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Back on Track
From Size 18 to Size 6, Julie Moves Toward a Healthy Future
By Linda Trainor, RN, BSN
At 24 years old, Julie’s life is now back on track — and filled with hope and excitement for the future.
“I never thought I would be that type of a person, who would be excited to exercise,” she says.
But after having weight loss surgery and losing 76 pounds in the last year, Julie enthusiastically goes to the gym even on the days she is tired.
Julie underwent a sleeve gastrectomy, performed by Dr. Benjamin Schneider, in the Weight Loss Surgery Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in October 2015. Her decision to have the procedure was partly because she had been overweight since she was eight years old.
“I feel like I have struggled with weight my whole life, going on so many diets, losing weight only to regain it,” she says. “Many of my close family members have also struggled with obesity."
Over the years, Julie saw her relatives develop other conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, as a result of being overweight. She herself began suffering from sleep apnea and worsening asthma.
Julie was fearful that if she kept gaining weight, her health would be even further impacted by obesity. She decided not to wait, and took a big step on a path to better health.
“I am so pleased with my decision to have weight loss surgery at a younger age because I really wanted to decrease my risks of having health problems later in life,” Julie explains. “My family was very supportive — many of them have also had successful weight loss surgery, which was helpful and encouraging to me.”
Julie credits the weight loss surgery staff at BIDMC, from outpatient to inpatient, for making her feel comfortable and “setting me up for success.”
“Dr. Schneider was exceptional,” she adds. “He was very supportive and answered all of my questions and concerns before and after surgery.”
In addition to the gastric sleeve, Julie attributes much of her success to keeping her scheduled appointments with the multidisciplinary team at BIDMC, taking her required vitamins, exercising and — most importantly — practicing healthy habits on a daily basis.
“I take it one day at a time so I can have a life full of healthy habits,” she says. “No food is off limits, but now with a smaller stomach, my portions are smaller and I make better choices, so I feel normal when I go out with my friends.”
Julie also loves shopping for fashionable clothes with her friends, now that she has dropped from a size 18 to a much smaller size 6.
“Now I can buy clothes that not only fit, but are stylish, too,” she notes.
That’s just one of many things Julie says she could not do a year ago, before having surgery.
“It may sound simple, but now I can run to catch the bus, whereas before I would have to wait awhile for another one to come my way,” she adds.
Now faster and more sophisticated than ever, Julie is willing to try all kinds of new things with her increased self-esteem and vitality. The wait is over for her and her healthy future.
Photos courtesy of Julie F. E. Gonzalez
Above content provided by the Weight Loss Surgery Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.