Raffaele Family Of The Month
We’re the Raffaele Family. We never imagined we’d be picked to be the first Family of the Month! This is just another incredible milestone on the long list that has enhanced our lives ever since we began our weight-loss journey.
Four years ago, my son Adam’s brave decision to take control of his weight impacted us all. His By-Pass surgery had him losing an amazing 90 pounds in four months! His transformation from overweight to slender now enables him to hike, camp and truly enjoy life. Everyday things that are now so easy for him to do made us realize we could also experience the same satisfaction with life he enjoyed. His ability to try new adventures was contagious, and Anthony and I wanted to experience those same opportunities.
Adam’s journey inspired his younger brother to follow. Two years later, Anthony underwent a Duodenal Switch. After an entire life as an overweight person, his 165-pound weight loss in six months was nothing short of a miracle. He spent a lifetime of always doing for others so he could be accepted. But several months after his surgery, his self-worth increased along with a deep sense that he no longer had to settle for negative treatment from others. He now knows he deserves to be happy and doesn’t have to receive anything less than he gives. His physical abilities have increased ten-fold, and he is now doing things he could only dream about.
Watching the liberation of my sons from their fat bodies—and after a million questions—my decision was clear. On March 23, 2015—the day I consider my new birthdate—I, too, had the Duodenal Switch. At 5’ 1”, losing 100 pounds not only unshackled me from my fat, cumbersome body, it also eliminated the mountains of medication I endured each day. Sleep apnea, acid reflux, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and pre-diabetes are now gone. And not only are the meds gone, but the old clothes are gone, too. It still amazes me that I’ve gone from a size 26 to a medium, and my shoe choices have increased because I no longer need a double-wide shoe. Moving around on a daily basis in a small body is such a feeling of freedom!
The one thing all three of us have learned is that people treat us differently, and that’s something we’re dealing with. Some people are supportive, others not. But we all agree that it’s our journey and our lives, and we’re the ones who have to be happy with ourselves on the inside. These surgeries were the best choices we made for ourselves. They weren’t selfish choices, they were necessary choices. Like the old saying, “You’ve only got one body; you need to take care of it.” With Dr. Bilof’s help, we’re taking care of ours.
Sharing in this weight-loss journey together has brought my sons and I closer than I ever thought possible. We’re more active as a family, celebrating the new milestones each of us is able to accomplish, not only in weight loss, but in other aspects of our lives. It’s truly life changing!
Thanks to Garden State Bariatrics, we are no longer trapped in obese bodies and are now able to experience everything to the fullest. Dr. Bilof, Bella and their amazing staff have given us this incredible gift. New lives!
Illena, Adam and Anthony Raffaele