Debbie and Gail

Sisters with LAP-BANDs, Gail and Debbie share their experiences as they struggled with weight gain together and then succeeded losing weight and keeping it off for the last two years with the help of Dr. Baptista and gastric band surgery

When you get older and after children, we just gained weight. I had done everything to try and lose weight: exercise, change my eating habits and…

We even went walking for almost a whole year. Three miles every night.

And only lost 20 pounds.

Yeah I know.

But with that when I decided to do bariatric surgery again I had only lost 20 pounds and was down to 242 pounds.

I was really really into fitness in my 20s and was probably the same weight I am now. And then got into the late 30s into the 40s funk where you just put on a bunch of weight and metabolism goes down, and I was eating all the wrong foods that people who are athletic should eat but not who stopped being athletic. So my issues probably started when I was I don’t know 35 and I’m 53 now.

My weight issues led to medical problems with hiatal hernia and almost diabetic. My a1c was up at 7, and I had inguinal hernia, I was having all sorts of issues. My heart as well, and that’s what made me choose the bariatric surgery.

So my doctor actually recommended seeing Dr. Baptista for bariatric surgery to go see a seminar. So I went to a seminar and obviously became much more interested, and made my appointment with Dr. Baptista to discuss it further. And because it was almost noninvasive, you know the recovery time was so minimal I decided to pursue it and once I did it.

I was her take home person because it’s just a day surgery, in and out in a day. Like an outpatient surgery and so I was her take home person, and she was lucid and not in a lot of pain. I spent the night over there. She was up and down by herself and the whole 9 yards, and I was thinking okay if this works for her if she loses 20 pounds or something you know I’ll go to a seminar, and I’ll start you know checking it out. She looked great after surgery.

What is your experience with weight loss surgery?

It was wonderful. I went in on a Friday morning, came out Friday afternoon, went home that evening and went back to work on Monday.

I liked what I saw in her, and after her very first appointment and I can’t remember how much weight you lost and it was like two weeks after.

It was like 15 pounds*.

Or something… and I was very impressed with it. So I said okay I’m going to go to the next seminar, and then I went to the next seminar. And I had my surgery not in February but April?

Yeah it was like three months after mine.

Yeah it was about three months.

What results have you seen after weight loss surgery?

I’ve lot 125 pounds* and I went from a BMI of like 42 and I’m now at 21.

And I’ve lost 90 pounds total*. I weigh 125 now and my BMI is in the athletic normal range*.

What changes did you see in your daily life?

Quality of life. But definitely our morale, we’re not as depressed. Confidence.

I’m not on diabetic medicine at all, I can consider myself not diabetic anymore. But my doctor told me otherwise that I’m a diabetic, but I’m a food controlled diabetic. I don’t take any medication for it, I don’t take any cholesterol meds, and the only thing I can’t get rid of is my high blood pressure but I think that’s my personality.

Mine on the other hand, all my issues were fixed. I have minimal back pain now, which I used to have to take painkillers daily, three times a day to stop the pain. I no longer take any painkillers. My a1c is back down to normal so I’m not anywhere close to being diabetic, my hernia’s have all been fixed.  Reflux is better, I no longer have…

I have no reflux at all.

Yeah I had horrible reflux and mine’s much better. I think our confidence is way up, and just feeling good about life in general.

Yeah being able to go out and when you have a lot of weight on you you’re self-conscious, you are. And there’s only some… the style of clothing they make for people in the extra extra large are…

Old ladyish.

Yeah… I’m 53 now and I feel so much better than I did. I’m on no medications other than the high blood pressure, and I’m wearing a tank top and a pair of yoga shorts.

Something we would have never done.

Yes. I feel sexy.

Yeah Right. Me too.

Are your lives different since weight loss surgery?

Oh it is different because it’s been over two years.

It’s absolutely different because it forces you to change your lifestyle, but it’s a choice that you make before the surgery. You know am I going to go through with this, and you can sabotage yourself life Dr. Baptista said there’s nothing to stop you from drinking a milk shake, but because you see such positive changes that it outweighs going back to the way you felt before. Because being obese does that to you, it’s not just being overweight. When you’re obese there’s health issues and there’s mental issues that go on with it, and feeling better mentally and physically far outweighs eating a hamburger or candy.

Well the lap band in itself when it gets… he’ll determine what size he wants the lap band  to be in your stomach and he can narrow it down. That is also a reminder when you’re eating food that maybe I didn’t chew that piece enough, but you will make very very few mistakes at the beginning and then after that you learn how to chew. The way you’re supposed to. The way my Mom says, the proper British way which is to switch your hands over and put it in the other, you know your fork.

Chew… chew… chew…

Put your knife and fork down and then swallow, so that you get the satisfaction of fullness before you are. This makes you do that. You have to chew slow and you have to chew small pieces, so you get more full faster.

Because there is such a small amount that’s needed to satisfy it, right after the surgery you almost think there’s no way. You just think to yourself oh my gosh I have to eat, but then you realize just after a couple of bites and it gets down there then wow I’m really satisfied. It’s amazing, its life changing.

For More Information on Weight Loss Surgery.

For more information on bariatric surgery, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Baptista, please contact Florida Surgical Physicians today.

*Results are not guaranteed and may differ from person to person.

Debbie and Gail