Pamela is 45. She’s a paralegal in the New York area. Here’s her story:
“I was quite active when I was younger. I never was a plus-size until I hit my mid- to late 30s.
“When I was 28, I fell down some stairs, and I have a permanent back injury. Over the years, I’ve battled with that off and on. And as I’ve gotten older, it got worse. It became a vicious cycle: The less you can do, the more sedentary you become, the more weight you gain. And once you hit your late 30s, your metabolism changes. It just got harder to get the weight off.
“I used to see the New York Bariatric Group ads every day on the subway. At first, I was against surgery. I thought I should be able to lose weight myself through diet and exercise. But my problem was I couldn’t exercise any more. Every time I got on the elliptical machine, I got sciatic pain down my leg after 10 minutes.
“As my weight went up, my back problems got worse, and I was on that merry-go-round. I had to get off. It was a downward spiral. The more you gain, the less you can do, you get depressed, you gain more . . .
“One day, I was climbing up the subway stairs, and I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I thought, I’m 42 years old; this is ridiculous. I have to do something. Then I thought, if I see that ad one more time, I’m calling — and there it was! So I called.”
That was in March of 2010. For the next few months, Pamela went through the process of qualifying for and preparing for her weight-loss surgery. She had the surgery that November.
“I got on the table. They put me out. I woke up. It was like nothing happened. In fact, when I came to, I had to ask, ‘Did you guys actually do anything?’ I had a very good experience.
Since then, Pamela has lost 90 pounds. “I have about 30 more to go,” she says.
“I’ve had a couple of back episodes since then, but since I’ve taken the weight off, I recover faster. And now I’m at the point where I have no sciatic pain. I haven’t felt this good in a very long time.
“I’m able to walk and run all my errands without being in pain or having to take pain medication. Exercise has been a challenge until recently, but my orthopedist has just cleared me for physical therapy.”
Pamela described her current diet.
“I usually have coffee and yogurt in the morning. For lunch, I might have tuna salad, egg salad, a mixed green salad, soup or sushi. For dinner, I might have grilled rotisserie chicken with a salad or sushi. I eat a variety of foods. It depends on the day, but I always go with smaller portions. And I don’t feel like I suffer because of it.”
Pamela says she appreciates that people are wishing her well when they notice her weight loss, but “I get embarrassed,” she says. “My purpose was to get my health in order. That’s why I did this.”
Her words of advice for others in the same situation:
“Get the information. I have three friends right now who have gone to the seminar and are going to make their first appointment. I was their guinea pig. They saw how well it worked for me.
“For me, it was a wonderful experience, but it’s a very personal decision because of how society treats you when you’re overweight. People are so sensitive to it. It’s the world we live in.
“It’s not for everybody, but at least get the information. The experience couldn’t have been better. And I’m not a person who likes going to doctors, so for me to say that is a big deal.”
Thanks, Pamela, for sharing your story.
If diets and exercise have not worked for you, we invite you to make an appointment to see one of our surgeons by calling (516) 616-5500 or, if you prefer, click on “Live Chat” in the upper left corner of your screen to have a conversation now.