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Jamie D.
"I look in the mirror and I can't believe it's me!"

barix patient jamied 1

Surgery Date: October 2000
Surgery:  Gastric Bypass


My Life Before Bariatric Surgery

I was always bigger than the other kids.  In my junior and senior years of high school, my weight really shot up.  My senior prom dress was a size 22.  There were many things that I wanted to do, but didn't--either because I was too embarrassed or I just didn't have the strength or stamina. 

I will admit that there were times that I went to a fast food restaurant at midnight or ate an entire bag of cookies, but there were also times that I followed a low fat diet and exercised.  The frustrating part was working so hard to eat right and exercise and not lose any weight. 

Although I was only 24 when I had the surgery, my extra weight was already beginning to take a toll on my health.  My blood pressure and cholesterol were elevated.  I had problems with my back.  I knew that these problems were just going to get worse. 


Making the Decision

I had never had surgery before--not even a broken bone--so having surgery was a very big decision.  I did my research and decided upon Barix, because they are the experts and offered more support than any other program that I read about. 

My family was very supportive.  They didn't tell me to have the surgery or not to have the surgery.  They let me make the decision myself.  My husband has always loved me for who I am--not how much I weighed.  I weighed 220 pounds when we were married.  He thought that I was beautiful then and he thinks I am beautiful now. 


Making Success Happen

In the first six weeks following the surgery, I wasn't 100% sure that I had done the right thing.  I really missed food.  It seemed that every commercial was for my favorite pizza.  I wondered if it would be better to be fat and have a slice of pizza.  As the weight came off quickly, I knew that this had been a really good decision. 

I feel like a normal person.  I enjoy a nice expensive restaurant meal.  I make healthy choices and savor every bite. 
I am very active.  I couldn't go for even 3 minutes on a stair stepper when I started.  I now use the stair stepper for 20 minutes, another cardio machine and finish up with a kick boxing class.  My husband and I just bought tennis rackets and are having fun learning how to play.  We go out dancing. 

I also found the Barix support groups to be helpful.  It was important to know about the changes that I could expect.  The support group members were wonderful.  I eventually became a support group leader and was able to see the changes in many people's lives.  It was just a wonderful, wonderful experience.


How My Life Has Changed


I have so much confidence and self-assurance.  I went for job promotions and job changes that I would not have done before. 

I like to go out with my husband now.  We do more active things and have so much fun.  It's great to just pick out a fun outfit and go, rather than crying because nothing that I put on looked good. 

I actually was kicked out of a large size clothing store.  The clerk said that they didn't have anything for me there.  I went to a regular clothing store and looked at all of the tiny clothes.  I had no idea where to start.  I had no idea that I could fit into those clothes.  It is so wonderful to be able to wear things that make you feel good about how you look. 


Final Thoughts...

I was only 24 when I had surgery.  I knew that eating right and exercising alone did not work for me.  This was a big decision and I took time to talk to others who had surgery.  

Still to this day--I've lost 111#--I look in the mirror and I can't believe it's me.  I don't recognize the person looking at me.  But, I love her and I'm so much happier and healthier--my back doesn't hurt and my feet don't hurt.  Now I want to go out.  I want to have fun.  I want to go dancing.


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