by June Zaragoza, MPH, RD, LD
Kirsten remembers vividly what it was like before weight loss surgery. “It was a struggle from day-to-day, with nothing to look forward to. No matter how nice I dressed or put on make-up, I was overweight. I ended up putting on the same outfit I started with. I was obese, but I didn’t think it was that bad. I was in denial. I’d go to bed thinking of what I would eat for breakfast, I always thought about eating. I was exhausted, always out of breath. I felt I had a lifetime of this ahead of me and I didn’t want to be that way anymore. People told my son, ‘Your mom’s a fatty,’ and I didn’t want my son to have to defend me.”
She finally realized she wasn’t strong enough to lose weight on her own and decided on the gastric bypass. Her boyfriend supported her decision. She chose the bypass over the LAP-BAND® because she felt it was more permanent. With the LAP-BAND® she was afraid after learning to eat differently she would want it taken out and then revert to her old ways. Also, she didn’t like needles.
What is it like now after losing 109 lbs? She states, “I am inundated with compliments about how great I look.” It was hard at first. She says, “I struggled in the beginning. It was depressing, eating was not fun anymore.” But she had no complications and now “feels so great. I’m happy that I have a lot of energy. I love taking pictures. Before I would hide behind others, now I am always in front. Even if I don’t lose any more weight I would be happy.”
She no longer eats starches like pasta and white bread, unless toasted, or ice cream and for the most part tries to eat very healthfully. She calculated that she lost the combined weight of both her children. She states, “It’s a huge burden off my back. It’s improved everything physically and mentally. You’re speechless. Good just doesn’t explain it.”
1324 N. Sheridan Road
Waukegan, IL 60085