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. 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.