Occupation: Casino worker
Procedure: Vertical Sleeve, 2007
Surgeon: Steven Slikkers, MD
Pre-surgery weight: 265 pounds
Current weight: 149 pounds
Background: I started gaining weight in the third grade. It was terrible being a teenager – kids are mean. The heavier you get, the meaner they are. I quit weighing myself when I hit 300 pounds. I started exercising in 2000 and spent two or three hours a day at the gym for six or seven years. My job was losing weight. I wanted
to be one of those people who did it on my own.
Decision point: My grandmother passed away and she had always been “heavy.” My mother told me I weighed more than grandma did, and it freaked me out. I made up my mind to do the surgery. I wasted all my 20s fat and miserable. I thought, ‘ Why not do something about it now and enjoy the rest of my life?’
Life after surgery: One time I sat in a chair and broke it. That was so embarrassing. Now I can pretty much do anything and not worry about, ‘Am I going to fit in there? Is there a weight limit on that kayak?’ I feel like a different person. I think about how exhausted I was all the time. Now, if I want to go for a run, I can.
Best thing: I used to wear size 26-28 stretch pants and t-shirts. The best thing is shopping, finding something cute, and knowing I can get it on.
Parting thought: Every surgery is a personal decision. Give it very serious consideration. It’s a one-time shot. It is very beneficial but only if you are determined to stick with it. Mentally, you have to commit to it 100 percent.
After Vertical Sleeve Surgery