I want to offer a special thanks to Maria
Sweetin. Here is her story:
I want to thank the lady with the German
Shepard. She probably saved my life. One day, I was driving my son,
who at the time was around twelve. I went to make a left turn and
this lady and her dog stopped. Thinking she was letting me go, I
started to go. She then got very nasty, hit my car with her hand and
screamed at me “You fatty!” Usually a calm person, I became irate. I
went around the block, pulled over and screamed back at her. “How
dare you call me that?” I said. She then looked at me, and said,
“Well it’s true, isn’t it?” I was so embarrassed. Trying to make
this educational, I rationalized it out to my son, and informed him
there were just some mean people in the world. I cried for three
days, before I could even tell someone..... She was right. I was
I was never skinny, but maybe a little chunky.
As a teenager, my friends were a size 6, while I went to the misses
and got a 12 or 14. Looking back on it now, I wasn’t fat, just
heavier than them. I was a size 16 when I got married and went back
and forth for a few years. After my first child, I gained 75 pounds.
Then I got pregnant again. Along with another child, I acquired
another 50 pounds. By this time, I was 350 pounds. I could handle
this, I told myself. I tried every diet. I am a nurse
and don’t I know better? Hahaha.
I tried Fen – Phen for a few weeks, and then it
was taken off the market. Wouldn’t you know, it was working! I tried
other medications. I went to Weight Watchers for two years. My
sister lost 90 pounds and I lost 30! Nothing seemed to work.
My blood pressure was up, and my knees were a
mess. I was short of breath just walking a few steps. What was
killing me most was the fact that I couldn’t do a lot with my
family. I stayed pretty active – as much as my body would allow me.
My doctor had recommended gastric bypass surgery, but my husband had said,
way. They don’t know enough about it."
Finally one day, I looked at him and said,
you want me to be here when I’m fifty, you better look at this."
made him come to the meeting for gastric bypass with me. He was so
moved, that he turned to me and said, “This is for you, go for it!”
My insurance coverage was approved right away.
By this time I was 402 pounds. I went to a Cardiologist,
Psychologist, and a Nutritionist. And on August 12, 2002, I had gastric bypass surgery.
My weight loss was steady and the pounds came
off quickly. I am not a big exerciser, so I walked when I could. I
lost 180 pounds in just one year. I have since kept the weight off,
and weigh myself weekly just to make sure I never get that way
again! My diet is easy, breakfast is
yogurt and Cheerio’s. I have to
crunch on something! Lunch is usually salad,
ham and egg added, or
whatever I can find. Dinner is whatever I make the family, just very
little. If I feel I want a snack, I keep cheese in the fridge. And
if I want chocolate, I eat only a piece instead of the bag.
I was lucky enough not to have any problems
afterward. The only thing that I still cannot eat is steak,
I can live with that. I get my protein in and so far my blood work
has been very good. My cholesterol was 280 before surgery and now
runs around 140.
Just recently, I had an aggressive
abdominoplasty with a little liposuction. The good doc took 10
pounds of skin off my abdomen. It was tricky, but insurance covered
this for me too. Except for the liposuction, that is not covered
ever, I found out. (I’m sure they looked at the pictures the doctor
sent and cried, "Give it to her!").
Recovery has been good, and I have to tell you,
I have my life back. The last time I was on an
airplane, I didn’t need
the extension seat belt. I now fit in all chairs including the ones
in football stadiums and auditoriums. I can walk much further than
I used to without getting out of breath. I can do things with my
kids and husband that I never imagined I could. I can work 12 hours
on my feet and still go home and make dinner, do laundry, etc.
thank my lucky stars every day for gastric bypass surgery.
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.