I want to offer a special thanks to
Gerri Jenny for sharing her success with us. Here is her
I have been eagerly awaiting my one
year anniversary so I can share my story with you! I
personally have benefitted very much from hearing of others
and their weight loss journeys. Everyone has a unique
story. Mine will be different than others, but hopefully
there will be commonalities. My prayer is that this will
be an encouragement to others.
Always very healthy, I did not have a
weight problem until after having my first child.
Growing up, I was always popular, had many girl as well as
boy friends and loved my life. I was curvy and well
proportioned with no complaints about my natural endowments.
I married my college sweetheart at the
age of 20 and had my first child at 25. I am 5 feet 4
inches and weighed 128 at my first pre-natal appointment.
Over the years, I never lost my pregnancy weight gain, and
the scale continued to escalate with subsequent pregnancies.
My children and their activities were my first priority, and
I did not take time for exercise. I also enjoyed
When my youngest child was in the 6th
grade, I resumed my teaching career and pursued a doctorate
in education. This was a very stressful time as I
juggled home, school, and graduates responsibilities.
I did diet from time to time, but never had the personal
discipline to persevere.
Three years ago, I became very ill and
was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Subsequently, I
needed to check my blood sugar 4 times daily and was insulin
dependent. I began reading a bit about gastric bypass
surgery and its high success rate with patients with
diabetes. I resolved to ask my endocrinologist about
it on my next visit. However, my doctor moved and I
ended up seeing the doctor's partner instead. Without
even broaching the subject, Dr. Castro waltzed into
examining room and asked, "When are you having the surgery?"
Although a bit taken aback, I took his firm conviction as a
sign that I needed to seriously pursue gastric bypass
surgery. My husband and I attended an informational
meeting the very next evening where my future surgeon was
explaining the procedure to prospective patients.
I knew immediately that this was what I
needed to do, and began my 6-month pre-op specialist visits
and support group meetings. I chose to go to a large
hospital Center of Excellence and certainly recommend that
other patients use a surgeon who has performed hundreds of
surgeries. I read voraciously and bought all the
recommended aftercare supplies and foods.
My husband was highly supportive, but a
bit dubious. Dr. Rameesh Ramanathan performed my
surgery on July 15, 2009 at Magee Women's Hospital in
Pittsburgh. Bringing my electric heating pad proved to
be a real comfort for the pain. It was well worth it.
Papaya enzyme is the best cure for my frequent nausea.
I eat carefully, but when I really must have something
sweet, I taste it, chew it, and then spit it. Meat is
still a challenge at times and my portions are quite
limited. To date, I have reached my target goal and
lost 115 pounds and am a size 6. I went from 246
pounds to 131 pounds. I also have a personal trainer
and go to the gym 5 to 6 days weekly for cardio and weight
lifting for toning as I will not go under the knife again.
Neither will I wear a bikini, but I love clothes shopping
and have been told by many that I look like a different
person. I feel that after 30 years, I have finally
returned to myself physically and emotionally. It has
been so gratifying this summer to be able to hike with my
husband and at a few of our Western national parks and
almost keep up with him!
May God bless you as you undertake and
persevere along this journey to wellness.