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Rebecca's Weight Loss Story

Feb 18, 2021

Personal Reflection: Keeping the Weight Off…Even During a Pandemic!

The pandemic has been a stressful time for most and unfortunately, it has resulted in weight gain for many. We decided to check in on one of our recent bariatric surgery patients and see how she was doing. We were glad to learn the tools she learned from bariatric surgery had continued to help Rebecca lead a healthy lifestyle. Learn more about Rebecca and her weight loss surgery experience in this personal reflection …

rebecca-stocks-beforeRebecca Stocks

Gastric sleeve patient of Dr. John Mathews, bariatric surgeon affiliated with Princeton Baptist Medical Center

My name is Rebecca – I lost 150 pounds and can proudly and confidently say that I am loving life!

Two years ago my life changed for the better and I am so thankful for the tool I received. In January 2018, I had the gastric sleeve procedure by Dr. Mathews at Princeton. I was 22 years old, struggling with my weight, and in poor health. For years, I gained an excessive amount of weight and attempted many things to try and lose it. I was never successful because it was all a domino effect – I couldn’t exercise enough because of my lack of energy from being overweight, so then I would get depressed and find comfort in eating, especially overeating. Nothing I did could break the cycle. I had high blood pressure, low vitamin levels, terrible acid reflux, restless leg syndrome (RLS), depression and anxiety. I was taking almost 10 pills a day and close to being diabetic. I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, so I wanted (and needed) a change.

Through a lot of research, discussions, and prayers, I decided the step I needed to take was weight loss surgery. Not simply for a fix in my size, but for a full lifestyle change. I was finally motivated and prepared to make a positive move to get out of this rut.

“I knew I wanted to use Dr. Mathews as a surgeon because he is dedicated to his patients, careful and thorough, and his team of nurses are so supportive. The resources at the (Comprehensive Bariatric Center at Princeton Baptist) were (and are) so helpful, especially as I began my journey.”

rebecca-stocks-afterI chose to have the gastric sleeve procedure. Being younger than the typical WLS (weight loss surgery) patient, this was the best option for me and I would highly recommend it to anyone. My life today is so much healthier, brighter, and enjoyable. I don’t have to take as many medications because I no longer have high blood pressure or RLS, my acid reflux is very minimal, and my depression and anxiety aren’t nearly as bad. I can walk a flight of stairs and not lose my breath. I can run around and play with all of the children I babysit. I can shop where I want. I have confidence going out in public alone, going to church, socializing, and even dating. I feel good and I feel good about MYSELF! All thanks to the tool I received! I love referring to my weight loss surgery (gastric sleeve) as a tool, because it is not an “easy out” or “quick fix.” It is a tool that assists me in my everyday life of eating better and being healthy.

If you are interested in having weight loss surgery and are committed to changing your life, go for it. I had an easy surgery with absolutely no complications and hardly any pain. It is amazing how easy the recovery is physically, but mentally you have to be a champ and you have to be prepared to give it all you’ve got. Some days are challenging and I still do not feel 100 percent, but most days I have a genuine smile on my face because of how much better I feel.

Here are a few tips for anyone getting the surgery and for things that have been helpful during these stressful times:

  • Make sure you are ready to commit and stick to the instructions/guidelines for post-op, even months after surgery: I had huge success by following exactly what was recommended and instructed (Princeton’s bariatric program does a great job with providing the resources and instructions - so stick to it)!
  • Make sure you have a good support system of family and friends who will cheer you on from your initial decision of having the surgery: I am so thankful for my family and close friends who have been by my side and supported me, from day one of wanting to make this lifestyle change, to making this lifestyle change, and throughout this lifestyle change.
  • Make sure you get your protein: This is crucial in making each day a good day!

Can you have a cookie? Of course. Will some days be harder than others? Definitely. However, this was the best decision I’ve ever made and so worth it. I have now lost 150 pounds, am 24 years old, and can proudly and confidently say that I am loving life. This is an amazing journey of living a better life and I hope I can inspire others to changing their lives for the better as well.

– Rebecca

“This testimonial reflects the results achieved by this patient. As each case is different and must be independently evaluated and managed, actual results will vary.” Bariatrics/Surgical Weight loss Criteria: "Weight loss surgery is generally designed for those with a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 40, or equal to or greater than 35 with serious comorbidities. Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding with the Lap Band® is also FDA-approved for weight loss surgery in people with a BMI of 30 to 35 who have at least one obesity-related condition. Weight loss surgery is considered safe, but like many types of surgery, it does have risks. Consult with your physician about the risks and benefits of weight loss surgery."

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