Before & Afters
I was living in very poor health, with multiple health problems, and weighing 454 lbs. at age 38 in November 2009, when I decided to go to a patient seminar for weight loss surgery. I choose Atlanta Bariatrics after meeting and hearing my doctor, William Johnson MD, speak about what weight loss surgery would do for “my health”.
I think the focus on the “my health” and not the amount of weight I could lose was the deciding factor for me. He told the group about getting off insulin shots, being able to stop taking cholesterol medication, and no more CPAP/BiPap for sleeping. He could have been speaking just to me, but the message was for the group attending that evening.
I met with Dr. Johnson and the Atlanta Bariatrics staff in January 2010 and started my road to “better health”. The staff and my doctor guided me through the process for the pre-surgery, educated me how to live and eat healthy after the surgery, and been there cheering me on to reach my health goals.
Today, weighing 223 lbs., I am no longer taking insulin shots, I have stopped taking two types of drugs for cholesterol, and I can get restful sleep without the aid of a machine. I can also enjoy the choices in life to do anything without worrying if my body will be able to do it.
I had always been “chunky” as a child. Over the years I gradually ballooned up to 225 pounds. I had used food as an escape and especially at times of stress. I had tried all the diets. I lost 25 pounds on Atkins only to regain the weight and then some as soon as I hit the sugars and carbs again. I avoided overnight seminars (room sharing) due to my loud snoring. I was diagnosed last year at the age of 47 with high blood pressure and Diabetes type II. All my joints ached just to walk and I had foot pain all the time. A co-worker mentioned she had Roux-en-Y surgery with Dr Hart and had much success. I mentioned this to my husband Jay, who was also obese and we actually went to the original Bariatric Seminar just for him. It was not until we got there that I learned my Diabetes and high blood pressure could be a thing of the past. I held off on my surgery so I could help my husband during his recovery from his Roux-en-Y, during which time he lost 165 pounds. Seeing what he went through made it much easier for me knowing each step I needed to take ahead of time. A year later it was my turn and my husband then became my mentor. The hardest part of my journey was for the eight weeks following the surgery. It was not the physical aspect of the healing, but in dealing with the mental aspect in the change of my diet. This took time, but eventually healed with focus on exercise and other things in my life. I used to “live to eat” and I now “eat to live”. I started Kayaking. It is a now a joy to shop for new clothes and having so many more choices in styles. It has been six months since my Roux-en-Y surgery and I have lost 86 pounds and have gone from a size 22/24(225 pounds) to a size 6/8(139 pounds) and still losing. Most importantly the Diabetes and high blood pressure were gone shortly after surgery. I actually wore a bikini this year for the first time in my life. How exciting it is to have a healthier body (and the compliments I now receive don’t hurt either). It is a wonderful feeling to know I can now ride a bike, jog, and even roller blade whenever I want to. Thank you so much Dr Hart for helping me to get my life back.
As a child I was on the chunky side, I started playing sports and I got in shape. I played soccer through college, and earned a second degree blackbelt in karate at the age of 29. I moved to the South in 1996 and stopped playing sports, and had a desk job. Little by little I gained weight. I went from 195 lbs. to 249 lbs., and then each five pounds that came on I kept saying, “It’s only five pounds”. The only five pounds after seventeen years added up to me weighing 333 lbs. just prior to surgery. I played tennis and my tennis team who I have played with for years, told me that I was the fastest fat man they had ever seen. It was meant as a compliment, and that is how I took it, but I knew something had to change, but I wasn’t sure what since I had tried everything that came around from the fad diets, to what I thought was exercise.
I had looked into Gastric Bypass surgery prior, but for whatever reason still thought I could do it on my own. It wasn’t until I was at my brother’s pinning ceremony for the military where he received his Lt. Colonel rank, and saw a picture with him that I realized something had to change. The picture showed me with a tie that did not come down to my belly, and a button on my shirt that looked like it could pop off any second. That picture was the turning point of my life. I decided then that I was going to have weight loss surgery, but not sure which one. I had sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. I was sick. So after meeting with Dr. Chris Hart I attended a free seminar at Emory Johns Creek Hospital. I listened to the seminar had another meeting with Dr. Hart, and decided that I was going to have “Gastric Bypass” surgery. On December 21, 2012 I entered the hospital for surgery, and came out three days later mental focused on making sure that the surgery I had would be a success.
I started walking daily, and six weeks from surgery I started heavier exercise. Five months from surgery I ran my first 5K, and since that time I have run two half marathons, three century bike races, several more 5K’s, and a Ironman 70.3. I have a marathon November 10th, and in January I have Goofy Race in Orlando which is a half marathon on Saturday, and a full marathon. I have gone from 44% body fat to 8.5% body fat, and I weigh a svelte 170 lbs. today. These events would not be possible if it were not for Atlanta Bariatrics and Dr. Chris Hart. I owe them my life.
“All my life I have struggled with my weight, from a chubby child, a fat teenager, to an obese adult. I have tried every diet imaginable, every magic diet pill available, only to diet my way to over 300lbs. I always wanted to be a “normal” weight, but I had given up destined to be fat forever. I heard about weight loss surgery in 2005, but I thought I could never afford it. In 2007 my insurance company offered weight loss surgery. I attended a seminar conducted by Dr. Johnson. His presentation impressed me. I had a consultation with him, he seemed to really care. After discussing with me the pros and cons of each surgery, I decided on Adjustable LAP-BAND Surgery.
My surgery was scheduled for December 27, 2007 at Emory Johns Creek Hospital. I must admit I was scared, I wanted to jump off the table, but I remained calm and the surgery went well.
My weight loss was gradual as Dr Johnson had explained it would take several fills before I hit my sweet-spot and he encouraged me to exercise. When I hit my sweet spot, the weight loss was steady. I remember two most memorable milestones, fitting in a size 18 and reaching 199 lbs. For many people that would be consider large, but most my life I’ve worn size 26-30 and weighed over 200 lbs.
I finally reached my goal of a “normal” size in the summer of 2009. I was able to wear a size 12. My ultimate goal is to wear a size 10.
At my consultation, I weighed 330 lbs. and wore size 28/30. My lowest weight has been 168 lbs. My weight still fluctuates but, I try to maintain my weight around 175 lbs. I still plan to lose more weight, but for now I am happy at my weight lost. And best of all I reached my ultimate goal of wearing a size 10.
Before the band I existed, now I live… to shop!! ”
“After many years of struggling to lose weight on my own I began to explore bariatric procedures as an option. A friend recommended I attend the free seminar offered by the practice. The seminar provided me with the ability to make an informative decision on the best option for me.
Choosing Atlanta Bariatrics and Dr. Hart for my LAP-BAND procedure was the best decision I have ever made. The entire staff has been so supportive and guided me through every step in my weight loss journey. I’ve lost a total of 107 pounds and couldn’t be happier!!
“I struggled with my weight my whole life. I was heavy as a child and was made fun of in school. I ate to deal with my emotions. In high school I went on Medifast to lose weight so I could have a boyfriend. Everyone said “you have such a pretty face, if only you would lose weight”.
In my junior year of high school I lost 80 lbs. on Medifast and it changed my life. When I went to college it was such a struggle to keep my weight off. I gained about 50 lbs. back and was miserable. For years I yo-yo’d back and forth. I lost the 80 lbs. again before I got married, but put it back on starting on my honeymoon.
After I had my 3 children, it just became almost impossible to get the weight off. I ended up around 260 lbs. I hated it. My body hurt all the time and it was hard chasing the kids around. Buying clothes made me so depressed.
After my last baby was born, I researched Gastric Bypass surgery and the LAP-BAND. I knew I needed to find something that was going to help me lose the weight but more importantly KEEP IT OFF. The band intrigued me because it was adjustable. I interviewed a few doctors but really liked Dr. Johnson at Atlanta Bariatrics. I also loved the staff at Atlanta Bariatrics. They all were so supportive and motivating. On October 2nd 2007 I had the LAP-BAND and have never looked back. I lost the 100 lbs. within the first year and have worked hard to keep it off the last 5 years. I have stayed within 5 lbs. of my goal weight ever since.
LAP-BAND is NOT a quick fix. It is a tool to help you loose the weight and an even better tool to help keep it off. With a proper diet, moderate exercise, and the band I have been successful in making this a permanent weight loss. I am just so grateful for Dr. Johnson and his wonderful staff for being such an important part of my weight loss journey!”
By the end of 2007 my weight was an astounding 255 lbs. I had high blood pressure, sleep apnea, low self-esteem, and never wanted to go anywhere or do anything (sound familiar?). I was also afraid that if things continued the way they were I would not be here for my only child, my daughter Jordan.
I knew I had to do something. For few years I had considered Gastric Bypass surgery but always came up with an excuse or reason not to do it.
With my health not getting better and my inability to keep any weight off (I have Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome – PCOS) I finally decided to visit a doctor and see what it was all about.
From the moment I made my first phone call, to the orientation meeting, to the first doctor’s visit and all contact with the staff I knew I had made the right decision and chose the right place to take care of me.
I had my surgery February 11, 2008. I went from 255 lbs. to 125 lbs. today. I no longer have any of the medical problems I had before. I FEEL GREAT!!
When people ask me if I would do it again – I don’t hesitate and say “YES, in a heartbeat.” This is one of the best decisions I made and the staff at Atlanta Bariatrics was wonderful in helping through my transition.
I turned 45 – June 2011, and I feel better now than I did in my 20’s. With dedication to the advice given by the doctors, dietician, and everyone you can make your story a success story as well.
Way to go Ramon!!! We are so proud of our patient Ramon, for many reasons. As you can see from the picture; he has done extremely well with his weight loss journey. He lost > 120lbs with his sleeve. Ramon works as a Media Producer and recently won multiple Emmys for his work. The picture below shows him accepting his Emmys last year and now this year. Congratulations Ramon!