I want to offer a special thanks to Susan Riddle for sharing
her story with us. Here is her story:
My name is Susan Riddle and I am 6 months post surgery for
gastric bypass, and have lost 50 lbs so far.
My story is a little different than some of your other
You see I was never heavy until I got in my mid to late
40's. Prior to that, I weighed about 135 lbs and was very
active and fit. My family then had a series of health
problems and deaths, and the stress took a big toll on my weight.
When I turned 40, my mother had a massive stroke and almost
died. During the next 6 years, she had 3 more, and ended up
in a nursing home for a year. She died from the 4th stroke
in March of 1996. That was a very stressful time, and as a
result I gained weight. I frequently had to go to Florida to
help take care of her. Of course my metabolism also slowed
down in my 40's.
Then in 1999 my father had to be placed in an assisted
living home because of dementia. Shortly after, my identical twin
sister died very suddenly from a head injury sustained in a
motorcycle accident. She was 48. My friend and mentor died a
week later. Then my dad got sick and died 4 months later.
All of these deaths happened in 1999.
The stress was incredible and I gained more weight. I really
had a tough time, and didn't care what I ate. Then I hit my
50's, and went into menopause. and my metabolism slowed even
more causing me to gain even more weight.
In December 2004, after trying different diets to lose
weight, I had lap band surgery. It was a disaster for me. I
only lost 15 lbs, and 10 lbs pre-surgery. Every time I had
the band tightened, I would throw up every meal. And I
wasn't losing weight! I couldn't eat much - just crunchy
food and soft food, so I ate pudding, yogurt, and chips. I
tried to eat healthy things like chicken, fish and salad,
but I was getting sick all the time.
I really tried with the band, but they told me I was very
sensitive to the fills. I later found out I also had a
hiatal hernia which made my condition worse.
Finally after three years, I had the band removed. As a
result of the surgery, I got an incisional hernia. I tried
to diet with programs such as Weight Watchers, the Solutions
Program, and mindful eating. I would lose a few pounds, but
nothing substantial. I also tried to exercise.
Then about two years ago I found Dr. Fares in central New
Jersey. He had an excellent pre-surgery and post-surgery
program. I debated about the bypass for two years, and
finally decided to do it. First I had to have my gall
bladder removed and hernia repaired, which were done in July
2010. I had my gastric bypass surgery on Oct 12, 2010.
I am doing well, and have lost 50 lbs. I am eating small
meals, and trying to walk every day. I feel just great. I am
so glad I made the decision to have the surgery. Of course
before I did, I was scared to death about the side effects
and risks, and worried that I would fail at this as well.
However, it has turned out to be a great decision.
I have never lost this much weight in my entire life. I am
back to being more active. I plan on losing another 30 lbs.
My goal weight is 135. I weigh 165 lbs. now. My highest
weight was 217 lbs. pre-surgery. I have gone from a size 22
pants to a size 16. I am very excited about my progress.
I am learning to use my tool to my advantage. I turned 60 on
November 27th, and plan for this to be my best
year yet. I used to climb mountains, and plan on returning
to that activity as I get thinner.
Thank you so much for your newsletters. Your book,
Weight Loss Surgery, Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside
You helped me decide to have the surgery, and
prepare for it. You are an inspiration, and I am glad I
decided to follow you on this weight loss journey.
I love good news. If you have good
news, a success story to share, or inspiration, please send
it to me at
Barbara@wlscenter.com so that I can include it in future