“I feel so great now,” she adds. “I still have 20 more pounds to go, and even though my weight loss has slowed down, I’m losing about 5 pounds every three months.”
Both Debbie and Pam say that they do not have restrictions on what they can eat for meals, but the portions must be small, and it’s best if they avoid sugary treats and snacks.
Pam was able to lose the required weight quickly and was scheduled for surgery right away. Her starting weight was 240 pounds.
“I’ve been heavy all of my life. I tried everything to get the weight off and I just couldn’t lose very much, until I had the surgery,” Pam explains.
Debbie’s breakfast usually includes one piece of toast, a container of yogurt, and some fruit. For dinner, she can eat four ounces of meat, or roughly half of a chicken breast, vegetables and a small helping of pasta or rice.
“I feel full and not hungry, even though I’m eating so much less than I used to,” Debbie says.
She noticed a big difference during Thanksgiving last year. Although she piled her plate
Since having surgery in March 2012, Pam is now 80 pounds lighter and is able to enjoy many activities she used to avoid when she was overweight.
“I love to go swimming because now I can put on a bathing suit,” she says. “I can also wear dresses I couldn’t put on before. And now I even go out on dates!”
“I’m very happy with the experience,” she adds. “I love the results and I would definitely recommend the surgery.”
Unlike Pam who was able to lose her required weight before the surgery, Debbie was a little intimidated that she had to drop 13 pounds.
“I thought I would never be able to do it,” she says. While she did manage to lose 7 pounds on her own, the doctor told her she would have to delay the surgery until she could shed the additional 6 pounds.
The doctor put Debbie on a liquid shake diet. She lost the 6 pounds, and her surgery was scheduled shortly after her sister’s. Before the gastric bypass, Debbie weighed 260 pounds.
She has since lost 100 pounds. with all of the temptations of the grand feast, she was only able to eat a third of her food before she felt full.
Debbie says she doesn’t miss eating big meals because she has much more energy and a whole new lifestyle.
“I can climb the stairs of my condo without running out of breath. I can get down on the floor and get back up without struggling,” she says.
She no longer has to take medication to control high blood pressure because her level is now normal. And the headaches that plagued her when she was obese have disappeared.
Her favorite activities these days involve being outdoors instead of hiding in her house.
“When I was overweight I didn’t want to do anything. Now I ride my bike every day, I love to be outside, out walking and at the beach. I wouldn’t even dare to put on a swimsuit before.”
Debbie’s only regret is that she didn’t make a change sooner: “Instead of wasting 20 years being overweight, unhappy and unhealthy, I wish I had done the surgery years ago.”
BY MARIA ZATE