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: Feeling more confident 

My name is Caroline. I live in Jersey City.

I’ve always been overweight. I’ve always struggled with my weight. I was a chubby child. So growing up was difficult at times because I also have a condition which is asthma.

I always felt like I was a little bit on the outside because I wasn’t like everyone else. It was hard.  It felt like I was an outsider. Being overweight was always difficult because I never felt like I was like everyone else. I always felt a little bit different and unique. So sometimes I felt like I was alone or I just didn’t fit in.

When I got out of school, I went to work for a couple of county and federal agencies and it was a very sedentary job so I spent eight to nine hours a day at a desk. You know I went home and of course then I sat for many hours. My highest weight that I ever got to was around 298.

When I traveled to India, and I was so excited to be there and it was such a wonderful experience. I was travelling in a bus and I couldn’t fit in the seat without being just scrunched in there. I was always uncomfortable and it was because of my size. At that moment I felt like I have to change this because I don’t want to feel this way. 

I think everyone knows about bariatric surgery but I started looking at it very seriously. I researched different types of surgery, you know, which ones are available. I made an appointment with my primary care physician. 

He just flat turned me down. I called my insurance company. I said, “I want another primary care physician.” I went to visit this doctor and he was very supportive. He recommended that I have the sleeve gastrectomy. 

They entered me into a pre-surgery preparation program. You know just different things you may not consider about how your eating will be different once you have the surgery. It was a little bit scary, you know, the idea of it, but I’m happy that I made this decision.

Since surgery, the biggest change in my life has been my confidence. In addition to that, I have a lot more energy. I feel good every day just eating right and exercising and focusing on my health.

I was happier because I was taking care of myself and I was eating right and I was doing the right things. And I was living my life in the way I wanted to live it, which was to be healthy, to be active and to not be a slave to food. 

I surprise myself sometimes because I’m not able to eat the portions of food that I was able to eat prior to the surgery and it’s actually a good thing. I find that I enjoy what I do eat more, because I know that I’m not going to be able to eat as much of it.

You know food is not everything, life is more important than food. The life that I have now, and the freedom that I have now, and the confidence that I have now. You can’t put a price tag on that. 

If I hit 160, I have a pair of pants that fit me when I was that size that I’ve just been holding on to because I can’t wait to try them on and have them fit. And when I hit that goal weight, I’m going to put those jeans on and I’m going to jump in the air.