Why and when did you decide to consider weight loss surgery?
I had been overweight since I was in elementary school. I was very uncomfortable with myself, and it affected a lot of things that I would do. I was much more comfortable staying home and not going anywhere because I feared being ridiculed by others.
I had tried losing weight numerous times but would always gain the weight back, plus more. I knew I would continue to gain weight unless I had the surgery to help. When my insurance finally covered it, I immediately called the My New Self Program and scheduled an appointment for the free seminar. One week later, I started the program. I couldn’t wait to get started.
How did you find Dr. Ricks and the MyNewSelf program?
My health insurance provider had a program set up with MyNewSelf. They could not have picked a better team of doctors. They were all very caring, extremely friendly, and helpful. Dr. Ricks was so kind and attentive throughout the process. I recommend this office and the surgery to anyone considering it.
How has your physical health changed?
My physical health is much better now that I have lost weight. I enjoy walking 2 miles 5 times a week and no longer need to take blood pressure medicine. My self-confidence is much better now too! I used to feel like no matter what I did, everyone was always looking at me and judging everything I did by my weight. Now I love going to the beach and don’t mind getting in a swimsuit.
What were your family and friends’ reactions, and have those relationships changed?
I kept to myself for most of my adult life and didn’t engage much with friends and family. I was so self-conscious, and I felt like everyone was judging me. I am sure they weren’t; it was just my insecurities. It is hard when you hate yourself. My family suffered because of it, and I didn’t interact much with others.
Was there a specific goal/achievement you had that you reached after the surgery/weight loss?
The achievements that I have for myself may sound silly, but I couldn’t wait until I was able to cross my legs and to be able to wear normal-size clothing and not have to shop in the “plus size” section.
How long did you wait before having surgery to remove excess skin?
When I was ready to explore skin removal surgery, I contacted the MyNewSelf office, and they recommended Dr. Scott Geiger, a St. Luke’s Medical Group surgeon at Chesterfield Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. Six and a half years after my gastric sleeve surgery, I underwent fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty and panniculectomy procedures. Eight months after that, I chose to have a breast lift/augmentation and brachioplasty. I am incredibly thankful for Dr. Geiger and the surgeries. I’m amazed at how much of a difference it made in eliminating the extra skin.
How has your life changed?
I am much more self-confident and can wear things I had never felt comfortable wearing before. For the first time in about 20 years, I could wear a swimming suit while on vacation in Florida. I don’t get as tired as I used to. The surgery was definitely well worth it.
What would you tell someone considering weight loss surgery?
I would recommend weight loss surgery to anyone considering doing it. I wish I had done it years before I did so I could do more physical activities when my children were young.