"I needed to love
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
Life Before Surgery
Before undergoing gastric bypass surgery, waking up each day was something I feared because I hated leaving my home.
For most of my teenage years, I was overweight and after a major back surgery in 1999, I slowly gained weight until I reached
my highest weight of 326. Each day was a struggle and there were many days that I barely managed to get out of bed.
Personal and professional relationships were severely strained because I had become so depressed; I wouldn't even leave my
house unless I had to work, attend class or buy groceries. In additon to the depression, I was a borderline diabetic.
All throughout my life I had been the person who would always do for others and I never considered myself a priority.
Making the Decision
Several experiences in my life validated my need to have gastric bypass surgery. I can recall being humiliated
when I went to a baseball game with my family and I couldn't sit in the seats reserved for us. I was incredibly uncomfortable
the entire time and I vowed to never again go to a place with stadium seats--including theaters. As my weight increased,
I found it harder to find clothes suitable for a young woman. I would always cry as I tried on clothing because I could
never find apparel that was flattering for a curvy body. After overcoming denial, I realized being fat wasn't
Two of the most eye opening experiences that guided me to surgery included being accepted
into Michigan State University's Master's Degree in Nursing/Family Nurse Practitioner program. I worked diligently for
years to be accepted into this program and I completed the first year with a 4.0 grade point average. When the second
year approached, I realized I would have to go on-campus for the last two years, and I allowed my weight to control my life.
After going to college for eight years, I dropped out because I could not go on-campus feeling and looking the way I did.
I was so ashamed and embarrassed and I did not want to be in public anymore than I had to.
The last experience
that pushed me towards surgery was the birth of my son, Keaton. I knew that I had to make drastic changes in my life
if I wanted to be a good mother to my son. I wanted to be healthy, active and loving. The bottom line was--I couldn't
be any of those things if I didn't lose weight and I needed to love myself first.
My Barix Experience
Dr. Schram and Barix Clinics were
highly recommended by my aunt who underwent surgery a few years before me. The office staff was well versed with how
to obtain insurance approval and what documentation I needed to have before my consultation. I found out within 24 hours
of my consultation that I was approved for surgery and I was elated! The hospital staff were highly educated and specifically
trained for care of the bariatric patient. I knew what to look for because I had worked as a nurse in a bariatric program
for several years. The nursing staff anticipated my needs before I even asked. The care was top-notch!
Making Success Happen
At the consultation, my surgeon stressed to me that he creates the tool and 99% of the
work would be mine. I have followed the Barix Program completely. I focus on eating protein rich foods (lean meat,
chicken, turkey, reduced fat cheese and fat free milk) first then take bites of fruits and vegetables. I stay away from
juice as I find it is a waste of calories (120 calories for 8 oz and way too many carbs). I measure and weigh my food--knowing
that many people underestimate food portions. I love to try new high protein recipes--it has become my new hobby.
I follow the Barix Bible guidelines like not drinking 5 minutes before or 30 minutes after meals; chewing food extremely well;
keeping fat intake low; focusing on healthy high protein choices rather than calories; and avoiding foods with more than 2
grams of added sugar.
I started using the elliptical for 30-45 minutes a day two weeks after surgery.
I later added resistance training. As my self-confidence soared, I joined a gym and I am now training for my first 5K
run in April!
The surgery is most definitely not a quick fix, but with the right mindset and commitment,
the procedure will change your life!
How My Life Has Changed
I have not reached my
one year surgiversary, yet I consider myself a forever-changed person. My health has improved greatly--I have lost 112#
so far going from a size 26-28 to a 12-14. I am no longer hypertensive or borderline diabetic. My levels of self-confidence
and self-esteem have gone through the roof! I can complete intense workouts without being severely short of breath.
Besides the positive changes in my health, my personal and professional relationships have changed drastically.
I graduated with my master's degree in nursing, majoring in nursing and health-care education. I am now applying to
several doctoral programs, knowing that I will have to complete a dissertation in front of several colleagues and teaching
a classroom full of students--something I never would have done prior to surgery.
My life has been enriched
by the surgery itself and the endless amount of support I have received from my family, friends, and co-workers.
The only regret that I have about undergoing weight loss surgery is that I wasted a decade of my life before going
through with it. If you have hit rock bottom and you know that you are ready to commit to a lifestyle that is challenging,
yet rewarding, weight loss surgery can help you.
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