Hear What Our Patients Have to Say About Their Successes After Weight Loss Surgery
"I am more confident now to get out there and do things that will contribute to my overall health, because I am not embarrassed to do them anymore." MaryEllen
At age 40, MaryEllen assessed her life and realized she need to make some changes. The active mother, language arts teacher and baton twirling coach had always possessed a lot of energy, but the extra weight she had been carrying for years was starting to slow her down. She also felt that she was asking her baton students to do things that she herself no longer felt confident demonstrating.
As a result, MaryEllen went to Central Maine Bariatrics where she learned what her options were for weight loss surgery. Since then, MaryEllen has lost 110 pounds. She now has a life where she is more of a participant than an observer. She takes exercise classes, including Zumba; she has a personal trainer and now she works alongside the girls she teaches in her baton twirling organization. "I am getting back to being able to do what I was trying to teach. It has been a lot of fun," she says. "I have enjoyed it with the girls this year more than in the past because I can do it."
She has also enjoyed the changes it has brought with her family – now she kayaks, rides a bicycle, and even consults with her daughter on her new clothing purchases. She and her husband are enjoying more closeness, as well.
Mary Ellen says she has appreciated the support and the discipline the program has given her. The process was actually easier than she thought it would be, and she only wishes now she had done this sooner. As she says: "I would have done this 10 years ago if I thought it would be this successful."
"Life is phenomenal." Gil
Before his weight loss surgery at Central Maine Medical Center, Gil was walking a health tightrope. He had issues with diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol; he had even suffered a stroke. One of his doctors let him know that the stroke was a wake-up call.
Gil went to Central Maine Bariatric Surgery and began his surgery process in earnest. Just tracking his food, pre-surgery, and learning more about his eating patterns was eye-opening, he says.
Since his surgery, he has continued to follow a healthy diet. The results have been fantastic, he says. He no longer takes any of the four medications he relied on. The doctor he had seen following his stroke did not even recognize him when he went in for a visit.
"I've felt better than I have ever felt, actually, because I have been heavy for over 20 years," Gil says. "Just going for blood work and seeing all the numbers where they are supposed to be is a phenomenal feeling."
Gil, ironically, is a professional chef. He is especially enjoying a new career venture, working in a hospital that serves vegetarian food. He is enjoying cooking with an emphasis on flavors, not fats. It's a challenge made easier by his own changed lifestyle.
He is enjoying life more, travels more, and anticipates being able to fly to an upcoming travel destination, which he wouldn't do before because he was self-conscious about fitting into the airplane seat.
Gil says, "My tomorrow is a happy, healthy longer life than I would have had, had I not had the surgery."
"I feel good when I go out and I think that comes across when I meet people" Julie
Prior to her weight loss surgery, Julie says she felt like she was a bystander in her own life. It was when she became a grandmother that she decided she wanted to be able to do more, so that she could show her grandchildren how to do the things she had once enjoyed in her life. Waterskiing, for example. Downhill skiing, for another. These are things she does now, along with going to a gym.
Julie says that embarking on the weight loss surgery program through Central Maine Bariatrics meant committing seriously to the steps. "You have to have the desire," she says. "If not, you can fall right back into your old habits. And you definitely have to give yourself goals because if you don't set goals and things you want to do in your life, then you don't have anything to work for, so I did set my goals pretty high."
Julie enjoyed the educational process of learning more about nutrition from the bariatrics teams. She also committed herself to regular exercise. Besides being healthier physically, she is also enjoying renewed emotional health. She has gone from feeling withdrawn to feeling confident. "It is definitely a confidence booster to like what you see in the mirror before you leave the house. I am very happy with the way I look,so I feel good when I go out and I think that comes across when I meet people or when I socialize with people."
"I have friends that have said that I have inspired them" Brian
Going to the doctor had become a huge part of Brian's life as he was beset with issues including diabetes, high blood pressure and a fatty liver. He found himself exhausted when he woke up and exhausted midday at work, or partway through recreational activities.
He had tried to lose weight, but never stuck to anything. After getting engaged, he realized that he wanted to have a family. He knew that he wanted to be an active father.
Brian says that starting with his first visit to Central Maine Bariatrics he felt supported in his process.
"The entire staff here was wonderful, from coming in here and talking to Kim when I check in, to talking Shannon or Lindsey, talking with Ashley the dietician. Everyone here treated me with utmost respect, everyone was polite and professional," Brian says. "They really treated me like I was part of their family. It was really comforting to know when I got here that I was going to say hello to everybody, everyone knew my name, knew who I was."
Brian describes himself as close to a "normal" size, which means he no longer dreads shopping. He feels energetic. He is married and looking forward to starting a family. One surprise for him is the impact he has had on others.
"...I have friends that have said that I have inspired them. I didn't set out to get healthy and have surgery and inspire anyone, but it is kind of nice to have people tell me that I have inspired them," he says.
Best of all, he says, is the thought that his future includes being able to be active with family of his own. "My tomorrow is being healthy and being able to keep up with children, my family and take care of them."