Testimonial Shannon

Shannon's Testimony...

I came to the realization that there's only one shot at this life. I can either enjoy the ride, live life to its fullest and to my highest potential or stay the way I am. I decided staying the way I am is not living to the fullest, so I chose to change with the gastric sleeve, best decision of my life!

I was 27 years old in November 2013 with two small children at home. I was working full-time as a project manager/clinical analyst and I weighed 285 lbs. I have struggled with weight my entire life. I’ve tried diets, pills and shakes and I would lose a quick 30 lbs., but it would come back along with some extra. I could never keep the weight off.

I had enough! I found myself looking in the mirror wondering where the happy, loving person that I once was had gone, and when this overweight unhappy person took over my life. I looked in my kid’s eyes and knew I did not want to be the mom who had to sit on the bench and just watch as they played. I wanted to be the mom who was outside running and playing with them and enjoying my life and their life to the fullest. It was then that I decided to start making changes.

Knowing my track record with diets, diet pills and such, I decided to explore the idea of weight loss surgery. It was not a decision that I made overnight, but a decision I pondered for months. Every day I would do hours of research on weight loss surgery and the benefits and risks of each type. I attended a seminar in November, offered through Phoebe Bariatric -Americus. After that seminar I knew the surgery I wanted to have was the gastric sleeve. I then turned my research to the gastric sleeve procedure and I made sure when I went in and talked to my surgeon that I knew the questions I wanted to ask, and that I had done my research so I was 100 percent set on my decision.

When I first told my daughter I was going to have weight loss surgery she cried. When I asked her why she was crying she said, “I don’t want you skinny; I love you just like you are.” I responded telling my daughter that I loved her too and I wanted to be around for a long time, and mommy was doing this to become a healthier person who could run and play with her and not just sit and watch. I knew I had to do this to save my life and I wanted to be me again.

I had my surgery March 2014. The time between that November and March date seemed to take forever to arrive, but during my wait I researched what to do and not to do after surgery. I was given a book from the surgical office and it became my Bariatric Bible. By the time the surgery date came I could tell you what that book said from memory! I knew this was my last chance to be me again, which meant I was going to be a success and there was no option for failure - no turning back, I wanted my life back.

My Life Forever Positively Changed

My surgery was amazing, it took one hour to complete. I made sure I stuck to the pre-op diet so I would not have any issues during surgery. I was in the hospital for two days after surgery and was up walking the same day of the procedure. I never let myself stay in that bed; I would walk those floors until I couldn’t walk them anymore. I went home with a positive attitude and continued my daily walks. I followed my Bariatric Bible on what I could and could not eat, and there were days I wanted real food, but I stuck it out and was always so proud of myself.

Quick Facts...

Before Surgery: Weight - 285 lbs. | Pants Size- 24-26 | Shirt Size- 3x-4x
Current: Weight - 150 lbs.

I am currently 18 months out and weigh 150 lbs. and 130 lbs. gone forever! I can now run and play with my kids. My son told my daughter, “look mom is running, lets race her on our bikes!” I was tickled that I could actually make these sweet memories with my kids, that before I couldn’t even dream of.

March 19, 2014 my life changed forever, I have had my struggles and learning new ways of eating and living, but I can honestly say this is the best decision I have ever made in my life. I have been asked several times would I do it over again if I had to and the answer is YES! 100 percent! Just being able to play with my children has given me my life back.

*The results may vary patient to patient or person to person.

For more information...

Contact Ashley Austin, MSN, RN, BSHP at 229-931-1152 or e-mail ajaustin@phoebehealth.com.