Jessica Upton struggled with her weight for years. Now she's 95 pounds lighter, and happy she finally found a solution that worked for her.
Jessica's journey with weight loss began over a decade ago. "When my dad passed away - that's when the weight came on," she says.
She tried everything to lose the weight, but nothing would work. Dieting, exercising, weight loss pills - none of them could keep the weight off. They would work for a while, but soon the weight would come back.
"It was a constant yo-yo. I would lose weight, then something would happen and I would gain it back again."
After struggling for more than a decade, Jessica attended a weight loss surgery seminar at Kettering Bariatrics. Surgeon David Schumacher, MD, and the team at Kettering Health Network Weight Loss Solutions decided that Jessica was an appropriate candidate for gastric bypass surgery.
The surgery changes the communication between the brain and the gut. It allows the body to tolerate small portions of food and it increases the body's metabolism. After three years of researching and discussing it with her friends and family, Jessica decided the surgery was her best option.
It's been two years since Jessica's surgery, and she couldn't be happier with the outcome.
After losing almost 100 pounds, she's most excited about being active for her son. "My son loves to play basketball. Before, I could play maybe a few minutes before I'd get winded," Jessica says. "Now I can keep up without embarrassing him."
Managing her weight is still a struggle sometimes, but Jessica says portion control has been the key to her success. "Food doesn't run my world anymore - it just keeps me going."
Before weight loss surgery I used to tell my wife stories about how my size affected my everyday life. I weighed 374 lbs. then and I can remember telling her about going to the local board meetings for the Dayton Dental Society. I would always get stuck in the chairs. I would nonchalantly and gracefully get myself unstuck hoping no one noticed my predicament.
My biggest fear was getting on an airplane alone. I always took up more than my allotted space and overflowed into the next person's seat. When my family was with me, it wasn't so bad. My kids could sit on either side of me and I did not have to worry about infringing on a stranger's space. I always prayed I would get the aisle seat if I flew solo.
I lost weight once before with diet and exercise. But then I had knee surgery and gained it back. Exercise wasn't so easy any more and I knew I had to do something or I was going to die. It was as simple as that. Live or die.
That's when I made the decision to have gastric bypass surgery. Dr. David Bruce performed my surgery in September of 2008 and only 5 months later I weigh 236 lbs. I've lost 138 lbs. and I feel great!
Both my dad and my youngest sister were patients of Dr. Bruce. My father had great success with his weight loss and encouraged me to meet with Dr. Bruce on several occasions. I was in complete denial about my weight gain and blew off my dad's suggestions for years. It wasn't until 2 years ago, when I lost my father in a tragic accident, that I realized I needed to change my life. I saw a picture of myself at my dad's memorial that I realized my weight was a bigger issue than I had realized. It was at that moment that I realized my dad had just been trying to help me, so I called Dr. Bruce's office and began the process that changed my life.
For the first time in years, I am healthy and finally happy with myself. Grandview and Southview Medical Centers have been the absolute best hospitals that I have ever worked with. As a RN in a busy emergency department, I can tell you that Grandview and Southview go above and beyond to ensure that my visits have been pleasurable in every aspect. From the pre-operation stages through the follow-up stages, I have been completely happy and impressed every step of the way. The staff at Grandview is wonderful. From the greeters to the surgeons, everyone has been so kind to me. In fact, I live about 10 minutes away from a brand new, state of the art hospital. However, I choose to drive to Grandview and Southview Medical Centers because I know that the care I receive there is out of this world.
In my line of profession, I have seen many hospitals and health care networks and I would have to say, I have never been as impressed as I have been with Grandview and Southview. I just can't say enough positive things about my experiences. Thank you, Grandview Weight Loss Surgery, for making my experience so wonderful.
I had bariatric surgery over two years ago in October, the fourth to be exact, and I have lost a total of 148 lbs. since surgery. I went from a size 22 jeans to a size four in jeans. This surgery was the best thing that could have happened to me. I could not have asked for better treatment or better doctors. They did a fantastic job and I would highly recommend this to anyone.
I went in and out of the hospital in a flash and my recovery was excellent. I have been overweight all of my life and when I hit the age of 30, I said, "no more." I was done with the struggle. There have been so many happy moments that have come out of thi,s such as when I hit below the 200lbs mark. I never cried so much in my life. I had not seen the scale under that in years.
I took my daughter to Kings Island and was actually able to fit into the seats on the rides, instead of watching her ride them. I can travel for work on planes and not worry about trouble with the seatbelt. I think one of the best things that has come out of this is my new hobby. I have always wanted to play Roller Derby and now can do it with confidence, and I have the strength and endurance to do it. I joined up with the Gem City Roller Girls in Dayton, Ohio and I love it. I used to always worry about looking bad or "fat" but not anymore. I have all of the self confidence in the world and that is a great thing.
Bariatric surgery was not a walk in the park, you still have to learn to eat right and change your lifestyle, but it was definitely worth it. I workout all the time and I feel great. I used to go to bed and wonder if I was going to wake up in the morning, but not anymore. I love my life now. I can do Roller Derby, I can do all of the things I want to do with my daughter and I can live my life with little or no worries about the harm that I was doing to my body with all the excess weight.
Rick & Vicki
Many of the things they enjoyed in life - being outdoors, socializing, their careers and time with family - had become compromised or challenged by health problems, self-esteem issues and the inconvenience associated with obesity. All of this seemed a "given" ...something they were resigned to. But they wanted to change. They wanted a better, healthier life. So they chose Kettering.
Now Vicki jokes, "He put Christmas lights up on our house this year... for the first time in years!"
Through weight loss surgery at Kettering and Sycamore Medical Centers, Rick and Vicki Rose found the area's most comprehensive program for weight loss. They found a team of medical professionals totally committed to their health, happiness and a much better quality of life. At Kettering, the focus is on patients, not illnesses. Kettering Weight Loss Surgery features one of the country's finest and dedicated obesity treatment facilities, with a program that includes evaluation, education, behavior modification, nutrition, surgical and post-surgery services. But the difference is how Kettering builds lasting relationships with patients committed to this all-important life change.
Weight before surgery: 461 lbs
Weight loss in 8 month: 146 lbs
Before surgery life was always rough. I was always wondering, "Will that chair support me, will I fit in that seat, will they have my size, and will my heart last until my 50th birthday?"
I had tried every fad diet and exercise. My last attempt only yielded a 24lb drop in eight months. I knew I needed to do something. When I started to see people die due to weight related issues, my eyes opened up to the possibility of weight loss surgery.
Surgery was easier than I had expected and recovery has been amazing. I was back to work in three weeks and felt back to normal in only six.
I have a ton of energy now and I have a renewed sense of self confidence. Losing 150 pounds has put a whole new outlook on life. I am at the gym five days a week and I have no hesitations to travel for work. Before surgery I was hesitant to get on a plane, but now I have no issues sitting in a plane seat. I no longer require the seatbelt extender... in fact; I have to tighten the belt!
Kettering Weight Loss Surgery is there for you every step of the way. A surgeon performs a procedure on your stomach, but not on your brain, and that's where the support staff at Kettering steps in. I've learned that you need to build a support team that will be there for you every step of the way. Family and friends become keys in your success. The surgery is not a do all, fix all, and by no means is it a get out of jail card. You are only as successful as you want to be. The Kettering Weight Loss Surgery staff has been there for me when I needed them. Their pre-op classes and post op support groups are invaluable tools that have helped me become the success story I am.
I no longer spend my life contemplating if there will be enough room for me! I have a whole different outlook on life. I would refer this surgery to anyone.
When I was in high school, I was active. I played softball, track, and many other fun sports. After I got married and had children, my activity level changed. I wasn't as active and I started putting on extra weight. It seemed the more I tried to lose weight, the more I gained. I would become discouraged when I didn't see immediate results and give up. My weight eventually reached 300 lbs. I couldn't play with my kids like I wanted to or ride bikes with my family, and that really bothered me. I considered gastric bypass and I researched it for about three years before finally doing something about it.
I saw my family doctor who told me I was an excellent candidate for the surgery. After I attended the seminar, I knew I had to do it. It was a way to save my own life. I wanted to be healthy, happy, and most of all, I wanted to still be here to enjoy my children 30 or 40 years down the road. At the rate I was going, that wasn't going to happen. The real kicker for me was when I had to go on a business trip and I had to request a seat belt extension on the plane. I was so embarrassed I cried. It was a mixture of all of these events that helped me make my final decision.
I am now 15 months post-surgery and I am living the life I always wanted to! I've lost 160 lbs. and am much healthier. My ultimate goal was to ride bikes with my family and I can proudly say I've accomplished that goal! So now I've moved on to bigger goals. My energy level has increased tenfold. I eat right, exercise, make sure I get plenty of water, and take all of my vitamins and protein supplements. My only regret is that I didn't have the surgery sooner.
About five years ago I was living an extremely stressful life. I had reached 300 pounds. My blood pressure was 155 over 95 on medication. I had other problems with leg rashes, swollen ankles, and many other health-related issues. I was feeling desperate when someone told me about the Greene Memorial Weight Management program.* I signed up for an orientation with Rich Cohen and decided to do the program.
I lost weight on the shakes and after six months I began to worry about how I would be able to keep the weight off. Amy Licata started talking about the brain and how this could be the source of the weight gain in the first place.
I signed up for class with Amy and the lights began to come on. My life started changing with every class. I found my brain was wired for stress and everything I was doing in my life. It was a false high to try and bring me to accepting me or who I was. I over worked to extremes. I was obsessed with making money to make me feel good about myself. I tried to please people to make them like me. I over ate to feel good.
I have learned to re-wire my brain to accept and forgive. I now love me. I love living and all of the natural things in life. I take care of me. I exercise every day. I take time to plan my day and restore at the end of my days. I see and interact with people. I no longer do things just to try and get them to like me. I like me.
The biggest change in my life has been this training. I learned to accept the dark side of me and the light side of me. I forgave me. God forgave me. I have an inner sanctuary where I can go to anytime and it is always with me. I have the strength and the power I will never go back to the person I used to be. I do not need the false highs that I thought I needed to keep me alive. I lost over 100 pounds and have kept it off for over five years. Now life is a path where I know there will be problems, but I know I will be safe because I am safe within myself with the help of God.
I thank Amy and Rich for changing my life.
*Greene Memorial Weight Management is now part of Kettering Weight Loss Solutions at Whipp Road.