I want to offer a special thanks
to Barbara Stankich for sharing
her success with us. Here is her story:
It is now 2 weeks short of the 1-year anniversary since
my surgery. Two years ago, at the age of 55, I was told by my doctor that I wouldn’t see 60 if I didn’t lose weight.
I had been trying to lose weight since
I was 13 when my father took me to the drug store to get the
new diet aid, a chocolate appetite suppressant. Then at 14,
I went to Weight Watchers, and went again in my 20’s. I went
to a hypnotist, a quick weight loss center, and had two
series of doctor-injections. These are the major diets, but
there were fad diet in there as well. Being thin was
something I have wanted my whole life.
I have had rude and insulting people
say anything they want to me. I even had a tour boat
manager ask me why I would even consider wearing a bathing
suit at my size. It was if she couldn’t tell that I was fat
in slacks or shorts. I was not going to not live my life a
certain way because of my size.
But when the doctor said I wouldn’t
live at all if I didn’t control my weight, that registered
with me. My mother died at 61 and I know she missed so much;
I didn’t want that for myself.
So that led me to this journey. The
first year was very hard waiting, learning, and educating
myself for this wonderful tool. On August 31, 2009 I had
laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery. I was so worried
before the surgery about the pain. The pain I did experience
was from the air used to expand my abdomen so that the
surgery could be done laparoscopically.
The first four months, while my stomach
adjusted to its new size, were slow. I have experienced
dumping from sugar in foods and fruit. These make me sweat,
which is a sign that I shouldn’t eat them again. Education
of this process has taught me how important exercise is to
make this all a success. I have changed the way I think of
myself. I believe I can do it and change my life so that I
will not fall back into the old routine.
I had been very happy with my husband
and family life. I was happy to be at home, not as many bad
looks and comments. So now my husband and I have date
night. I bought myself my dream car, and a bike. Our date
night is trying new restaurants so that we can get
different, healthier fish. It is so surprising that my taste
has changed so much. I am living healthier and happier than
I ever thought possible. I realize I will have to be aware
of my food and activity my whole life, but I am more active
than I have been in many years.
I have at this time gone from a 50 Body
Mass Index (BMI) to a 28 BMI. I have lost 128 lbs. and will
continue to lose weight. A 14 lb weight loss will get me to
a normal weight level. Other than having my children and
marrying my husband, I am sure that will be another great
day in my life.
I have read that people are sad with
the way their body looks after the surgery. Please do not
let that discourage you. My husband said the most wonderful
thing when I read him these disappointed patients’ stories.
They didn’t like their sagging and wrinkled skin. He said,
“Don’t look at the wrinkles as sagging.” He sees them, and I
should see them, as my “Olympic Rings,” which is so true.
This surgery gave me the opportunity to win my gold, which
is a fuller, happier, and healthier life.