These patient stories are from real patients who have had weight loss surgery. Actual results after surgery will vary with each individual. The opinions expressed by patients should not be taken as medical advice. All surgery presents risk. Weight, age, and medical history determine your specific risks. Consult your doctor to see if weight loss surgery may be right for you.

Body

Transcript: A great success

My name is Lisa and I'm in Monroe, Virginia. I had my surgery over 12 years ago. At my highest weight I was 305 pounds and I have kept off 115 pounds.

My weight has been an issue for me since I was a young girl, but it became a real problem for me after I moved off the farm where I worked really hard and went to college.

I ate every diet you can imagine - the low fat, the high carb, the no fat. I could lose a portion of the weight but then I would get to this plateau and I would just white-knuckle it. I would try so hard and I would lose nothing and I was starving myself!

I would get so frustrated and then I would just eat whatever I wanted to and then I would gain even more weight back and it just became such a vicious cycle.

My mom and dad gave us an all-inclusive trip with them to Mexico. We ended up on this little plane that was a very small seated plane… the seats were metal and you couldn't move the bars up in between them. And because of my size I couldn't fit in the seat without an incredible amount of pain.

And I said I will never be in this situation again where everyone in the plane can see how fat I am. I couldn't even wear the seat belt. They had to get a seat extender. And that was my moment when I said I will never be here again. I'm done.

I was really lucky in that I didn't have any major medical conditions yet. What I was starting to feel was pain in my joints and pain in my back. I was smart enough to realize that whatever those health conditions were would be way scarier.

I was actually with my primary doctor and he and I talked through it. And he discussed the challenges that would be there and what I needed to change and then he referred me on to a bariatric physician.

When I started going to see the doctors, my husband and I, I said, “Honey, I really want to do this and the first day they have available is on your birthday. Can I choose to change my life on your birthday? And now my birthday and your birthday will be the same now.” And he said that I could do that. 

My husband is actually about 50 pounds less now than before I had my surgery. So we've actually lost weight together through this process. I'm very grateful to my husband who stood by me all the way.

Imagine your biggest vice gone, and I had to learn to adapt to that. And so it was a challenge and I've turned to exercise. So every morning, one of the first things I do is work out.

Right after my surgery I was returning something at a store and it started to rain and I never ran. I realized after I could run and I decided right then and there that I was going to run a marathon. I did. I ran the Marine Corps marathon.

Before surgery, we, I think, just watched a lot of TV and didn't really do anything. Now we are so active in the summertime. I go, biking, hiking, so, we're constantly trying to come up with ideas of what to do outside. 

I've never regretted it. Never regretted it for a second. Yeah, I don't ever think any more about what I can't do. It’s always what can I do, what can I accomplish next.