Less than three years after surgery, she’s a Pouch Party™ Diva!
By day, she’s a staff writer for a disaster relief and development organization. But there is a lot more to Nikki Massie than that!
Perhaps most interestingly for physicians who work with bariatric patients, she is the creator of Bariatric Foodie. This lavishly photographed blog is a great source of information for post-bariatric patients and includes innovative, delicious recipes, nutritional information, kitchen equipment advice, and other topics of interest.
“I was tired of being fat, tired of not liking myself, tired of crying when I saw pictures of myself or caught glimpses of myself in a mirror,” said Nikki. “Being obese can be draining physically, but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I needed to make a drastic change or else I was afraid I was going to ‘miss it’—it being my life,” said the 36-year-old single mom.
At 327 pounds, she underwent the surgery, performed at Saint Agnes by Dr. Kuldeep Singh, and in six months she lost 100 pounds. In the six months after that, she lost another 50.
“I’d say the hardest part about post-op life is having to feel your feelings,” said Nikki. She can’t stuff them down with food anymore. “This is for two reasons: I’d get very, very sick. Also, I don’t like feeling bad and I know that compulsive eating will make me feel bad.”
This was a new outlook for Nikki. Once she didn’t care if something made her feel ill. She’d eat it anyway. “Now I don’t want to feel that way. I want to feel good,” she explained.
“I’ve dealt with some pretty deep stuff since surgery and not being able to turn to food is hard,” she said. “It means you have to talk about how you feel, even if you don’t want to acknowledge your feelings. It means you have to make action plans for when something isn’t going right in your life, because keeping negative people and thoughts in your life can be toxic. You don’t always want to do that. It’s tiring. It makes you mad at inconvenient times. It makes you cry when you want to paint on a happy face because it’d just be easier to smile and say you’re OK. “
Nikki said that the biggest difference she sees between who she was then and who she is after surgery is her personality. “I hated to be touched as an obese person. I didn’t want anyone to hug or kiss me except my kids. I didn’t go out. I didn’t date. I didn’t pay much attention to grooming or personal appearance. I didn’t really think I was worth the effort.”
And what is she like now, two years after the surgery? She thinks she is a pretty fun person to know. And, she said, she doesn’t have many self esteem problems.
“I also don’t have a problem telling anyone that I think I am the coolest thing walking,” she said. “I like me a lot. I like how I look. I like how I feel. There are a few more pounds to come off and some skin, but honestly…Dr. Singh is my hero! I lost 155 lbs. but I gained ME.”