At age 52, Mary started to get nervous about how her weight was affecting her health. She had borderline diabetes, fatty liver disease, and heart palpitations, all things she knew could be dangerous. But despite changes to her diet and exercise, she wasn’t getting healthy. Her sister-in-law’s sister had opted for bariatric surgery with good results, so with a little apprehension, Mary signed up for an informational open house with surgeon Dr. Tunc Aksehirli.
“I was so nervous for that first meeting; it was all a little overwhelming. But once I made the choice to go for it and talked to his staff, they put you at ease with all the details. Meghan, who works for Dr. A, said ‘one day at a time’ and she was right.”
Mary had bariatric surgery in August 2016, and says the recovery was easy – she was up and about shortly afterwards, and back at home that night. What wasn’t easy was deciding to go through with the surgery despite the objections of her family and friends. They were afraid of surgical complications, or that it wouldn’t work and she’d gain any lost weight back. Since then, they’ve all come to support Mary after seeing her results.
She has lost 80 pounds lost so far, and has a little farther to go before she reaches her goal weight. At a certain point, she says, weight loss slows down to an even keel and she has to work a little harder, something she has come to enjoy. She did CrossFit, then kickboxing, and now she’s swimming regularly. Mary no longer takes prescription medication, and says she feels more confident, has more energy, is more outgoing, and wants others to feel this good, too.
“When I’m at the gym or out and about and see someone who is larger, I want to go up to them and tell them how easy it is. I contemplated it for two years, but was too afraid. There’s the surgery, and the financial aspect; you know insurance might cover it, but maybe not all of it. There’s also a lot of stigma around it; people think it’s the easy way out, and that diet and exercise should work for everybody. It doesn’t, and that’s ok.”