We have all tried to lose weight at one time or another, but life hands us so many other things to do that the gym and a good diet are often the last thing on our minds. We start with good intentions, but the follow-through always gets the best of us. You know the drill. First, there is the planning (I’ll start tomorrow!), then the gym membership, then the hunger… oh, the hunger! The spiral of disappointment all too quickly follows. It seems that no matter what we do to lose weight, circumstances make us feel like it’s hopeless, and we eventually give up.
Pam Hattaway finally found the end to this spiral four years ago. Pam also endured the struggles associated with the attempts to lose a great deal of weight, trying all of the programs and skinny pills advertised on television. She joined a gym, hired a personal trainer, and made a little progress; all to gain it back in the end. She suffered the mental anguish associated with feeling “fat” and unhealthy; going through the aisles of clothing racks with the desire to try on the cute clothes but resorting to the reality of plus sizes. The battle with her weight followed her for years, and after all things failed, she made the decision to lead a healthier life by undergoing weight-loss surgery at Wesley Medical Center.
“My motivation for weight loss was the constant ups and downs, the life-long battle with my weight; that, and my kids,” said Hattaway. “I wanted to be healthy for them and be there for them when they graduate; when they have their joys and successes in life. I knew that I could not do that if I continued on the path that I was travelling.”
Hattaway heard about Wesley’s bariatric surgery program and began researching the options and talking to people about the gastric banding procedure. She finally made the decision to begin the process and find out if she was a candidate for surgery.
“There were many emotional turns throughout this process. I was scared about many things; mostly that I would not meet the criteria for the surgery. Upon meeting with Dr. Girod, all of my questions were answered and my fears were replaced with excitement at the opportunity that I was going to have a chance to begin a new life.”
Hattaway had the surgery in September of 2010, and she was thrilled that the weight began falling off as planned as she ate within her diet guidelines. However, she reached a point in which she had to choose to continue on her journey.
“After a while I reached a plateau that seemed to last forever,” she said. “Dr. Girod helped me realize that I wasn’t burning calories, and to do so and continue losing weight, I would need to start an exercise program.”
Attending to the unique needs of patients, Wesley’s bariatric surgeons encourage their patients long after the surgery has been performed to help ensure each person’s success.
“Pam was the typical patient in the beginning,” said Dr. Wesley Girod, director of Wesley’s Bariatric Program. “She did really well for the first few months, but she fought the band that helped her control her eating. It took her six months to adjust until she finally decided to either exercise, or give up and have the band removed. She made the decision to stick with the diet and started exercising. That’s when she really began to see results and lost weight even more quickly, simply because of her dedication.”
With the surgery providing a firm foundation, dedication and exercise helped Hattaway achieve further success. Attending Wesley’s Institute for Wellness and Sports Medicine regularly, she is able to keep the weight off and do things that she never thought possible.
“Exercise is still the key to success,” she said. “I still attend the gym three to four times per week and walk a few times per week. In the last few years, I have even done a few 5K runs and a mini-triathlon. These are things I could not have ever done before my surgery.”
Staying true to Wesley’s mission statement — Loving God, Serving Others, Excelling in Healthcare — the team at Wesley was right by Hattaway’s side every step of the way.
“On my weight-loss journey, I had tremendous support from Dr. Girod. So many times he has seen me and asked, ‘How many pounds now?’ Usually followed up with ‘great job’ or ‘keep it up.’ Those words really encouraged me.”
“We’re in the business of life-long change,” said Girod. “We’re helping people change their habits, and we will do all that we can to make this happen, but it all begins with you making a commitment to change your life for the better.”
Having reached her weight loss goals, and now able to be the more energetic mom she wanted to be, Hattaway is proud of her successes, and she is happy to use her experience to encourage others.
“I have been asked many times if I would recommend this surgery to others, and my answer is always ‘Yes!’ If you cannot seem to lose the weight, and are tired of feeling the way you do, inside and out, do your research, talk to the staff at Wesley, attend one of their seminars, and make the decision to change your life. It will be the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself. I have lost 127 pounds and couldn’t be more pleased to be a part of the success story at Wesley Medical Center.”
Wesley Medical Center’s bariatric weight loss surgery program includes two surgical options. It is designed to help those who struggle with their weight improve their quality of life by using surgical intervention for weight reduction and promote a lifestyle change for long-term health. Interested candidates are encouraged to attend a free seminar to find out if they qualify for surgery and to learn about the process, benefits, and options available.
“For anyone seeking to have a weight-loss procedure performed, we recommend doing all of your research,” said Girod. “Each procedure has its own benefits and we will help patients determine what’s right for them, so they can get started on a healthier life path.”
For more information, or to find out if you may be a candidate for bariatric weight-loss surgery, contact Wesley Medical Center’s Bariatric Coordinator Leeann Bookout at 601-261-5767 or visit LoseWeightAtWesley.com
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