Jeannie - 240 lbs. Weight Loss

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Jeannie - 240 lbs. Weight Loss

I have been overweight my whole life. At my high school graduation I weighed around 250 lbs. I had been in the medical field enough to know how damaging this was to my health, but every diet or exercise program I tried resulted in weight gain after I failed to see any results and quit.

I started researching gastric bypass surgery after my daughter turned two and I realized how short my life would be if I didn’t lose the weight. I tried to get a loan to cover the cost of the surgery, but I did not qualify. I had no health insurance, thus no way to pay for the surgery.

With all hope of the surgery gone, I attempted to lose weight on my own. In April 2011 I bought an elliptical machine and started working out one to two minutes a day, which was very difficult to do. I weighed 425 lbs., my back hurt, my knees hurt; my whole body ached from the amount of weight I was lugging around. It was all I could do just to get out of bed and go to work, let alone try to work off the extra pounds. I had gradually worked my way up to exercising 10 minutes a day when my life fell apart. My husband of eight years decided it would be best if we split up. At age 30, I thought my life was over. I realized if I wanted to be around to raise my daughter, I’d better get control of my weight problem.

At this time, my mother had inherited some money from her mother, who had passed away the year before, and offered to pay for my surgery. I was convinced I wanted the gastric bypass after researching it for 10 years, but it took all of 10 minutes for Dr. Cottam to convince me to do the duodenal switch instead. The surgery date was scheduled and appropriate labs were done to make sure I was healthy enough to do the surgery.

I lost 40 lbs. from December 2011 to March 2012 by using the elliptical machine for 10 to 15 minutes a day and following the liquid diet prescribed by Dr. Cottam for two weeks prior to my surgery. It has been the hardest year of my life, but I do not regret having surgery.

I look back to the first time I was able to take my daughter to the zoo after I’d lost 70 lbs. and I realize that that was the best day I’d ever had. I took my sister-in-law, nephew and daughter, and after we’d walked around for about three to four hours, they all decided they needed a rest. Not me, I was still going strong! A couple months after this, I bought season passports to Lagoon and walked around the amusement park for six hours without any signs of pain or discomfort.

I didn’t have the surgery because I had health conditions like diabetes, cardiac problems or hypertension. I had the surgery to take my life back! After losing 240 pounds, I feel like I have a new lease on life! I feel like the same person I’ve always been, with the same desires, interests and hobbies as before. I never knew how trapped I was until I lost all the weight. It hasn’t been just the surgery; it has been a year of enlightenment, personal growth and development. I have found me again! I now have an amazing boyfriend who has two kids, we’re talking about marriage and my daughter couldn’t be happier that I can do things with her that I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do with her before. Thank you to Dr. Cottam and the BMI team. I don’t feel like I could have done it any other way. You gave me my life back!

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