Michelle G. Icon. Patient stories icon. The N.E.W. Program. Dr. Brian Quebbemann.



Lost 125 Pounds

Hello, my name is Michelle. I used to weigh 354 pounds. My weight has been a struggle as long as I can remember. I was the largest girl in elementary school, junior high and high school. I was the largest in our family.

I grew up watching my sisters playing sports that I couldn’t and shopping in stores that I couldn’t buy anything but hair clips. Even traveling by plane was a problem. Sitting was painful, as my hips would dig into the armrests. It was embarrassing to ask (the size 6) flight attendant for a seatbelt extender.

Then my weight began to affect my health. I began battling high blood pressure at 21. In the past, I had tried to lose weight going to my first Weight Waters meeting when I was 13. I have tried more dieting aids, dieting pills and diet plans than I can remember. I was worried, unhappy and needed help. I was 26 years old. I heard about laparoscopic gastric surgery and thought it might be my answer. I met with Dr. Justin Braverman and scheduled my surgery.

On the day of my surgery, I was scared, but sure this was the right decision. I had the unconditional support and encouragement of my family and friends. I knew that I had chosen the best team to perform the surgery and had a medical support team to teach me how to live my new life in the healthiest way possible. I now celebrate November 26th each year. This was my surgery date.

I celebrate this day as much as my actual birthday because this is when I began my new life! Today I have lost over half my body weight. I weight 175 pounds and have never been happier. About 4 months after my surgery I discovered how it felt to walk to the top of the stairs without losing my breath. By 6 months after surgery I was trying things that I never would have even dreamed of in my old life. I had taken up surfing, playing tennis and running. I ran my first 5k September of 2008! I run races regularly now. My life has turned around. Before surgery, I had heard people say the only regret they had was not doing the surgery sooner in their lives. I know what they are talking about and completely agree. With the gastric bypass and the skills that I have learned with The N.E.W. Program, I have the tools to keep the weight off for life. I will never be that woman who was missing out on her own life and watching from the sidelines. I am the woman living her life to the fullest.

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