I want to offer
Veronica Strabel special thanks for sharing her success with
us. Here is her story:
On May 6, 2003 my life changed dramatically
and would never be the same again. I was on my way to the operating
room to have gastric bypass surgery performed. The decision to have
the surgery was an easy one for me. I had struggled for years with my
weight and had tried everything under the sun to lose it. I was on
Weight Watchers 3 separate times, joined aerobics classes, took
prescription weight loss pills and even tried the drugs Phen Fen/Redux.
Of course all of these methods worked for a little while, but as soon
as I had to stop them for one reason or another, the weight came back
on and brought more with it.
I was on a family vacation in Hawaii when I
realized that I had to do something dramatic about my weight or I was
just going to get heavier and be miserable the rest of my life. I
went to my family doctor and he agreed with me that I was a candidate
for weight loss surgery and recommended I find a surgeon I felt
I found Dr. Waldrep at the Sacramento
Advanced Laparoscopic Surgeons Association. He was very helpful and
knowledgeable and I felt very comfortable with him right from the
start. I went to a meeting with him and signed up right then to get
the process started and get me on my way to having surgery. I was
very lucky in my process for surgery; I had to see a nutritionist,
bariatric surgeon and psychologist before I could even be accepted by
my insurance company to have the procedure done. I passed all of the
testing and I got my surgery date. I only had to wait 4 months; I was
the happiest girl on the planet.
For the first month after surgery, I stayed
at my parent’s house so that I had someone to help me, watch over me,
and make sure I followed the rules. I was very strict with myself. I
was determined to do this right and I did not want to mess anything
up. If the doctor told me to eat soft foods for 1 week, I did it for
2 weeks. I started losing pounds the first day. I lost a pound a
day, and I was amazed.
I decided to be out of work for a month so
that I was not around others eating and getting me back into the bad
habits at lunch times and snacking. Snacking was a big huge NO NO.
After the first week, I was able to start exercising so that I could
start losing faster. At first, I only did a few minutes on the
treadmill since I still weighed well over 200 pounds and could not do
too much. After a little while I was able to do more. I started
walking around outside more and kept losing a pound or two a day. I
weighed myself every single day two or three times to see how much I
was losing. It was very exciting to see the scale change.
Once I went back to my house and was living
on my own, I started working out at a place for women called “Curves.”
It has machines in a circle that you use for 30 seconds each and you
go around three times. I noticed right away the changes to my body. I
was losing inches and pounds now.
I was constantly having to buy clothes since
I was losing so rapidly now and none of my clothes fit from one week
to the next. I became a big fan of the thrift stores and Goodwill.
I kept working out for the whole first year.
Since I was only 30 years old, my elasticity was still good enough
that I could tighten up my skin so that hopefully after I was done
losing the weight I wanted to, I wouldn’t need to have plastic
My diet changed too. I was no longer able to
eat certain things like ice cream, sugar, chicken, spicy foods or
large portions. Everything I ate had to have more protein then
carbohydrates in it. I ate several times day, small meals of course,
since my new stomach was now the size of my thumb. I am supposed to
have lots of protein a day, 80 ounces of water a day and exercise. It
definitely takes some getting used to, but I am doing it.
The only two issues I had after surgery were
that I had to have my gall bladder removed around my 9th
month post-op. I found out that rapid weight loss causes your
gall bladder to dysfunction. Around the 10th month
post-op, I started losing hair. I was told this would happen if I did
not get enough protein in my body. I lost about half my thickness of
hair on my head. Therefore, I guess that tells you why my hair is so
It was a long first year, but when I hit my
1 year anniversary of my surgery, I had lost 100 pounds. I went on to
lose 37 pounds more and have maintained it for 5 years. I lost a
grand total of 137 pounds and recommend this procedure to anyone
thinking about it.
Please know that I love to talk about it all
and will share anything else anyone wants to know. Hopefully this
helped some of you to get to know me better. Thanks for listening.