"Obesity and overeating had been a big part of my life. Family gatherings were centered on food - I love to cook and my family likes to eat. I saw ad for Bariatric Surgery on TV and a friend suggested that we go see about the procedures together. My primary care physician also said that I was "an ideal candidate" for weight loss surgery. Family support also played a big part. My husband was with me all the way, from my first visit with Dr. LaMasters to continuing support with our dietary changes.
My blood pressure was getting higher all the time-5 mg to 10 mg and finally 20 mg, the maximum dose. I had to take stomach medicine on a daily basis for my hiatal hernia, etc. I had to take another pill for bladder control (overweight people have that complaint also). Worst of all, my legs were bothering me and I had vein surgery which didn't seem to help. Going upstairs was painful and especially trying to keep up with my 2 year old granddaughter - I had shortness of breath, no energy, etc. I found that I was snoring and I wasn't getting any younger. I wanted to get healthy.
Now I look in the mirror and marvel at the slender person looking back at me. Is that really me? People see me and tell me how great I look and of course, ask how I did it. I make no bones about being a bariatric bypass patient. I am a walking billboard for weight loss surgery, with the food and calorie changes that I've made in the last year and the surgery helping me change my life around to that of a healthy, normal person.
I no longer take blood pressure medicine, stomach pills or bladder control medicine. I feel absolutely "light" when I'm striding down the street or at the mall. It's hard to keep up with me! And let's not even go into shopping!! As I was losing weight from one size to the next, I would buy a few things in a smaller size and before I could wear them a few times, I was looking at buying the next size smaller. We took a recent vacation and it was wonderful to buy and take the smaller size clothing.
Exercise has played an important part in achieving my weight loss goal. It helped me to keep a journal too. After six weeks of recovery, I started going to our fitness center which is conveniently down the street from our home a few blocks. Then after approximately 10 weeks, I hired a personal trainer to assist me. I didn't want to look like a melted ice cream cone. You absolutely have to exercise as the weight comes off!"
I really appreciate our support meetings every month as well. They reinforce what bariatric patients need to be successful; not only with achieving weight loss but maintaining weight loss for the rest of my life.
I had and have complete confidence in my team - a team approach that included me. As I complete my first year out, I feel very much a part of UnityPoint Health - Des Moines Weight Loss Surgery Specialists. It is great to know that I can call and my questions will be answered. If I need a question answered or have an issue, someone always gets back to me or answers it on the spot. You can walk in the office and be called by your first name by everyone. You are made to feel welcome and a part of their family. It is priceless to have strong support when you need it.
The whole weight loss team works hard to provide all the bariatric patients with a network of support. There are other weight loss surgery patients at the support meetings to support and share their weight loss stories. You always pick up something to use and take back home with you. It is a great opportunity to ask questions. If you can get the support needed at home and from your weight loss surgery team, you can and will be successful at weight loss for life!