Joe K. Icon. Patient stories icon. The N.E.W. Program. Dr. Brian Quebbemann.



Lost 71 Pounds

I have been overweight my entire life and have tried every diet program in existence. At 42, I was 5’8” and 251 lbs with a waist that measured 43” with my weight only getting worse. I worked out 4 times a week but that simply gave me an excuse to eat more.

My cleaning lady’s daughter had Lap Band done and was very successful. A friend of mine knew Dr. Q. from Hoag Hospital and recommended that I look into “The N.E.W. Program.”

As of today, 2/18/10, I weight 180 lbs and have a waist that measures 33″. I work out 6 times per week and I really enjoy how things have worked out. Regarding my experience, I would say that it has been mostly good and the significant aspects of the process vary. I hope my contribution helps someone work through the process and get as positive of an experience as I have. My past denial about the realities of obesity (prior to considering surgery): I felt that I was lost. I had been overweight since I was a child and I simply couldn’t do anything to get it under control without help. When I reached out to my family they simply laugh and be of no help. It wasn’t until I moved out of their lives that I realized this was MY responsibility!

Lack of support and outright antagonism from friends or even your physician: My friends all felt that surgery is dangerous and it was “the easy way out,” my physician was completely opposed to it. This is why I didn’t tell any of them that I scheduled the Lap Band surgery until the day before I did it. I decided to take responsibility for myself; to date, none of them can believe the results.My physician admitted he was going to have to re-examine his position. Fear (fear about surgery, fear of success, fear of failure…) I was worried about the surgery but one friend who had Gastric Bypass and one who had several plastic surgeries were there to help me through this. I had no fear of failure, I simply felt it was something I had to do, I didn’t know what to do about success. I just hoped I was successful. Experiences along the way or concerns about your future: WOW!!! I look and feel better than I ever have in my life.

What has been strange is the attention I’ve been getting. I happen to be gay, I’m getting more attention from both men and women that I ever have in my LIFE!!! More people are giving me their numbers without my asking. That has been a strange feeling. The work with the therapist has been helping me work through that. Although the attention is strange, I wouldn’t trade it for how I was before in a heartbeat. Also, although it has been expensive to completely change my wardrobe, I’m doing it! Your thoughts on obesity, now that you have succeeded: It is a HORRIBLE!! Place to be, and NO one who has never been there can know what it is like. It is totally an alone feeling that is hard to beat, but it is NOT unbeatable! You have to take charge, listen to your desire to be healthy and know that this will give you a leg up. Keep in mind, the surgery is a surgical procedure NOT a magical procedure! You still have to do your part. You have to embrace exercise, embrace good food and healthy living! Any other topic you might want to share: I would say to anyone who is looking at weight loss surgery that this is the BEST decision I’ve made for myself in my life. I look and feel better and am carrying myself with more self-confidence that I have in my life. I’ve sat through several of the support group meetings and I’ve heard people say if you are ready to make this decision, you need to make this for yourself. You are accountable for yourself and the decisions you make, this surgery will not change that; if you are making this decision for yourself and you are ready to take responsibility for exercise, eating and your overall lifestyle, in my opinion, you will be successful.

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