June 2019 Patient of the Month

June 2019 Patient of the Month Garden State Bariatrics & Wellness Center

Looking back over the last year, my weight loss journey has probably been one of the most rewarding and yet difficult transitions in my life. It took me a long time to get to the point where I would even consider surgery as an option. In 2018, I spoke to my wife about the option of weight loss surgery. She was also overweight at the time so we made a plan together. I scheduled my surgery on 3/14/2018, and she started a very popular diet plan. "Living healthy together" has been our ongoing mantra since my surgery and in effect, a new life together!

On my surgery date I weighed in at 321 POUNDS. I have lost about 132 pounds, and now weigh 189 POUNDS!! Frankly, I can not believe the results. I went from a men's waist size of 46 to a 34. I knew it was going to be a large adjustment in my life, and the first three months were a struggle to adapt to a new lifestyle. It is not easy; it's very challenging and everyone should know that this is probably the toughest part of the post-surgery process. Adapting to what I can and can not tolerate food-wise was difficult. I realized then that food is an addiction and we sometimes just consume food to fill other needs. It was going to be my goal to learn how to combat that dependency of food and train my brain to learn new ways of eating, not because I had to, but because I wanted to start a new life for myself!

Losing the weight does a lot of things for a person, first of all it makes you feel more confident because you feel more attractive and you're able to wear clothing that you were not able to fit in or wear prior to surgery. Second, and most importantly, you can live a healthier lifestyle. You adapt to eating differently and making better and healthier food choices. You weigh less so it's easier to take the stairs instead of an elevator/escalator or walk that extra block or two. Losing the weight has allowed me to realize that food was an addiction, and not one that was noticed like alcohol or gambling but one that was incorporated into so many of my social activities on a daily basis (lunches, dinners etc) and this "addiction" for me was about to end. In order for me to change my life, I wanted to get gastric bypass surgery to change my way of my thinking and ultimately prolong my life by learning to eat healthier, becoming more active and build up confidence to do things that I have wanted to do for a very long time. Today, one year after my surgery and losing 132 POUNDS I am building my confidence slowly everyday. I have always wanted to be in the entertainment field and I am making my way slowly in the industry. Although it's only a hobby it makes me feel good that I have been succeeding at it by being in commercials, movies and some television shows. My career is that of an English Professor and my peers as well as my students have definitely taken notice of my energy level and my positive attitude.

SInce my surgery my wife has lost 90 POUNDS as well, and we are a team! I believe if you are going to have any type of weight loss surgery you need to surround yourself with supporting people and not people who will sabotage your journey. This is perhaps the most important step in losing and keeping off your weight in an emotionally and physically healthy way. I could never regret getting my surgery, it really has given me a new lease on life in ways I could never imagine. I could never of done it without the help of Garden State Bariatrics Wellness Center and all of the doctors and supporting staff there. I owe them a huge thank you for giving me my life back.

- Eric

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