I’m Raquel, the 1000th patient of the ProMedica Toledo Hospital Metabolic and Bariatric Center. After only five months, I’ve lost 85 pounds! I’m off my diabetes and asthma medications, and no longer have the aches and pains in my knees and back like I used to. I can even carry the laundry up and down the stairs without getting short of breath. Instead of fat and frumpy, I feel like the person I used to be, fit and fun.
At 42 years old, I weighed 260 pounds. I can’t believe I allowed myself to get that heavy. I was embarrassed to see people I knew from high school or people I hadn’t seen in 10 years. They would always say, “Wow, I didn’t even recognize you.” This was their way of saying, “Wow, you’ve gained so much weight. You don’t look anything like you did before.” I knew exactly what they meant. The worst comment was, “You’ve really packed on the pounds. Where did the pretty Raquel go?”
When I looked in the mirror, I barely recognized myself. My children would point out when my clothes were too tight. I knew that I needed to lose weight but the thought of how much I needed to lose was overwhelming. I felt defeated even before I began.
I wasn’t always overweight. In fact, I modeled bridal gowns when I was in my 20s. In my 30s, I was busy raising three children and working as an ER nurse at ProMedica Toledo Hospital. As time went on and emotional stress from difficulties in my personal life (including a divorce) increased, so did my waistline. For eight years the pounds kept adding up. I tried dieting every now and then, but I was never able to keep the weight off.
I had been thinking about bariatric surgery for about six months. I talked with numerous co-workers around the hospital that had the surgery. Everyone was so positive about their experience. The more I saw how successful they were at losing and keeping the weight off, the more interested I became. I attended a free bariatric seminar by Dr. Patrick White. It was the best two hours I’ve ever invested in myself. He presented all of the information and addressed all the life changes and possibilities of risks associated with those changes. I knew that day that the surgery was the best option for me. The seminar seems to be the starting point for everyone. My only regret is that I didn’t have the surgery sooner! This surgery has helped me to become healthy again so I can be around my three children and have fun with them.
Bottom line, I feel great and have much more energy than before. I still love food and enjoy eating but make better choices now. I feel better and better every day.