Health Care

Caitlyn’s Courage: How Bariatric Surgery Transformed Her Life

Caitlyn Dobbs After Bariatric Surgery

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Caitlyn Dobbs struggled with her weight for her entire life. But when her husband passed away unexpectedly in 2020, she realized that health comes first and made the decision to start taking better care of herself.

“I was afraid that if I kept going down the path I was on, I would soon join my husband much too early. I had considered weight loss surgery years prior, but deemed myself unready at the time,” explains Caitlyn.

Thankfully, Caitlyn found AdventHealth Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery and opted to change her life for the better from the inside out. Keep reading to learn more about Caitlyn Dobbs’ inspiring weight loss journey in her own words and pictures.

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Who was your bariatric surgeon?

My bariatric surgeon was Shiva Seetahal, MD, FASMBS at AdventHealth Medical Group Weight Loss and Bariatric surgery at Davenport. Dr. Seetahal is an amazing surgeon. I wish he could be my doctor for every instance in my life where I would need a doctor! He saved my life in more ways than one and I am forever grateful to him and his team. He is truly a cut above the rest.

Which bariatric procedure did you have and when?

I underwent a gastric bypass on June 16, 2022.

How much weight have you lost?

I have since lost 150 pounds. My starting weight on the day of my surgery was 291 pounds. Now, I fluctuate between 138 and 142 pounds on any given day.

How has your life changed since you’ve had bariatric surgery?

My life has changed in immeasurable ways. Physically, I feel so much better overall. I move easier in my body on a daily basis. For the first time in my life, I feel like I fit in this world naturally and no longer have to force myself into it. I used to feel like I had to hide parts of myself and diminish myself. I no longer feel that way.

I have a newfound confidence in myself that I never experienced before. I’m constantly amazed at the “little things” that don’t seem so little to me anymore, such as being able to comfortably cross my legs while sitting, get in and out of a car with ease, go on an amusement park ride without the overwhelming fear that I’ll be told I don’t fit, and no longer needing a seat belt extender on an airplane. The list goes on and on.

What was your “why” for having bariatric surgery?

My husband passed away in July of 2020. His passing was sudden, but prior to that I had spent the last two years of his life as his caretaker after he underwent two full hip replacements and a full knee replacement. After he passed away, I was left picking up the pieces of our life together. I was forced to realize that I had let myself go for too long while caring for him.

I gained so much weight throughout our marriage because I got too comfortable and stopped taking care of myself. I was the biggest I had ever been. I wasn’t happy.

I knew I had excellent health insurance through my employer, so I took the plunge and looked into finding a local surgeon. I was referred to Dr. Seetahal by my primary care physician. I am so lucky I found him.

What have you learned about yourself along your weight loss journey?

I am much stronger than I ever thought I was.

My original goal was to get to the weight I was when I graduated high school, 175 pounds. I have far surpassed that goal and I’m beyond proud of myself for it.

What’s the biggest misconception you’ve heard about bariatric surgery?

The biggest one for me is that you can’t eat carbs or fatty food ever again. That is not true. I’ve developed a healthier relationship with food and trust my new anatomy to do its job, sending my brain the signals it needs.

I eat intuitively. I follow my protein guidelines and meet my daily water intake. Other than that, I don’t restrict myself. If I’m craving pasta or pizza, I allow myself a mindful portion and I listen to my body. If something doesn’t agree with me, my body tells me almost immediately. When I am nearly full, my body tells me and I stop eating. I’ve learned that the consequence of not listening to my body isn’t worth the extra bite of cheeseburger my eyes want because I know my stomach can’t handle it. I live a life of moderation now, not deprivation.

What’s your advice for those considering weight loss surgery?

Give it thought and don’t jump into it blindly. Join the AdventHealth Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery Support Group on Facebook and read some testimonials. Ask questions. Most people are more than willing to offer up the stories of their experiences.

Find a good surgeon that you trust, like Dr. Seetahal. A good surgeon should be willing to meet face to face with you whenever you make an appointment and take the time to answer any and all of your questions. You should feel comfortable with them and trust them. If you don’t, find someone else.

We’re Here to Guide You to Your New Life

Thank you to Caitlyn Dobbs for her inspiring weight loss surgery testimony. Choosing a bariatric procedure is a life-changing decision, and it's essential to consult a professional who can evaluate your unique needs.

Our expert, compassionate bariatric team is ready to help you take your first step toward a brand-new life. Visit us at AdventHealthWeightLoss.com to learn more.

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