Weight Loss Surgery, Gastric Bypass

Dawn's Weight Loss Journey

Before Gastric Bypass 252 poundsAfter Gastric Bypass
130 pounds

Through my teenage years, I was a healthy size but accomplished this by excessive working out and starvation. Eventually, my weight started creeping up. This led to many fad diet attempts, and over and over again I would fail miserably. One day, I stepped on the scale and weighed 252 pounds. I knew I needed to do something to change my life. Though most people who knew me before the surgery would tell you that I was full of life, smiled all day, and loved to laugh, inside I was screaming for help and drowning in the weight.

The weight wasn't my only problem. Along with the weight came emotional issues related to food and health problems. Each waking moment, I thought about food. I would emotionally eat and eat out of boredom. I would eat to make myself feel better but then afterwards, I would feel guilty for not having any self-control. I also found myself diagnosed with fatty liver disease and high blood pressure. The fatty liver disease prevented me from taking medication for my high blood pressure. I was already sleeping with a CPAP machine and taking medication for migraines and acid reflux. I also had issues with my knees, and I could no longer walk up and down stairs without holding on to the railing for dear life, hoping my knees wouldn't break. I felt like a time bomb and knew that it was only a matter of time before my health would get even worse.

All these issues led me to the decision to have gastric bypass surgery in April of 2006. The idea of doing something as drastic as this surgery scared me, but I also felt that it could change my life for the better. Before surgery, I made some goals that I hoped to achieve: better health, to be able to wear my wedding ring again, to walk up stairs without wanting to cry, to run, and to be normal. I did my homework, and the supportive staff at Bridges and Dr. Raja made the decision easier. Once I felt like I had the knowledge I needed, I knew I would succeed.

I am now a year and five months out from the surgery and I don't even know how to begin to tell you the benefits I have reaped from this. First and foremost, I have regained my health. All my prior health problems have disappeared and I don't take any medication. I reached all my basic goals but being normal isn't enough now. I want to be extraordinary. I swim laps, run, bike, hike, and work out with a personal trainer each week. This is the first time in my life that I have truly enjoyed exercise. My new goals now include a marathon and triathlon.

The next biggest benefit of my weight loss is being able to run around with my kids without getting winded. I am no longer the mom who just sits on the sidelines. I am right out there with them, laughing and screaming and running around. I am a part of their lives now, and not just observing them grow up.

I started off as a 252 pound, 5 foot 6 inch, size 24 woman who didn't know where life was going to lead her. Today, I stand here, weighing 130 pounds and wearing a size 2. The journey wasn't always an easy one, but gastric bypass surgery was the tool I needed to help me lose the weight while facing the issues of why I was overweight to begin with. Gastric bypass is far from the magic pill; it is only a tool for weight loss, and is what I needed to get me started on the rest of my life. I no longer feel ashamed and I no longer have a negative self-image. Instead, I am at peace with who I am on the inside and out, and that is a priceless gift that this surgery has given me.

- Dawn Hiers  
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