Cutting Edge: Fighting The Fat. Bariatric Surgery. Three People Share Their Stories.

Cutting Edge: Fatting Fat. Losing Weight with Gastric BypassSurgical weight loss is a scary thing for many people and it always helps to hear from people that have gone through it and are now on the other side.   In a special medical program called Cutting Edge: Fighting Fat, one of three prime-time health specials produced by Gannett Broadcasting and being aired across the country, they show profiles three brave people who share their valuable experiences with us, why they made their decision to have gastric bypass, their difficulties, their successes, and what has changed in their lives.

Cutting Edge: Fighting Fat, host, Julie Nelson reports that there can be a striking weight loss after bariatric surgery, sometimes up to one third of a person’s body weight. But some are completely cured of major health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.
Because of these favorable outcomes 220,000 of these surgeries are performed every year in the US. That’s 13 times the number performed in 1992.

She introduces us to three people who chose bariatric surgery for a chance at a healthier life.

Cutting Edge; Fatting Fat. StephanieStephanie Peters lost 200 pounds. She’s a standup comedian and her obesity and weight loss is the subject of much of her comedy routine.
Her weight became a problem when she married a chef and the pounds kept piling on. But her trigger to do something about her weight came when she realized at 400 pounds, that she could not fit in her chair at the beach anymore and going to the beach was the one thing she loved sharing with her husband.  A fellow comedian who had had bariatric surgery suggested gastric bypass to her.
Stephanie explained the screening procedures that qualified her as an applicant.
She had psychological counseling. She had a physical evaluation with a physical conditioning trainer. She was put on a diet plan. She felt it was a long process. When she finally had the surgery she thought it was the end but it was really just the beginning of a whole new set of challenges.
She did a lot of vomiting, due to what is called a “dumping syndrome.” A dumping syndrome occurs when the contents of the stomach are dumped into the small intestine too rapidly. She said she got the sweats and “felt like I was going to die.”  But two years after the surgery she is down 200 pounds and glad she did it.

Cutting Edge; Fatting Fat. MaryMary McLaughlin, who lost 150 pounds, never wanted to get gastric bypass. But a doctor’s visit revealed some eye opening statistics. You can lose 5% of your excess body weight through diet and exercise. You can lose 35% of your excess body weight through lap band surgery. And 65% of your excess body weight through gastric bypass. Mary had so hoped that the doctors could help her through diet and exercise. So she cried and cried when the doctor recommended gastric bypass for her.
At the time of the surgery, she weighed 310 pounds. Within the first six months she had lost 100 pounds. She tells us “The size of your stomach is about the size of a football and after the surgery it’s about the size of an egg. You have to eat slowly. You have to realize that you have completely changed the whole structure of your digestive system.” Mary knows she will never be a size 6 but she works consistently to maintain what’s a healthy weight for her. This means she needs to exercise daily, eat a healthy breakfast, and not eat “on the fly.” Mary wants us all to understand that it doesn’t stop at the surgery. The surgery is a tool. The weight loss has a limited time frame. The real work must continue with you.

Cutting Edge; Fatting Fat. BobBob Perry lost 107 pounds.  At first his fate seemed sealed by his genetics until he decided to make a drastic change.
He said leading up to the surgery he tried to be active. He always played sports, basketball with his friends and he played in high school and college. But as he got older he had a harder time staying in shape. He said some people say they are fat and happy. But he was fat and miserable at 330 pounds. He felt he was a genetic blueprint of his father who died from a heart attack which he said was a complication of diabetes. Bob shared that his father said “Don’t let this happen to you. Do whatever you have to do.”  So after Bob researched his options, he decided on gastric bypass surgery. One of his biggest fears was dying. He said you always hear someone say “I know somebody who died.”  But he realized that the surgery has been around for a long time and has been perfected and refined and he felt it was a viable option for him because he surely felt he was going to die from diabetes and obesity.
He always liked fish and chicken but always in large quantities with calorie rich sauces and gravies.
But after surgery, Bob felt it was like a miracle. He didn’t crave any of that anymore. And have not craved anything like that since.  All he wants now is fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, lean meat and fish proteins. He eats a little whole grain and brown rice. He loves healthy food. He feels it’s a really strange thing about how the bypass surgery does something to the brain/stomach connection. He cannot explain it but he’s happy to have it! He likes being able to do anything physical he wants. He does 12 mile hikes in the mountains, enjoys time with his dogs, and enjoys bike riding. He feels one thing that can change is how you relate to people and how people relate to you. It is a critical thing that you must understand that you are going to change how you look at the world and how the world looks at you.

Learn more about the bariatric procedures that you may be considering.

How to maintain your weight loss and healthy lifestyle.

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