It’s common knowledge that losing weight requires both exercise and a healthy diet. But what do you do when a physical problem is keeping you from exercising?
That’s the dilemma Paula Talley faced after years of her on-your-feet job as a caterer had ruined her feet. Two foot surgeries later, Paula was still in constant discomfort and found it incredibly painful to exercise. Because of that, she began to struggle with her weight.
Diets seemed to be the only solution, but they were often temporary and difficult to stick with. Paula felt like her battle with her weight had no winning solution – at least until she began to consider bariatric surgery. She’d heard of positive outcomes from several friends, and with a growing concern about her chronic pain and family history of diabetes, she knew that weight loss surgery was the right step to take.
Hunt Regional wasn’t necessarily her first choice for bariatric surgery, however. Dallas was far from where Paula lived, and it wasn’t until she saw an ad for bariatric surgery at Hunt Regional that she decided to look into it further by attending an informational seminar hosted by the hospital. It was there Paula began to feel like Hunt Regional was the right place to be.
“I didn’t feel uncomfortable like they were judging me,” Paula said. “They didn’t make me feel self-conscious or embarrassed having to be there.”
Hunt Regional first began performing bariatric surgeries in December 2012. The term encompasses several weight loss surgeries, including gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and other types, designed to limit the size of the stomach and the absorption of calories. This in turn allows surgeons to control the amount of food that a patient consumes, which helps them lose weight.
Both patients who are moderately obese (body mass index (BMI) of 35) and patients who are morbidly obese (BMI of 40 or more) may reap the benefits of bariatric surgery. Outcomes from weight loss surgery can range from reducing risk of impending disease (Type 2 diabetes) and reversing diseases altogether (especially conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea and heart disease). In Paula’s case, her decision to undergo bariatric surgery at Hunt Regional also gave her improved mobility – something she hadn’t had in years.
Freedom to Walk Again
It wasn’t an easy road, but Paula made it through. From the initial consultation, blood work, other medical tests and the final “go-ahead”, Paula had the gastric sleeve surgery. But the road didn’t end there.
“It’s a lot of work,” Paula said. “I think a lot of people think it isn’t any work and that you cheated, [but] it is a lifestyle change. To be honest with you, I eat more food now than I’ve ever eaten in my life. I eat all the time, but I eat foods that are better for me, [and] my portions are different.”
For those who undergo bariatric surgery and follow the proper lifestyle plan following surgery, success can be seen quickly. In fact, Paula noticed changes in her pain levels within two weeks of her weight loss surgery. She began to walk without the constant discomfort she had known for so long, and was soon released to begin exercising.
Yes, the weight loss was a great result of bariatric surgery. But today, Paula can not only walk – she can run. And that means more to her than any other result.
“It’s not that I love to run,” Paula said. “I love the fact that I can run. Every morning when I put on my tennis shoes and I run down the street, I’m just so grateful.”
Learn more about the gastric sleeve surgery or other bariatric surgeries offered at Hunt Regional Medical Center today.