Watch Jennifer's video
Occupation: Aerospace engineer
Procedure: Roux-en-Y, 2008
Surgeon: David Kam, MD
Pre-surgery weight: 296 pounds
Current weight: 156 pounds
Background: I’ve been overweight all my life and I’ve dieted all my life. I never knew what it was like to be thin, or even normal. It’s like not being able to see – you don’t even know how bad it is until you get glasses.
Decision point: I talked to my primary care physician about having the surgery and he was very optimistic about it. First, I had to go through a six-month weight loss program. Someone in the program told me that once your body hits a certain BMI, your body chemistry changes and it’s very, very hard to lose weight. Once they explained that, I decided I had to do the surgery.
The best part: What has changed for me? Everything. I can sit with my legs crossed, I can go to the movies and not take up the armrests on both sides. I can ride the Cherry Festival rides and get the lap bar down. I play softball. I bought a house. I bought a horse – I am horseback riding again; at 300 pounds, I wouldn’t have done that to a horse. I go out dancing. I dress nicely every single day. On a scale of 1 to 10 of how happy I am, I’d say 11 or 12. They tell me I smile a lot more.
Parting thought: One great thing about Grand Traverse Surgery is they don’t let you proceed without being educated. Don’t do it if you are not 100 percent dedicated. If you say, ‘Oh, I can’t wait until I can eat a Whopper again’ – then you’re not ready. You have to make the right choices every single day, multiple times a day. Having the surgery gave me the tool and the incentive to do it.
After Roux-en-Y Surgery