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.
"I was a heavy kid, teenager and then a heavier adult," Kim says about her struggle with her weight.
A Different Type of Program
Kim has been struggling with weight for most of her life. It seemed that nothing would help, "I tried dieting on my own - all the different types of programs" she says.
With all the programs she would lose weight but always gained it back. Then she found Kettering Weight Loss Solutions and after reviewing the program, she decided the Health Management Resources (HMR) weight management program was the perfect fit for her. Morris decided on the HMR meal replacement plan because her father recommended the program and she knew others who had seen success with it. "My dad and I decided this could work for us" she said, "My dad wanted to lose 40 to 50 pounds, and I wanted to lose 115."
In July 2014, Kim and her dad started the program together. "The program is well-monitored, and there is a lot of accountability. It's easy to follow -- you aren't on shakes forever, and they do teach you how to maintain a lower weight," says Kim. This has been important to Kim as she closes in on her goal weight.
Kettering Weight Loss Solutions helped Kim find a plan that was right for her to help her not only lose the weight, but keep it off. "They have different levels of the program," Kim explains. "For me it's at least five shakes a day, and the weight comes off fast. They don't want you to get hungry, so you can have more than five. The main thing is you don't want to get in a position where you may fall off the plan."
A New Beginning
"I've lost 90 pounds and have about 25 pounds to go," Kim said. "I'm now eating three shakes a day and two of the program entrees, along with five servings of fruits and vegetables." In addition, Kim sets a goal for herself to burn an equivalent of 2,000 calories a week through a combination of cardio and strength exercise. "I didn't have any significant health issues when I started the diet, but I feel much better and everything is easier," Kim said. "Getting out of my chair and lifting things is easier. Life is easier." The program has taught Kim what she can and cannot do with regard to food. "So much of people's lives revolve around food," she said. "I think this is a great program, and it's been very successful for me. I'd recommend it to anyone looking to lose weight."
Linda has struggled with weight her whole life. Everything she tried failed to give her the results she wanted. Today Linda has lost not only lost the weight, but has learned how to keep it off.
In January of 2015, Linda called Kettering Health Network Weight Loss Solutions and started her program later that month. The staff set her up with the classes she needed and started her dieting right away.
Linda finds the Monday night classes helpful, along with tools such as her fit bit and fiber additives to her meals. She likes that the classes teach convenient ways to maintain her diet after the program, even when traveling, which Linda has struggled with in the past.
According to Linda, Kettering Health Network Weight Loss Solutions offers a convenient, controlled environment that wants you to be successful. In her classes, she feels supported and motivated, making the class truly helpful. Her daily diet focuses on supplementing with shakes and eating good proteins and fats. With the help of Kettering Health Network, Linda has made an entire lifestyle change instead of temporary weight loss.
Linda is now 70 pounds lighter and hopes to lose another 10 pounds as she continues to eat better and maintain a healthier lifestyle. Her original goal was for 10,000 steps a day has now turned into a goal of 15,000 steps.
Linda is most proud of the impact her journey has had on her family. Her two younger sisters have also followed in her footsteps and taken a step in the right direction to promote a healthy lifestyle. Linda has been able to remove blood pressure and cholesterol medicine from her regiment, and her family doctor and cardiologist are proud of the progress she's made. "I'm at a size I don't remember being in my adult life," she said.