190 Pounds Ago... - Phoenix, AZ

I’m one of those people that have been obese...

I’m one of those people that have been obese since middle school. I was always the last to be selected on a team in PE class and avoided social gatherings because I lacked confidence. Over the years I did the typical yo-yo dieting and dieted myself up to 371 pounds by the time I was 43.

My children grew up enduring the nasty comments that their school mates made when Mom showed up for class events, or worse, field trips! Consequently, I sat on the sidelines (but made awesome class snacks!) throughout their elementary and junior high school years. In 2003 I realized that I could die while hiding from life or I could take a risk and fight for my life! I chose life!

190 pounds lighter and almost 10 years later, I’m healthier, happier and confident. In the past, healthy choices were met with frustration and certainly didn’t result in lasting change. Now, healthy choices offer huge results! It’s still hard work and it gets harder every year, but now it is a way of life.

Before I had my gastric bypass, people reached out and helped with my education; now I reach back and help others learn to be successful. Because I learned as much as I could about living with bariatric surgery, I know how to regain control when I get off track. I am still human; I’m just a better one now! My only regret is that I didn’t make this life changing decision 10 years sooner!
Dr. Darwin Zahn

I had my surgery at St. Luke’s Hospital in Phoenix, AZ. My doctor, Dr. Darwin Zahn, retired a few years after my surgery.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (11)

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I wonder if you can hear me giving you a round of applause all the way from England? You have lost a huge amount if weight and look so beautiful in your gown. Well done, we all know its not an easy thing to do but you beat it!
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I have always thought the way they picked teams was unbelievably cruel. Even though I was chunky, I was very athletic and was always picked first BUT when it came to birthday parties I wasn't invited because of my size. I was used for the game only. It always broke my heart when the last few were chosen. I hope someone got smarter....I hope they don't still do that. I loved your story. I just wanted to let you know that I related so much. Thank you for sharing.
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Thanks, Yvonne! I think being picked last for anything involving a group is an experience that we all share. Sadly, I still see it happening every day. :-(
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You look amazing! :)
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Thank you!!
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Hi there, welcome and thanks so much for sharing your journey with us!

Congratulations on your weight loss, you look awesome! You've obviously worked really hard and it's definitely paid off! If you don't mind sharing, what did you find was the hardest part about this lifestyle change?

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Kirsty, the hardest part about the lifestyle change is recognizing that bad choices are normal and not everything has to be an extreme. As a toddler, I stumbled and fell down all the time….it wasn’t a big deal, just part of the learning process. I laughed or cried, then got up and kept moving. I frequently have to remind myself that my new lifestyle is also a learning process [and will be for the rest of my life] and it’s ok to stumble or even fall. I can’t stay down, I just have to get up and figure out what direction to go! That said, it can be hard to forgive yourself and move on.
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That's a great way to look at it. I know one of my fears, post-op, is that I'll fall back into old habits (they do die hard, afterall!). But you're right, you just have to draw a line under it, move on and be better the next day!

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All of my bad habits are definitely still with me and they do scare me. Sometimes the old habits are in control and sometimes the new habits are in control. The goal is to maintain a healthy balance and never let anger or disappointment rule the day. A little bit of fear is a good thing! :-)
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Kirsty I'll be right there for you. Stick with me kid! I'll talk you through the tough times and celebrate the victories. I'm so happy for you!!!!
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Thanks Yvonne, I appreciate your support! I'm trying to choke down protein shakes at the moment as I'm on a high protein diet. I'm not a protein shake kind of girl, but needs must!

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