People just like you describe their weight loss journey and improved quality of life. Until having surgery, nothing helped — no amount of diet, exercise, or nutrition changes addressed their morbid obesity and diabetes. After surgery, a healthy BMI and diabetic outlook were just the beginning.
Sabrina is a young woman who has struggled with obesity her entire life. As an internal medicine physician, she felt very uncomfortable talking to her patients about weight — and decided it was time to take action to overcome obesity.
As a busy mother with obesity and type 2 diabetes, Dana knew only too well how obesity and diabetes limited her daily activity. Dana’s ultimate mission was to change her life. Dana has decided to share her journey of weight-loss surgery with others who are in the same situation. Follow Dana from consideration to the actual surgery and its final results.
My name is Dana. I am 25 years old and I weigh 292 pounds. When I look in the mirror, I see a person that’s not me. That’s not who I want to be, that’s not what I should be. Putting on the weight was easy and I just kept doing it. I kept saying “next month I’ll diet.”
It’s constantly in the back of my mind, people are looking like “oh, is she going to be able to fit through that, is she going to break that chair.” I can’t do what other moms do with their kids; I’ve never even sat on a swing with them. If I continue to gain weight, I am going to die from my diabetes.
I want to feel like I can walk around that block and not be winded, or my legs not hurt from standing on them for so long. I want to feel like I can wake up in the morning and not have to go up into the medicine cabinet to take 5 pills to start my day — I can just start my day.
When I first met my doctor, I met her one-on-one and I didn’t feel uncomfortable because I knew she wouldn’t look at me differently because she had been in my shoes. The day I walked into my first support group, I was scared because, being heavy, I don't like being in crowds; I feel uncomfortable. There was a guy standing there, and he asked me, “What got you to this point?" I explained, my children are noticing that I am fat. He said, “You know what got me to this point? When I went out with my friends and broke a chair, I said to myself, I’ve gotta do something.”
I think people are going to look at me like “oh, she took the easy way out.” But it's a life-changing experience. Hearing other peoples' stories makes me want to work harder and better myself and lose more weight.
No matter what you get into in life, being overweight complicates everything. I got out of a friend's car, and I stepped onto a curb and my foot popped and I think a big part of it was my weight because putting 200+ pounds on your foot at one time, it's going to happen.
It’s not that easy to lose the weight. When I get stuffed, I don't stop. I’ll finish my meal rather than walk away. In the beginning, I wasn't ready for all this change. I was asking myself, “Am I going to be able to do it?” But I have to do this.
I take it all in and look at it like, “Look at the end result, I have a goal, that's my goal I’m trying to reach and I can't wait to get there. So just suck it up and deal with it, because in the end you're go into be happier.”
I’m here. It’s October 2 and I’m having my final test before my surgery. These tests are very important since it's the last day I have to come before my surgery. It’s exciting, but scary.
I’m 100% ready. This is it. The day is here. I’m doing this to make me a healthier person. I’m hoping that after surgery I can come off all my diabetes meds. It’s going to be a major change because for the last 6 years of my life I have been on pills.
It’s been 3 months after surgery, and I’m down 70 pounds. It feels great, it really does. Right now I’m up to a full cup of food at one sitting. I take my 20 minutes to eat it and if I can’t eat it, I stop.
Physically, right now I feel amazing. I’m no longer taking meds for diabetes, my numbers used to be in the 4 and 5 hundreds, but now my sugar levels are normal. My cholesterol is lowered; I’m not on high blood pressure meds anymore, my kidneys are finally holding all the protein they should, and the only pills I take every day are vitamins.
As you lose more weight, you see yourself doing a lot more. I used to want to just lay around, and now I just want to get up and do things. I used to be a size 24 and now I’m fitting into a 16.
Before surgery, I was diabetic, had to take insulin twice a day, and was on high blood pressure meds. It was horrible. Now I’m living life, I love it, and I’m so happy. I feel like I can do it. I'm going to continue to exercise, continue to eat the way I’ve been eating, make sure I keep up with my vitamins and my doctor's appointments, and go to my support group.
I say to anyone that was in my shoes 6 months ago or a year ago, if you are really thinking about having surgery, I really think you should look into it, do your homework and talk to somebody, do everything in your power to set yourself free and be who you want to be.
At time of interview, 3 months post-surgery.
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