by June Zaragoza, MPH, RD, LD
Sarah Petrovic looked into weight loss surgery almost two years ago because she felt, “I was a time-bomb.” With heart disease, diabetes, and strokes running in her family she was afraid. At age 50 she said simply, “I wanted to see my son graduate from high school.” The insurance process went well and a lot of people at work supported her efforts. She had the gastric bypass surgery on December 13, 2005. By August of 2007 she has lost 137 lbs.
What would she say to someone thinking of having the surgery? “It needs to be thought out seriously. If you don’t come to terms with emotional issues, they don’t go away. Different things can stress you out at work and people push your buttons.” Sometimes people push food at her. Then she has to take control and be more conscious of eating. In the past on a bad day she would “graze right through a refrigerator.” Now she has ice tea, when before she would have a sandwich and junk food. She eats less ice cream, and no cookies.
She is still adjusting to her new size. She says, “I’ve been heavy all my life, this is a whole different mind frame. At 52 I’m much more content with myself than I’ve ever been. I can do things again, no more profuse sweating.” She tries to walk almost daily 1 ½ miles, which used to take 40-45 minutes, and now takes 20-25 minutes. She also wears a pedometer and walks 7,000-10,000 steps a day. 10,000 steps are approximately 5 miles.
The highlight of her experience has been the difference in clothes shopping. She had to wear the same kind of clothes before losing weight and older styles at that. Now instead of wanting to cry in the store or settling for something she doesn’t want she has choices. “I’ve never been able to do ‘cutsie.’ Now people say, ‘I like that outfit.’”
Vista Medical Center East
1324 N. Sheridan Road
Waukegan, IL 60085