Choose the health content that’s right for you, and get it delivered right in your inbox.
While bariatric surgery is not a miracle cure, it can have miraculous effects on the quality of life for patients who undergo it. With careful preparation, long-term commitment and hard work, weight loss surgery proves to be life-changing for those who choose it to support their journey to whole health.
Ask Stephanie Brown, who had bariatric surgery several years ago. She is now thriving in body, mind and spirit and living her best life because of her successful weight loss.
If you’re considering weight loss surgery, take the first step toward a new life. Read Stephanie’s story in her own words below:
- Who was your bariatric surgeon?
My surgeon was Dr. Dennis Smith. I had such a good experience with him and his team. My husband is now going through the process with them.
- Which bariatric procedure did you have and when?
I had a Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass on June 1, 2021.
- How much weight have you lost?
I lost 100 pounds when I was at my lowest weight and have maintained a 90-pound weight loss.
- How has your life changed since your bariatric procedure?
My life has been completely transformed by bariatric surgery. I used to feel exhausted all the time. My back hurt and I suffered from plantar fasciitis. I had chronic migraines, and my self-esteem was at an all-time low. Everything has improved for the better.
Fitness is now a big part of my life and I feel stronger and healthier than ever. My back pain resolved, as well as my plantar fasciitis, and migraines dropped down to one or two a month.
- What was your “Why” behind having bariatric surgery?
My family and being there for them has been and continues to be my “why” along my journey to living healthier. The COVID-19 pandemic was a real eye opener; early on, it was believed that those who really struggled with the virus had pre-existing conditions. But then came a time where the only pre-existing condition some had was obesity.
Before COVID, I felt like I was “healthy enough” — just bigger — but the virus made me feel vulnerable. I have an amazing husband and two beautiful children that are my everything. I was afraid to think about experiencing complications or worse, and the thought of my young children losing their mother. I made a commitment to do everything in my power to become healthier for my family.
- What’s the biggest challenge you’ve encountered on your weight loss journey?
I think one of the biggest challenges is changing how I manage social situations. In America and in many cultures, food is at the center of most social gatherings. I had to make a shift from outings or special events being food-focused to food adjacent. It was hard at first, when I was newly post-op and coming to terms with my new lifestyle and physical restrictions. It’s an emotional rollercoaster and I highly recommend having a therapist to work through the mental aspects of surgery.
In time, I learned to lean into the connections and enjoy socializing even if it means bringing yogurt and a protein shake with me. Instead of date night being centered around dinner and dessert, we do an activity like Top Golf or painting. After a birthday party, instead of keeping the leftover cake, we send everyone home with extra cake. We still go out to eat and I still enjoy cooking, parties and holidays, but the food is no longer the main draw.
It’s a lot easier now that it’s two years post-op, but with that comes new challenges such as not slipping into old habits or behaviors.
- What’s your advice for those considering weight loss surgery?
Just do it! Don’t give yourself another chance to see if you can do it on your own without surgery and the support you’ll find. By going it alone, you’re only holding yourself back from your new life.
I tried many times over the years and was never successful at maintaining any weight loss; I always regained it and then some. Before I knew it, I was at my highest weight and didn’t recognize myself when I caught my reflection. I believed I didn’t have enough willpower or wasn’t dedicated enough, but that was never true. It’s unfortunate how society tends to stigmatize overweight people.
Surgery gave me the tools to be successful — it helped me feel less hungry, eat smaller portions, overhaul my diet, reset my metabolism and lose more weight than I ever could on my own. Choosing surgery doesn’t mean you failed or gave up. It means you’re just getting started and that you made a choice to prioritize your health.
We’ll Support Your Choice to Get Healthy
We thank Stephanie Brown for her inspiring 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 here to learn more.