Janice Mitchell

My decision for weight loss was not an easy one but looking back it was the best decision I ever made—my only regret is not doing it sooner. My life and weight were out of control; at my heaviest I weighed 291 pounds. Today, two years after surgery, I weigh 180 pounds.

My weight left me walking with my head hanging down embarrassed and afraid people would notice me. I had no energy and every step was a struggle. Today I walk head held high, greeting everyone with a smile.

The year before my lap band surgery I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and had to use a CPAP machine every night to help me breathe. During my pre-op testing I was told that I had become diabetic. Today I no longer need a CPAP machine to aid my breathing and I take no medications. My existence before surgery does not compare with my expanded horizons of life after surgery. The surgery helped me lose more than my excess weight; it helped me re-shaped my image of myself and my negative thoughts into that of a confident, worthwhile woman.

Donna Nordstrom

My chronic yo-yo weight gain and loss started 38 years ago. I tried endless diets, weight loss supplements, liquid supplements, diet cookies and the list goes on and on.

My daughter told me that if the day should come that she needs to take care of me, she would never be able to lift me in and out of a wheelchair, or off the floor if I should fall. I was slammed so hard in the face with a reality check that it got me motivated to do something.

I checked into the lap band procedure. I discovered that I would like the results and set out to find a surgeon. That's when I learned about UMC's weight loss program. They were genuinely concerned about me and wanted to help me achieve my goal of permanent weight loss.

Prior to the surgery, if I saw stairs, I would always wonder how I would make it to the top. Doing everyday tasks was a struggle and often went undone. Now, I have a lot more energy. Since the surgery I have found it so much easier to control portion size. It has become part of my life.

The weight has been off for three years now without struggling to keep it off. I feel absolutely great!

Denise Pool

I am 33 years old, and due to having the Rouen Y Gastric Bypass I have feel I have finally won my personal war with obesity.

Up until the point I underwent bariatric surgery I had tried every right and wrong way to try to lose weight. Some of these methods did end in temporary success; however it seemed once I had come close to reaching my target weight I was unable to sustain it. It was as if I was a bottomless pit. I had lost the sensation of feeling full after eating a meal. In an effort to try to control my constant hunger I was struggling with my growing dependency on diet pills to get any results.

As the years went by, it was evident the impact the weight was having on my body and my quality of life. I felt a growing sense of desperation as my weight started creeping up into the 300s in my late twenties. Once I had hit this point, it seemed as if I could never get below the 200-lb. mark, no matter how hard I tried with both diet and exercise. I immersed myself into nutritional study learning from all my failures in the past. It still seemed even though I found the right formula for weight loss, my hunger and lack of control to know when to stop eating were the two significant factors of my constant failure.

I began to research weight loss surgery statistics and found that this could be the piece of the puzzle I was looking for. I had the nutritional knowledge and knew what was required to lose weight physically. I believed it was the control factor, the consumption factor, that once resolved would lead to the turning of the tide in my life long battle with obesity.

The decision to have surgery was one of, if not the best decision I have made in my life. It truly was the factor that led to my overall success. The University School of Medicine Bariatric Program was helping me every step of my journey. The constant support and care I received was nothing short of stellar. I have lost 130 pounds since my procedure in November 2008 and have been able to successfully maintain it. At my heaviest I was a size 24 and currently I am a size 10. The physical and mental stress that has been relieved is indescribable. This procedure, along with proper diet and exercise, has done nothing short of saving my life.

Helpful Tips:

  • Obesity is a health hazard, contributing to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer among others.
  • Someone who is 40% overweight is twice as likely to die prematurely as is a normal-weight person.
  • Obesity slows you down during the day and keep you up at night.
  • People who are overweight or obese are at an increased risk of chronic disease.
  • Keep a food journal. You'll lose twice as much weight when you see how much you're really eating.
  • When eating a salad, think of what you're topping it with, cheese, croutons and dressing pack on the pounds.
  • 2% milk sounds healthier than whole milk, but it still has more than half the saturated fat of whole milk. Try mixing 2% with skim, until you can switch to skim for good.
  • A great way to make snack time even healthier is to take it outside, take a walk after that snack.