Our Patient Spotlight this month is Arlene. She made the decision to save her life with the Gastric Bypass surgery at WeightWise. She not only lost 93 pounds since her surgery over 2 years ago but the liver disease she lived with for so long was cured!
Are you living with a condition that can be managed or even cured with a metabolic surgery? WeightWise might be your answer like it was for Arlene.
Thank you, Arlene, for sharing your journey with us!
Patient Spotlight: Arlene
The purpose of the patient spotlight is to motivate and inspire lifestyle changes. Whether it is to start exercising, open a savings account, find a new hobby, or lose weight— the patient spotlight is here to help you take that first step.
I could not be more proud to feature Jessica in this months spotlight. She has transformed in life in some big ways. Congratulations, Jessica, and thank you for sharing your journey with us.
Our monthly Patient Spotlight features someone who feels led to share their journey. These stories are meant to motivate and inspire. But also to make you realize that someone else has been in your position before. Whether you are just starting out on a weight loss journey or you are a decade into one, it helps to know that someone has been in similar shoes before.
Our Patient Spotlight this month is Kelly. Kelly has been coming to WeightWise for 18 months and has lost over 120 pounds! But better than that, she is the first to tell you that the quality of life she has gained is amazing.
Thank you, Kelly, for sharing your story and being an inspiration for so many people starting their journey.
Each month at WeightWise we feature a patient who is willing to share their journey in the patient spotlight series. It is immensely personal and a courageous thing to share a journey of weight loss. I love reading about each person….where their motivation originates, the ups and downs, the successes and struggles of their journey.
This month we are hearing from Kelly. She has such a way with words and I know that their are so many people out there who have felt the way she did. Thank you, Kelly, for being honest, open, and sharing your story!
The Patient Spotlight highlights the weight loss journey of different people. Each person has different reasons for coming to WeightWise in Oklahoma and different reasons for wanting to lose weight. Whatever the reason is, I’m glad you are here and I’m glad you are reading this post.
Cindy is our Patient Spotlight this month. She has overcome chronic pain and is now able to run around with her kids! She is a wonderful inspiration and picture of how your quality of life can improve after a bariatric surgery. Thank you for sharing your story, Cindy!
It’s another new year at WeightWise. Can you believe WeightWise is now 10 years old?! In the past year alone, our patients have lost just over 91,000 pounds— that’s you guys!
91,000 pounds in one year!
That is an amazing number. The coolest part of that is getting to see the individual progress each of you make through the patient spotlight. Here is Rick– he has lost 253 pounds.
Rick after losing over 250 pounds with WeightWise!
Rick has been a constant here for over 3 years. He checks in regularly with his care team and is always willing to share information and answer questions for people at support group. His enthusiasm for life is catching. There is no one better (in my opinion) to kick off the Patient Spotlight in 2016. Thank you, Rick, for sharing your journey with us!
Patient Spotlight: Rick
Like many who have come to WeightWise before me, I have been a fairly large individual my whole life. Fortunately for me, I was born with a frame that allowed me to carry the weight and yet still be somewhat active. As I made my way into my middle age years, the combination of age and a lifetime of carrying around an extra person began to catch up with me. Feet and knee pain resulted in less and less activity. At the same time, my wife and I had custody of, and were in the process of adopting, three of our grandchildren. I knew in my heart that those kids needed a “Dad” who could play with them and teach them the joys of the outdoors that he himself had learned years back, not a Dad who wanted to sit in his recliner every weekend. While I also wanted to lose weight for myself and to be with my wonderful bride for as long as possible, it was the thought of providing the best life possible for those little ones that motivated me on my journey.
There have been so many “wow” moments that is difficult to isolate just a few, but here goes:
**After wearing clothes that were previously too small and now were getting way too baggy, I finally broke down and went to replace my wardrobe. As I went to try on a pair of pants, I looked down before stepping into them and immediately thought, “there is no way in Hades I am going to fit in these” and yet I did. As I tried on more and more pants, my brain was so conditioned to the previous me that the exact same thought popped into my head every single time regardless of the fact that very pair I tried on fit just fine.
**Seeing someone’s face, whom you haven’t seen in years, realize that it is you after having not recognized you to begin with.
**Occasionally catching a glance of yourself in a mirror and not recognizing yourself!
** The best “wow” – and this comes after a while – may be seeing your old self in a photo or video and not recognizing that individual.
- Looking back, what advice would you give yourself the day of your surgery?
First, drink as much water as you can stand right up until your cutoff time. My surgery was scheduled for mid-morning, but had to be postponed to mid-afternoon the day of surgery. I cannot recall a time when my mouth has been more dry than it was that day as I sat there with the threat of having my surgery cancelled and being sent home if I so much as took a sip of water.
Second, relax and try not to be so worried. While no surgical procedure involving general anesthesia should be taken lightly, you are in the hands of a very experienced surgeon and surgical team. It is stunningly amazing how quickly this procedure is over and – at least for me – how non-eventful it was from a pain and recovery standpoint.
- What is the one thing you do everyday to ensure your long term success?
While I could simply narrow it down to one thing, there are several things that I do daily. One is to make sure that I am constantly getting the water I need. I drink more than 120 ounces of water daily. While helping to keep my energy level up, this also helps with avoiding hunger pains. I have also made little changes in my life that take advantage of my new enthusiasm for activity. I take the stairs at work rather than always using the elevator. I walk three blocks to our nearby health clinic and pharmacy rather than drive. When shopping, I park in a space far from the entrance rather than drive around for ten minutes looking for a space near the entrance – this not only saves time and gas, but also cuts down on “door dings” as there are usually no cars parked around me!
- Why did you choose WeightWise?
I started considering bariatric surgery in 2011 and actually consulted with another provider regarding a lab-band procedure. Fortunately for me, a young lady in that practice told me the procedure would not be covered by my company’s insurance program (which I later found out was a screw-up on her part) so this made me postpone the lap-band procedure. In the fall of 2012, I happened to run into a colleague at work that I met a year or so back through a coworker. I couldn’t help but notice that she had lost a considerable amount of weight and politely asked if she was willing to talk about her weight loss. She spent the next 30 minutes extolling the virtues of the WeightWise program and her gastric sleeve procedure. The following day, I called and made an appointment to come in!
I am firmly convinced that the program developed by the great staff at WeightWise gives the seriously obese (I hate the term “morbidly obese”) individual the single best chance at conquering their weight issues. It isn’t just the surgery or the skill of the surgeons, but the combination of that with the psychiatric support, the patient advocate, dietitian and physical therapy consultation, protein supplements, bariatric vitamin supplements and the fantastic support groups. Between raising those three grand kids and work-related travel, I find it hard to attend as many group meetings as I would like, but do try to make at least one per month. They help to hold me accountable to the friends that I have made through WeightWise and to allow me to help answer questions for those who may be considering bariatric surgery. Lastly, I would like to say that there has never been a single time during my three-plus year association with WeightWise that I have ever felt like I was just a “cash cow” or a number. Everyone that I have ever dealt with at WeightWise have always left me with the feeling that they generally cared about my health, well-being and success – and that means a lot!
Our patient spotlight is for motivation. It is for inspiration. But mostly, it is for you. It is for you to look at where you are (or where you were) and know that there is a family here to support you. It doesn’t matter if you are 5 years postop from a gastric sleeve surgery, have started our program recently, or just contemplating a change for your health— we are here to support you. Ariel is no different. She has had amazing success throughout her years with WeightWise in Edmond. And it is amazing to see her lifelong connection with Dr. Walton. Thank you, Ariel, for sharing your story!
What was/is your motivation to lose weight and have you reached any goals?
I was so tired of being uncomfortable in my own body. I wanted to be able to play sports and have the energy that I SHOULD have had in my 20’s. Honestly, stepping on the scale every morning for about 6 months straight and watching the weight fall off was enough to blow my mind!
Looking back, what advice would you give yourself the day of your surgery?
BREATHE, you’re going to be a whole new you in a short period of time, you will be wearing and doing things you were never able to do.
What is the one thing you do everyday to ensure your long term success?
Everyday to make sure I am on track. I do Myfitnesspal app on my phone. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a life saver! I do it religiously and stick to my protein, water drinking, calorie intake, and exercise goals daily.
Why did you choose WeightWise?
Dr. Walton will always be looked at as a hero in my life. When I was 8 years old, my dad had skin cancer. I had never seen my dad cry– until the day he was going into surgery to get rid of the cancer. I remember clinging to his bed side and telling him I wouldn’t leave his side. Dr. Walton, knowing I had a softball game to play that day.. leaned down to my level, and whispered “go to your softball game and win it! When you get back, I’ll have your daddy all fixed up!” He most definitely stuck to his word. Not only, did this gain my trust in him, but his success rate is phenomenal.
This is a lifetime change, be strong, you can do it! Stay positive, every time you look in the mirror or hit a plateau don’t get frustrated. Always look at where you WERE! It takes time, you’ll get there!
If you would like to share your story in our patient spotlight, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
More times than not, people think “weight loss” when they hear the words “bariatric surgery”. Less often though, people think of the health benefits that come with bariatric surgery. Some seek help from WeightWise in Oklahoma because of health reasons like diabetes, hypertension, and PCOS. Where other treatments or avenues might have failed, getting a gastric sleeve or bypass might be your answer to getting rid of insulin to treat type II diabetes or even treat infertility, like Kelly.
Our Patient Spotlight is Kelly. She is open, honest, and so wonderfully and completely inspiring. Thank you, Kelly, for sharing your story. I know it will help more women than you will realize.
Patient Spotlight: Kelly
What was/is your motivation to lose weight?
My initial motivation to get the sleeve had nothing to do with losing weight. It was so that I could eventually become pregnant. I was diagnosed with PCOS in college and my husband and I had been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for about four years when I decided to have the surgery. We had reached a stopping point with the fertility specialist we were working with and I wanted take a break, get creative, and come at the challenge in a different way. A lot of connections exist between PCOS/infertility/pre-diabetes and the surgery. So I went for it – thinking, “Hey, even if I still struggle with fertility when this is all over, I will at least be really healthy for the next step of the journey.” My goal was never to lose weight (even though I knew that I would), but just to be healthy so that I could have a baby. Skinny is pretty awesome side effect though!
Kelly has lost over 90 pounds with WeightWise. And even better, she now has normal cycle after battling PCOS for years!
Tell us about any goals you’ve reached or any “wow” moments you’d like to share.
I have lost 93 lbs, have a healthy BMI (body mass index), and have been at my goal weight for a number of months now.
I have had a normal, un-medicated cycle for close to 12 months (which is really exciting for someone with PCOS and someone who would love to have a baby someday).
My favorite “WOW” moments in the beginning were when people who work in the samebuilding as me, who I speak with on the phone daily but maybe don’t see face to face for weeks or months, didn’t recognize me. It was hard for me to see the change in the mirror daily, but easy for me to see the shock on their face when they realized that it was me! Now, I love when people who have only met me after the weight loss see photos of me from before and don’t believe it is me!
Looking back, what advice would you give yourself the day of your surgery?
I was SUPER nervous. And hungry. I would tell myself to breathe. Be joyful – your whole life is about to change. It’s going to be hard – today will be hard – but it will get better and you will never regret it.
What is the one thing you do every day to ensure your long term success?
I get on a scale every day. Every day. If I am too low, I know how to gain a pound. If I am too high, I know how to lose a pound. I don’t ever want to have to gain or lose more than a pound or two. I never want to compromise the tool I have been given.
Why did you choose WeightWise?
I had family members who had the surgery done a year or so before I did. But I was honestly very skeptical. What lead me to end up choosing to have the operation and go with WeightWise was that they offered equal parts challenge and support for me. I felt challenged each time I met with anyone on staff. But I felt adequately supported and celebrated as well. That is what I need to feel successful: loving, but truthful, accountability.
Other information you would like to share/include?
I try not to overthink it. I know what I need to do. And I do it. But I don’t obsess or fixate. In the beginning I talked and thought about it a lot. But now, I do what I need to do. I drink water. I eat three small meals. I walk. I stretch. I sleep. I live. And I try to dwell on everything that I love about my new body and my new life, instead of what I can’t have or can’t do. Because there is way more that I can do and have than things I can’t.
Dr. Walton told me early on that I would have to work hard to drown out negative voices in my life. Even from people who weren’t meaning to or trying to be negative. That stuck with me. And I have found it immensely helpful.
I caught a lot of criticism initially because of my age (I was 28 when I had the surgery). People would say, “You are so young. Why would you do something so drastic when you are so young? You could lose it if you…(fill in the blank with any number of options that I had already tried)”.
I also caught a lot of criticism because of my starting weight. I weighed 234 lbs, and I felt big, and knew I wasn’t healthy – but I lived an active life and was very energetic, so a lot of people didn’t view me as “obese.” A lot of people would say, “You just don’t seem big enough to do something so drastic.” But again, it was never about the weight initially – it was about beating PCOS and having a baby one day. And I think that is going to happen for me someday.
Now those voices are fewer, but come in different forms – mostly coming from people who think I am “too thin” (which I am not) or people having this strange notion that it is appropriate to comment on how much or little or what someone is eating. Those voices can eventually wear away at internal resolve or reasoning, even in a really unconscious way.
I have to remind myself, and sometimes them, that I am healthy, supported by an exceedingly competent team of physicians and health professionals, and doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.
If you would like to share your story in our patient spotlight, please email email@example.com.
It is Transformation Tuesday around here and what better way to celebrate than with a patient spotlight? Say welcome to Chase because it is his story we are reading this month. He says it best when he says, “Follow the plan and you’re golden.” It can be so difficult to change your habits and lifestyle, but that is exactly what we ask of you. And that is exactly what Chase did. He committed to a change, he lost 270 pounds, and has gained immeasurable quality of life.
It might seem impossible to make a complete life change. But it is possible with support. Whether your support system is here at WeightWise, another clinic, or family and friends, support can make a world of difference. As Chase says, “I think we tend to be our harshest critics and fear being judged as ‘less than’ for the perceived inability to “go it alone”….”. I cannot thank you enough, Chase, for being open, honest, and willing to share your journey with us.
Patient Spotlight: Chase
Chase weighed about 509 pounds before deciding to have the Gastric Sleeve at WeightWise.
- What was your motivation to come to the WeightWise clinic in Edmond?
Every year, like clockwork, I would start a weight loss plan, have limited success for two to three months, then gain the weight back (plus more). At 509 pounds, I knew it was time to end that cycle. My weight was beginning to impact my health; I was being treated for high blood pressure and sleep apnea, my joints hurt, I was frequently fatigued after any physical activity. I was simply unhappy with my life. Although I’m an outgoing person, I was so uncomfortable with my appearance that I became somewhat isolated. I dreaded returning home for holidays or socializing with friends knowing they would see that I gained even more weight. When I accepted the fact that this obstacle was not something I could overcome on my own, I was ready.
- What personal goals have you met on your journey?
Beyond the milestones on the scale, which are great yardsticks to measure progress, my “wow” moments were practical things that have improved my day-to-day life. Every morning when I arrive at my desk not sweating profusely after the five-minute walk from the parking lot is a celebration. Losing weight has unchained me from the one or two high-priced clothing shops that provided my 5XL shirts and 58” pants. I no longer feel compelled to fill empty time with empty calories or have to worry about chairs being too small. I’m just me; imperfect like everyone else, but less obviously so.
- What is something you do everyday to ensure your long term success?
Every night before bed, I take 5 to 10 minutes to journal my meals for the following day using the MyFitnessPal app. In addition to removing the guesswork from the next 24 hours, it is a deliberate way to identify and solve problems in advance. For example, if I have a lunch meeting or dinner out with friends, I can look up menus and calories in advance (a big majority of restaurants have nutrition info on their website), log it and I’m committed to the plan.
Chase has lost 270 pounds during his journey!
The first two weeks after surgery with liquids-only are tough. You will think you made a mistake, but you didn’t. Listen to your doctor, your dietitian, and your exercise physiologist. Follow the plan and you’re golden.
Oh! And get the orange calcium chews…. they taste like Starburst.
- Why did you choose WeightWise in Oklahoma?
I chose WeightWise because of its holistic approach to weight loss. It’s not only about the surgery; it is about creating an environment for the patient to succeed, to thrive, after the procedure. The pre-surgery weight loss, establishing a consistent meal plan, starting simple stretching and workouts, really laid the groundwork for my success after the procedure. Plus, the follow up care with Chris and Colby has created an added layer of accountability.
Outside of a small circle of friends and family, I was initially reluctant to share that I had undergone weight loss surgery. This was a mistake. The more open I have been about my experience, the more support I’ve received. I think we tend to be our harshest critics and fear being judged as ‘less than’ for the perceived inability to “go it alone” without surgery. That’s not the case. It’s the best decision I have made in my life.
One of the greatest things about my job is getting to hear your stories. What brought you here, your goals, the successes, and sometimes frustrations of your journey. I love to hear about trips, vacations, and activities you never thought you would do, but are now realities. Learning about how your life has changed is the best part of my job. And Angie’s story is one worth hearing– I hope it will help and inspire you.
Thank you, Angie, for sharing with us so that even just one person may benefit!
I can’t believe it will be 2yrs in November since I had my surgery. I started this process out at 298lbs. My husband and family had no idea that I was toying with 300lbs on my body. I was miserable on the inside and just knew there was no way out. I had tried every possible diet and/or exercise on the planet. I had done it all and failed! Then I went to Branson for a family vacation and had to take the walk of shame because I could not buckle the buckle on a roller coaster. I was humiliated! I tried so hard not to cry and put on the happy go lucky face that I always did! My world was falling apart and had been for a long time where my weight was concerned. It took a “ROLLERCOASTER” to get me to wake up and take a look at myself and my life! I got online found Weight Wise watched the videos and scheduled my appointment.
So my journey began and I scheduled my first appt to see Dr. Walton in October 2013.
I had to lose 30 lbs before surgery. I was initially going to have surgery in January and thought wow I only have 3 months to lose 30 pounds. But as odds would have it, there was a surgery cancellation and my surgery was bumped up to November 2013. I dropped 28 lbs in one month! I couldn’t believe it! I just did what the WeightWise staff told me to do and the weight came off!
This process was defiantly not an easy one. I didn’t share my journey with many people because I did not want to be judge or hear how I was taking the easy way out. Now, I share my journey with everyone. If I can help just one person who might be feeling the same way I was when I walked through the doors at WeightWise that is what I am going to do. I know how it felt to be scare, alone, and feeling like a failure!
From Angela’s husband to celebrate her success. “I could not have done this without his support from the beginning and his continued support now!”
I have done so many things since my surgery: Ran the OKC half marathon, Ran the Dirty 30 (21 obstacle mud run), I have run several 5k’s, and I went back to Branson to ride that roller coaster that changed my life for the better. I have hiked to the top of Gloss Mountain, practically ran to the top of the water slides at White Water Bay and I wasn’t even out of breath. Now I exercise almost daily, eat normally, drink fluids like crazy, play with my kids, laugh more than I have in years, and just enjoy living!
2015 OKC Half Marathon
July 2015 Dirty Thirty Mud Run
Walk for Obesity
I just want to thank Dr. Walton, you and all the Weight Wise staff for giving me my life back! For being loving and caring with such a sensitive situation and healing a very broken woman!
Angela, Changed Forever