Debbie Elcik is a middle school teacher. We’re happy she’s agreed to share her weight-loss story with us.
“As a kid, I always had an extra bit of weight to lose and never lost it,” she says. “I was active, but was always chubby. As an adult, my weight just kept growing and growing. After I had my daughter, I was about 280 pounds. That’s when I started looking into weight-loss surgery.
“At first, I toyed with the idea, but I told myself, ‘That’s cheating. If I really want to lose the weight, I just have to put my mind to it.
“I can tell you this now: It’s not cheating. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to have it done.
“I had the surgery five years ago when I was 39 years old. I wheeled into surgery at 290 pounds. As of today, I’ve lost 72 pounds — and I’ve kept it off for five years.
“Before surgery, I was on various medications. I was the fat girl in the room. I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do. I tried all the diets and would lose 20 or 30 pounds, but it never materialized into anything more than that.
“I’ve got about 30 more pounds to lose to be at my ultimate goal, but I’m a lot smaller than once was. I kick-box. I spin. I’m active. I shop in regular stores. People don’t look at me funny when I walk into a room. I don’t feel like that uncomfortable fat girl anymore. There’s no other way to describe it.
“The surgery was not uncomfortable. The experience was wonderful. I was very prepped and prepared. I knew exactly what was going to happen. I knew what my outcome was going to be. I knew what to expect. The pain was minimal. I would do it again. It changed my life.
“When you lose 70 pounds, that changes everything. I take no medications now, which is the hugest part besides being thin. My type 2 diabetes is gone.
“If you’re laden with medical issues because of your weight, the surgery to me is a no-brainer.”
Debbie also told us about the changes in her diet.
“My typical breakfast now is Greek yogurt with granola. Sometimes I’m unconventional and will eat half a turkey sandwich or a protein shake or, if I have time, egg whites with spinach.
“Lunch is always salad with chicken or tuna. Or a half a sandwich and a salad. Dinner is protein, vegetables, maybe a baked potato, maybe not.
“There are certain foods that I don’t eat, but I would never use the word ‘deprived’ to describe my lifestyle today. I think I tried harder to deprive myself of things when I was fatter, because as a fat person, I would tell myself, ‘You shouldn’t eat that.’
“Now I can eat in moderation, walk away, and be happy. I eat like everybody else does now. I don’t pretend to starve myself, thinking that others are looking at me, wondering ‘Does she really need to eat that?’ I don’t have that feeling anymore.”
If you’ve tried all the diets and they don’t seem to be working for you, we invite you to make an appointment to see one of our surgeons by calling our office at (516) 616-5500 or, if you prefer, click on “Live Chat” in the upper left corner of your screen to have a conversation now.