always Jasmine, excellent post! 😉

  • megan @ blackberries for jam February 12, 2011, 1:12 pm

    This was such a moving story. It takes a lot of courage to change your life so dramatically. Bravo Jasmine!

  • Kara February 12, 2011, 1:26 pm

    Such a well written and moving story! It’s a great accomplishment to change your life like she did.

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write February 12, 2011, 2:05 pm

    To Caitlin: Thank you so much for allowing me to guest post. I admire you very much, and appreciate your willingness to share other people’s success stories. I am sure you would agree, it only add to your own incredible success. <3

    To Everyone: Thank you so much for your kindness. Your comments have brought tears to my eyes and smiles to my lips. I am completely overwhelmed by the heartfelt love, understanding, and kindness in this community of ours. The motivation I get from you guys on a daily basis on my blog, twitter, and facebook, as well as all the things I learn on a daily basis keep me going and remind me of the incredible capacity people have for genuine and unadultered goodness. Caitlin is a shining example of that, and we are lucky. Love you all. <3

    • Jackie (Peaces of Earth) February 14, 2011, 3:45 am

      I love you dear friend! Thanks for being such an inspiration. 🙂

  • Alexia @ Dimple Snatcher February 12, 2011, 3:13 pm

    Amazing. Thank you so so much for sharing Jasmine’s words here, Caitlin.

  • Kaitlin February 12, 2011, 3:41 pm

    This was a great post and SO important! Jasmine is a true warrior and a wonderful inspiration. I appreciate her honesty and courage to share her story with us. Thanks for letting us be a part of your life, Jasmine 🙂

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey February 12, 2011, 4:26 pm

    This story was so great. Rarely do we see in this community stories like Jasmine’s!

  • Clare February 12, 2011, 5:23 pm

    I love Jasmine AND her blog. She has so much soul.

  • Sarah February 12, 2011, 7:22 pm

    This was a beautifully written post, Jasmine! I love the idea of a seed that is planted and grows. I know I tend to work the same way. I have very few dramatic moments of realisation, but that doesn’t make the changes in the end any less as a result. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Libby February 12, 2011, 10:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing Jasmine’s story. I too had weight loss surgery but am still struggling to reach my healthy weight. It’s definitely not the quick fix for all but for those who are morbidly obese and have tried everything to lose weight, it is a wonderful tool. I applaud you Caitlan to including this on your blog. I often feel excluded from the healthy food blog arena yet I struggle as much as most to find my healthy tipping point. One day I hope to share my own story – it’s been an awful long time in coming but I feel the end is near :-).

    • Caitlin February 13, 2011, 9:27 am

      You’re already a success 🙂 Believe it!

  • Debbie February 13, 2011, 7:01 am

    Really great post. Thank you for sharing.

  • Sarah February 13, 2011, 9:51 am

    Such an awe-inspiring story. I especially appreciated this line:”…being healthy isn’t all about weight loss, that a life of body-obsession was not a success for the books. It was, in fact, a tragedy.” I am currently seeking out balance in my own life. It can be hard to settle into, but stories like Jasmine’s remind me that it is quite possible and encourage me to find the balance in life that is right for me.

  • Amanda February 13, 2011, 10:05 am

    Thanks for sharing Jasmine’s post.

  • Christina February 13, 2011, 10:14 am

    Thank you for sharing this story! I too am an avid reader of Jasmines blog and it’s nice to see her story featured. I had RNY in the beginning of December after about 10-12 years of trying to do it on my own. Like Jasmine, I did my research, spoke with different doctors, researched surgeons and picked the brains of those I knew that had the surgery. Having RNY has been the best gift/tool I’ve given myself.. It’s a daily struggle but my health issues are slowly going away.

  • jane February 13, 2011, 3:05 pm

    wow-what a great post. i have not had gastric bypass and except for gaining 20 lbs in college-woops!-i do not have much of an issue with my weight; but i do work really hard at it. that being said, i do not think any less of someone who had gastric bypass. everyone is built differently, struggled with different issues, grew up in different households-and all affect the weight we are. i dont think you should think any less of yourself because you needed some extra help to lose weight. i think its great that you took matters into your own hands and made a change for yourself. good for you! and ps-you look great, not because you are super skinny, but because you look HAPPY! 🙂

  • jane February 13, 2011, 3:07 pm

    oh and i forgot-BRAVO to you Caitlin for having this as a guest post.

  • Kim February 14, 2011, 7:30 pm

    Thank you for posting this story. I am a registered dietitian that struggles to explain to my clients that eating and weight are so often emotion based. I stress that they should not be so hard on themselves because making good choices is difficult. It’s not eating a salad every day or running a marathon. It’s a personal journey to a happy weight meanwhile being surrounding by all the other meaningful parts of life. It is inspiring to read a success story in the making!

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