|I am short on success stories again. If you
are 1 year or more post op and can email before and after pictures,
I would love to receive your story.
I want to offer a special thanks to Mags
Loughlin of Willow Grove, PA. Here is her story:
I was born 6 pounds, 14 ounces. Small by some
standards. It would be the smallest I would ever be. I was always
heavy and was always shopping in the plus size section even when I
was really young. Most of the clothes were really hideous.
In the 5th grade, I was about 5 feet and
weighed 177 pounds. When I got to the end of 6th grade, I was 230
pounds and 5'4. I left high school at a whopping 375 pounds, and was
While in grade school and middle school, I
tried Weight Watchers, limiting my diet, cutting out sweets.... you
name it. When I first went to high school, I developed Anorexia and
Bulimia, simply because I figured that if I just stopped eating or
threw my food back up, that I would lose every ounce of fat.
After high school, I started college. I quit to
take care of my dad, who was morbidly obese. His heaviest weight was
720 pounds, and he was 6'10. My dad passed away over 4 years ago
from a massive heart attack caused in part by his weight. I get my
morbid obesity gene from him.
I developed the same leg condition as my father
which is Lower Extremity Venous Stasis Disease. This disease stops
the blood flow into your legs, causing your skin to blister and
bruise all over. Then finally, when the blisters pop, you are left
with exposed muscle and tissue, and in really extreme cases, you
could also have exposed bone. You have hardly any feeling in the
feet, but the ulcers, as the open spots are called, are really
painful. There is only two ways of getting this under control. One
is to keep your legs elevated, and the other is to lose weight.
I told no one of this condition at first. I
would continue my lifestyle I had before this came up, and it was
only making things worse. I was draining at least a gallon of fluid
out of my legs, and the areas where I had the sores were not
I think my turning point was June of 2001, when
we had the remnants of Tropical Storm Allison in my area. We had 10
inches of rain in a span of about 6 hours, everywhere was flooded,
and we had 8 feet of water in our basement. My mother and I were
driving home when we got caught in a three foot wall of water. I was
told to undo my seatbelt, unlock my door and keep my hand on the
door handle, in case we had to get out of the car in a hurry. I knew
that with all that water, I would never be able to get the door
open. And I knew that there was no way, because of my legs and my
weight that I would be able to climb out of the hatchback of the car
to safety. If we had to try to get out of the car, I know I could
Soon after I was eligible for Medical
Assistance and received care for my legs. By then
weighed 453 pounds. If I did not get my weight under control, in 2
years at the age of 29 I could be a double amputee. I was also in
danger of a heart attack at any time. I had to act fast.
I made an appointment with my weight loss
surgery surgeon. The earliest appointment I could get was 7 months
later. But I used that time to research and research some more. My
surgery was scheduled for August 21, 2002. I now weighed 480
My surgery was done as an open incision rather
than laparoscopically because my organs were not in the right spot.
Unfortunately I had an incision infection after surgery. My
weight loss was dramatic. My first month, I lost 58 pounds, my second
month only 4 pounds. But the third month 14 pounds, and the fourth
month I lost 27 pounds, for a total of 103 pounds in 4 months. I
have since lost almost 200 pounds.
My legs are much better but are still a
problem, but not like they were before.
I told everyone that I was having weight loss
surgery, because I wasn't going to lie. I didn't care what others
thought of me for doing this. I still don't care what others think.
I am up and actually doing things that weren't possible before
surgery. I have a ceramic studio downstairs in my basement that I
sunk money into that wasn't getting use. I am down there now when I
can get down there, and I love it. I also love to walk my dogs now,
and they see it as a treat, since they know that I wasn't doing this
I also plan on going back to college. I'm not
going back for the major I started out in, which was a major in
elementary teaching and a minor in computers.
I've decided to
take up nutrition, try to become a Registered Dietician, and deal
with mainly those of us who have had surgery and/or also have
medical conditions that limit their diet, like diabetes and
hypertension. I know these three areas because of taking care of
myself and my Dad.
I do wish my Dad were here to see my success,
but I know he's out there somewhere, beaming at my success so far.
And the best part of this?? I know it's going to get better.
Mags Loughlin, Willow Grove, PA
Mags at 480
Mags at 286
I love good news. If you have good news, a
success story to share, or inspiration,
please send it to me at
Barbara@wlscenter.com so that I can
include it in future issues.