Struggling pretty much her entire life with her weight, Jennifer Myers remembers going on her first diet at age 12. That was a beginning of a lifetime of weight and health issues for her. As she got older gaining weight was emotionally straining on her because she felt so guilty. The weight gain caused joint pain in her knees, back and the bottom of her feet always hurt causing her to have to sit periodically. She couldn’t even exercise due to the body aches – which were the excuse she used.
In 2009 Jennifer got pregnant. Understandably she and her husband were ecstatic to be first time parents. However by the end of her pregnancy Jennifer got on the scale to weigh herself. She had gained 70 pounds – her total weight was now 270 lbs. This weight gain caused more humiliation. She vowed that she would get healthy after the baby was born. As hard as she tried she was only able to lose 10 lbs. Jennifer found herself staying home lying on the couch, watching TV and watching her son play by himself because she could not muster up enough energy to do anything active.
“It got to the point where I was hiding out in my house and not enjoying life”
For the next four years, Jennifer’s life progressively got worse both emotionally and physically. Finally she got help and contacted Dr. David Oliak, a board certified, fellowship trained, ASMBS Center of Excellence bariatric surgeon. He performed the LAP-BAND® procedure on her. However, she only lost 40 pounds, a lot less than expected. In November, 2013 she decided to be more aggressive and after discussing it with her surgeon, she opted to have the LAP-BAND® removed and chose to have the Gastric Sleeve procedure. Right before having the surgery she weighed in at 290 pounds reassuring her that this was the right thing to do.
Ten months, later Jennifer has lost a total of 95 lbs. and is continuing to drop weight. Before the surgery she wore a size 22 and today she is between sizes 12 and 10. Her joints, back and feet don’t hurt anymore. In fact she is completely pain free today. You will no longer catch Jennifer in her house sitting on the couch watching TV. You will find her hiking, working out, riding her bike with her family, swimming and living her life to the fullest!
She has the active lifestyle she always wanted and is the example for her son on staying healthy! Jennifer has experienced many “firsts,” including being called “skinny,” going on a Hawaiian vacation and wearing a bathing suit without feeling self-conscious and enjoying shopping for new clothes. Jennifer can expect to experience a lot of firsts with her new lifestyle.
Jennifer does have regrets though. She regrets not having the procedure done earlier. “I could cry sometimes on how happy I am with my results”. She wishes she would have done her research earlier and had the Gastric Sleeve procedure originally because then her new life would have begun sooner. This new lifestyle has opened up doors for Jennifer that she never expected. She is enjoying these “firsts” and looks forward to experiencing them every day.
“It felt amazing to not be self-conscious with how I looked.”
Jennifer chose to have her procedure at Placentia-Linda Hospital with Dr. Oliak. Consciously, she selected a physician with a good reputation. However, she really opted to have the procedure in a safe hospital setting as opposed to a surgery center because safety was the most important factor when making her decision. Also, Jennifer had been a patient at the hospital prior so she had experienced the hospital and felt very comfortable with the staff. “Everyone I met at the hospital from start to end has been so incredibly amazing, positive and supportive”.
“Everyone I came in contact with was so pleasant and always took their time with me and answered all my questions”.