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Beyond the Scale – Hailey’s Weight Loss Journey

Hailey Allen in November 2023

When describing Hailey Allen, the words funny, uplifting, and unique come to mind. “I’ve been big since I was a child. I was overlooked, bullied, and shamed almost every day because of my size, and I got to the point where I couldn’t seem to find the beauty in myself,” Hailey reflects as she shares her story of weight loss in late November 2023.

Since her gastric sleeve surgery in July, she’s lost 71 pounds. This is the first time she’s weighed less than 300 pounds since she was in high school. “I’m ready to not be the big kid for once…to be the skinny queen to go with my personality!”

Her why

“There are a lot of simple ‘whys’ like wanting to live a healthier life, being able to enjoy experiences with friends and family without my back or legs always hurting, and the ability to look in the mirror and just be happy with the young woman I’m looking back at. I already admire who I am as a person and my unbeatable personality.”

Hailey’s excited to try things she hasn’t been able to do in the past because of her weight. “I want to walk around without having to complain every two seconds, maybe be a hiker for once in my life, ride rides at Disney, go to a trampoline park,” she shares. “Because of my size, I couldn’t do some of the things that would help me lose weight,” Hailey adds, like trying out a Bungie exercise class.

Live a longer life

Another challenge Hailey is facing simultaneously is the Chiari Malformation diagnosis she received at the end of 2022, in which a part of her brain at the back of the skull bulges through a normal opening in the skull where it joins the spinal canal. She adds, “Losing weight gives me the chance to take the pressure off the back of my brain and opens up the opportunity for me to have brain decompression surgery if it gets to that point where I need it.”

Hailey before and after losing more than 70 pounds (as of November 2023)

Hailey is encouraged about how her quality of life has continued to improve since the surgery. She says, “Before surgery, my body always had aches and pains, and I never had any energy to get me fully through the day. I was missing out on family events and time with friends due to extreme migraines and tiredness.”

Accept the support

“Weight loss surgery is a tool for people to help aid in weight loss and is not an easy way out of hard work. You have to focus on yourself mentally and put yourself first,” Hailey asserts.

When asked where she received support from, she shares, “I would love to give a shout-out to my nurse Caroline who helped me so much with the preoperative steps. Clinical Psychologist Dr. Dickson-Rishel has helped me mentally and physically through this entire journey, and I’m not sure how far I would have gotten without her.” She also recommends weight loss support groups to help with accountability and understanding of the process.

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