I want to offer a special thanks to Cheyenne
Wahl. Here is her story:
Your newsletter is always such an inspiration to me and I know it is
to others as well. Even after more than two years, I still enjoy
I grew up in a home with a dad that worked and
a mother who was always there. She was a great cook and she still
is. We ate the typical family meals of meat, potatoes, bread and
always a wonderful dessert. Good times always included getting
together with family and friends and eating.
I was a chubby kid and a fat pre-teen but was
able to starve myself down to a size 2 at age 14 when I got
interested in boys. I managed to stay slim until the birth of my
first child. I struggled but was able to lose the 50 pounds I'd
gained and keep it off until the birth of my 2nd son 9 years later.
I gained 70 pounds during that pregnancy but
got within 40 pounds of goal afterward. That is when I started the
upward spiral of dieting. I was 212 pounds when I went through a
hospital supervised program called "Opti-Fast." That is the same
program Oprah first lost the tremendous amount of weight on, and
then sadly gained it all back. I did the same thing. I lost 45
pounds on the diet and couldn't stand having only liquids day in and
day out and finally gave up. Of course I failed and eventually
gained 60 pounds back. I dieted myself up to 252 pounds because
with each new diet I would always gain back more than I lost.
I found myself suffering from high blood
pressure, sleep apnea and severe asthma problems. My life was just a
sad existence spent being depressed and finding
solace in food and then hating myself for eating and being obese. I
watched from the sidelines most of the time because I didn't have
the energy to be involved with what was going on or I felt too
insecure to try.
I would play in the pool with the kids but
didn't want anyone to see me in my swim suit. I couldn't stand to
look in the mirror and I knew I needed a miracle. I prayed
constantly to God asking Him to help me find a way to lose the
During one of my many yearly episodes of
bronchitis, my pulmonologist told me my lungs were in such bad
condition from the weight and the sleep apnea that if I didn't do
something about my weight I was going to end up with irreversible
lung damage. IRREVERSIBLE LUNG DAMAGE? I couldn't believe it!
Those 3 words were the catalyst I needed to begin investigating
gastric bypass surgery.
Within a year of beginning that journey, I had
Lap RNY on 2/11/02. I lost 90 pounds in the first 6 months and 130
pounds within 10 months, meeting and even exceeding my goal weight.
I went from 252 to 122 pounds.
I have since gained back some of the weight I
lost and at 5' 7" tall I am now a healthy 135 pounds and wear a size
4 to 6 in clothing depending on the name brand. I have been this
weight for about 6 months now.
I did have to have some plastic surgery to
remove excess skin on my stomach and have a
breast lift (went from 44DDD to 34C) but it was all more than
worth it. I also had skin reduced on my
arms and am considering having skin removed on my upper inner
Life is now worth living!! I can wear short
sleeve or sleeveless tops, shorts (not too short) and any style
of clothing I like. It's so much fun to shop in the Junior Dept. and
buy things that are cute and not have to hunt for something large
enough to cover my behind.
Instead of spending my weekends sitting on the
couch, watching TV and eating, I much prefer to be out hiking up the
hill at our new lake cabin, riding the jet ski, going to car shows
with my husband. Bless his heart for sticking with me through thin
and thick and
back to thin again!
I am naturally more active and enjoy being
alive!! This is truly living! I thank God for answering my
prayers, Dr. Pennings, my bariatric surgeon for giving me back my
life, and Doc Fisher for his on-line support group.
My health has improved to the point where I no
longer take any medications for ANYTHING! I take vitamins with
calcium etc. and that's it! What a wonderful
freedom I have today. I have escaped from my prison of fat
and am a free woman today!
I would encourage anyone who's considering
having this surgery to investigate it fully. It's not a quick fix,
it's not the "easy way out" but it can make your health & weight
loss dreams come true!
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.