Transformation Success Story: From Bariatric Surgery to Bodybuilding

Not all fitness journeys are the same, some are harder than others or just plain different! I was introduced to Lysse Remaly's story by the team and instantly gravitated to her transformation. I reached out to Lysse to learn more about her story and how she stays motivated.


NMFIT When did you realize that you needed to lose weight?

Lysse: It was a moment that I refer to as my “click” moment.  I was getting onto a flight from Las Vegas (where I went to college) and New York and didn’t fit into the airplane seat.  The airlines made me purchase the seat next to mine.  In case that humiliation wasn’t enough since the seat belt didn’t fit around my waist either, the flight attendant had to hand over the extender seat belt after doing her little “put on your mask before helping someone else” schpeal.  It was in that moment, behind the ugly tears that I realized this was crazy what I was doing to myself.  I was 21 years old and I was destroying my body before I even had a real chance to live my life.  I had to change. 

NMFIT: How has your weight loss journey been? What were the milestones that you had to overcome?


Lysse: I’ve never been asked this question before!  No one has ever asked, “how’s it going?”  To be honest, it’s been tough and incredible all in one journey.  Anything you as an individual is fighting for that is based on your own honest willpower is tough.  I had to challenge my own food demons,  re-learn a relationship with food, I had to teach myself about macronutrients, micronutrients, how they processed in my body, how my body uses them.  More than just learning the new lifestyle, I had to mend my relationship with myself.  Looking back, changing the food and the activity was easy compared to the emotional and mental changes I had to make.  With that being said, it was all worth it.  I regret nothing.  

NMFIT: What was your fitness regime like during this period?

Lysse: During the very first year of changing my lifestyle I was in the gym almost every single day.  My lifting regime was all about how heavy I could lift.  I would attend every single group fitness class I could and had to work my way up to making it through the entire class without feeling like my lungs were going to explode.  As I continued to educate myself, ask questions and fall in love with lifting, I was able to build a bodybuilding type split where I worked specific body parts in one workout and the goal was to increase muscle mass but also strength. 

In a typical day, what is your diet like?

Today, my diet is still based on the way I have to eat as a bariatric patient with a bodybuilder twist.  Protein is my most important nutrient, below is sample of a typical day:  Keep in mind that because of having bariatric surgery, the portion control is now built-in.  I measure everything but my tool will tell me when I am full.  

Meal #1 3 egg whites (either hard boiled or scrambled), ½ cup of spinach or kale 

Meal #2 2 oz. of ground turkey and 1 oz of almonds

Meal #3 3 oz. of grilled chicken, green beans and 1 TBSP olive oil 

Meal #4 3 oz. of grilled chicken, green beans and 1 TBSP olive oil 

Meal #5 2 oz. of ground turkey 

Meal #6 3 oz. of fish (usually walleye) and asparagus OR I make a salad with chopped cucumbers, peppers, mushrooms, onions and eat as much as I can of it and put the remaining away for lunch the next day. 

NMFIT: Who/What do you consider the greatest motivation behind your healthy weight loss journey?

Lysse: In all honesty, I am my greatest motivation.  I want to live a vibrant, healthy and fulfilled life.  I have goals for my future, huge things that I want to accomplish and I need to feel my absolute best in order to make those things happen.  Of course I have support and encouragement from my family and friends and I always want to make them proud.  My life, my future and my desire to be a role model for others and make an impact in the world, that’s my greatest motivation.  On that note…off to the gym. 

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