Weight Loss Surgery, Gastric Bypass

Kelli's Weight Loss Journey

Before LapBand
220 pounds
After LapBand
138 pounds

I want to start this story by first telling you the facts about who I used to be and who I am now. In August of 2006 I was a 36 year old female, married for 15 years, with 2 children. I have a master's degree in speech therapy and work in healthcare management. I weighed more than 220 pounds, with a BMI over 40, and I wore a size 22/24. I dealt with the following health problems: diabetes, knee pain, amenorrhea, esophageal reflux, hip pain, hypertension, and urinary stress incontinence.

As I write this in February of 2008, I am 38 years old, I have been married for 17 years, and have 2 children. I am 5'2'' 138 pounds, and I now proudly wear a size 6/8. I am fortunate to no longer suffer form any of the above mentioned medical issues.

I had the LapBand surgery performed in September of 2006. I told one or two very close friends that I was having surgery. I didn't tell my family, with the exception of my husband, and I took off of work for "vacation" time. My mother lives out of state. We talk every morning on my way to work, and she had no idea what type of struggle I was dealing with, because I had become very good at hiding it. I was hiding from others and from myself. I was embarrassed to be looking into weight loss surgery, and even more embarrassed when I was told I was a candidate for the procedure. I am an ex-college basketball player and couldn't believe that I was at that point in my life.

My health was slowly deteriorating - diabetes and high blood pressure had crept up on me. My knees were hurting, but I didn't realize it was from the extra weight. I thought I had an injury and just needed knee surgery. I didn't want to play with my small children because I was always tired. My relationship with my husband struggled; he definitely deserved more than I was able to give him at the time. I married an extremely supportive man who was really scared for me to have the surgery. I had become very moody towards everyone. I was depressed just to look in the mirror, but felt a duty to maintain the facade of being a good mother, a good wife, a good boss, a good employee - but what about the concept of being a good ME? I had completely left myself out of the equation.

I had researched different surgical weight loss programs, and struggled with finding the right one for nearly a year. Finally, I met Dr. Raja at a Bridges seminar I attended with a friend. Incidentally my friend had surgery the same day as I did. One of the best things I did was research different programs and select the doctor/program I felt most comfortable entrusting my life to. Dr. Raja and his team had the same vision for my life that I did, and I felt that I could trust him to take care of me. I hadn't taken care of ME in a long time so, this decision was my first step in doing so. One of the main reasons I chose Dr. Raja was because he was more focused on my health, than on my new physical appearance, which by the way, is just an added bonus!

I now enjoy my life each day, and I have learned to take time out for ME. I am now fully participating in my life as a great mother, a great wife, and a much better manager to my rehab team. I have given myself permission to live a full, happy life, and the universe is a better place for it.

In church last Sunday, it was said that time passes no matter what we do, but it is our choice to decide how we pass that time. I now choose to pass my precious time in a more positive environment and by looking at myself in a much better light. I have to thank Dr. Raja and his team for helping me live my life the way it was meant to be lived.

- Kelli Gibbons  
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