“For as long as I can remember my weight went up and down. I loved snacks, especially potato chips and I was a late-night eater. I never really had a steady exercise routine. I wasn’t just overweight, food controlled my life.”
That’s how Toni Waters of Luling describes her struggle with weight, and she says that after years of failed diets, gastric bypass surgery was the answer she’d been looking for.“I remember getting on the scale and weighing 305 pounds, I saw no end in sight and didn’t know where to begin to reverse the weight that I had gained,” says Waters.
“I really felt hopeless and decided to see a nutritionist.”
For the past two years Waters had begun to experience body aches and sleep apnea - which she was told was direct result of being overweight.
"I couldn't do simple things around the house or go shopping at the mall," says Waters, "without my back hurting - and I couldn't sleep at night because of my irregular breathing."
"I was misrable."
Waters' doctor tried different medications to regulate her weight, but all she saw was the numbers getting larger on the scale.
Feeling there were no alternatives, Waters turned to a friend who had lost a remarkable amount of weight after having gastric bypass surgery.
"The surgery basically shrinks your stomach to the size of an egg so when you eat you get fuller faster," says Waters.
Waters attended a seminar on the procedure ultimately deciding that she nothing to lose - except a lot of weight.
"Looking back, I can remember being very afraid before going to the hospital," said Waters.
"Surgery is a serious thing and anything can go wrong, but thankfully, it was a painless procedure and four months later I am no longer in pain and I have dropped 82 pounds."
Waters says that now she is on a strict post-operation diet that requires a lot of protein and smaller portions.
"My stomach no longer has all the natural acids that break down certain foods, so proteins are necessary to help with the healing and to build back nutrients," says Waters.
"And because my stomach fills up faster I have to eat smaller meals like soup and I now take vitamins and calcium suppliments to give my body what it needs until I can put more variety back into my everyday meals," says Waters.
Although she misses some of her favorite foods Waters says that the surgery was well worth it and can't imagine what her body would have turned into if she had continued going down an unhealthy path.
"Gastric bypass surgery may not be the right decision for everyone, but it was the only answer for me, says Waters.
"I am expected to lose more weight in the coming months and I have started a regular exercise program," says Waters.
"My weight was holding me back. I feel like a new person."
|A new year, new life. Toni Waters knows first-hand the benefits of gastric bypass surgery - she’s lost 82 lbs.|