May 2020 Patient of the Month
Eleven years ago I weighed 297 pounds. I was miserable and I couldn’t even look at myself in a mirror or at any pictures that were taken of me as I only felt disgust at the person looking back. I have been heavy my entire life. Even as a child I recall going school shopping and being in tears because nothing ever fit. I didn’t want to sleep over at friend’s houses or go to pool parties; weight was always an issue for me. Through high school and college I managed to maintain 150-170 lbs. But with a career where I commute to NYC every day, I found myself eating later, eating foods that were not good for me, and gaining weight steadily over time until I reached my heaviest. I truly needed to make a change in my life. I had no co-morbidity at the time, but if I kept going the way I was, I would certainly develop additional health issues later on.
In January of 2015, I started the Arbonne clean eating nutrition program and was very successful with following the shakes and meals. The program makes you accountable for everything that you put into your body. You cut out sugar, carbs, gluten, dairy, and alcohol. You also learn what foods are good for you, how to cook and how to eat clean. Over a few years I was able to lose 60 pounds on my own and I was finally seeing the person on the outside that I recognized. I started to work on the person inside and finding hope and a positive spirit as I had already changed my life for the better in some way.
In the back of my mind, I had thoughts of having bariatric surgery. A few of my friends had procedures done and they were successful with it. After some time and a lot of research I decided to invest in myself and my future and I went for my consult in November 2018. It was the best day of my life meeting Dr. Yurcisin, Michael Caromano, Jessica, Julie, Anna and everyone else in the Toms River office who have helped me on my journey. After meeting with Dr. Yurcisin and listening to my options, I truly knew that having the gastric sleeve would be a life changing tool for me and I was all in. All of my appointments in the office just affirmed for me that this was the choice for me and I could do this.
My gastric sleeve procedure took place on 6/12/19; I was 240.8 pounds. At one year post-op, I am 145.6 pounds. My goal is to lose 100 pounds by my surgery anniversary date and I will make that goal and then some. I am down 8 inches in my chest, 28 inches in my waist and 29 inches in my hips... I am half the person that I was!
I am thrilled with my progress and I am so excited for my future. I look at the person in the mirror now and I love her. Not just for what I look like on the outside, but for the spirit and the perseverance on the inside that shows through as this is not an easy process or something that you go into lightly. It is life changing forever and you are only successful if you give it 100% and then some. I have been walking 7-9 miles and working out with a personal trainer and friend for the past 8 weeks. The results are amazing. They are more than motivating to keep pushing and moving forward. With the exercise, I have lost 12.5” across my total body and an additional 14 lbs.
I cannot thank Dr. Yurcisin and his team enough for believing in me, helping me to believe in myself and standing behind me and encouraging me along this journey. With every phone call and visit, I have always felt cared for. I have had complete confidence that everyone at GSBWC has my back and my best interests. This journey is not for everyone, but I am not ashamed for taking my life into my hands and doing things my way to make a better life for myself. A life that I know is so much better now after deciding to have hope, love and belief in me and sticking to it. I hope that my journey can inspire others to make the choice that will change their lives in every way. I woke up one day and decided that I didn’t want to be that person anymore, so I changed and anyone can do it, but do it for yourself and no one else. Work on you, for you. Let your faith be bigger than any of your fears and be the reason and inspiration for others to do good for themselves and your heart will be full as mine is.