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Kimberly Kratz: My Bariatric Surgery Success Story

Gastric bypass inspired me to do more than just lose the weight

(Ed. Note:  We occasionally ask some of our weight loss surgery warriors to share their exceptional bariatric weight loss journeys. We’re starting off 2020 featuring Kimberly, a strong and courageous wife, mother and professional who had a bariatric revision one year ago. She has generously shared her personal commentary below).

Kimberly has gastric bypass bariatric surgery

 

By Kimberly Kratz

My name is Kimberly and 15 years ago, I first underwent gastric bypass surgery several years ago.

I had a few complications through the years, but managed to keep my weight loss off for the majority of those early years. 

As it does too often, my bad habits slowly began to creep back in—

·         I was back to snacking

·         I wasn’t tracking my food

·         I wasn’t exercising regularly

·         I stopped following my surgeon’s weight loss plan 

As a result, I started feeling physically and mentally awful. 

I was ashamed, defeated and now faced a significant regain.

I was tired from morning to night.

Dealing head-on with weight regain

I met with Dr. Adeyeri (not my original surgeon) and started his Back on Track program for people who had regained weight after bariatric surgery.

After undergoing an explorative GI endoscopy, the results showed I needed to have bariatric revision surgery, where you change from the original procedure (usually a gastric bypass or gastric banding (lap-band) or have your original operation revised (I had a revision of my original gastric bypass). 

My revision surgery was performed one year ago and I dropped 55 pounds during 2019.

I also found myself again.

Dr. Adeyeri explains bariatric revision surgery

“There are several reasons why a bariatric revision may be necessary,” Dr. Adeyeri explains. “Some people have outdated or ineffective lap-bands, while others experience progressive weight regain.”

The board-certified bariatric surgeon and medical director at the Institute for Weight Loss at Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge says Kimberly was an ideal candidate for the revision.

“When I met Kimberly, I knew that she was mentally, emotionally and physically ready to finally tackle the weight once and for all,” Dr. Adeyeri recalls.

“Her outcome has been a resounding success and it helped her find the confidence to add a new component to her healthy living lifestyle.”

My battle wasn’t over with just losing the weight

I was feeling better for sure, BUT there something was still missing to bring this experience full circle for me.

I was exercising here and there, but not consistently; I had every excuse why I couldn’t make time for working-out, like most of us do–

Work, family, kids, I’m too busy, it’s too expensive, etc.

Finding the courage to take one more leap forward

But I finally took an honest inventory of what it was I wanted from this life and this second chance I had battled to overcome.

I knew I didn’t want to ever regain any of the weight I’d fought to take off; my long-term goal is to lose another 30 pounds. 

But how was I going to get there? I began reading about the benefits of weight training and I started looking at gyms in my town to join. 

I had talked myself out of joining a gym for years.  All of those feelings of shame, embarrassment, and inadequacy came up the night before I was to begin at the gym, but I forced those feelings away and walked through the door the next day.

I looked at three gyms and the third one was a perfect fit for me; I started working out three times/week and have recently stepped it up to five times/week.

I was warmly welcomed by the owner, and guess what? 

Not one person in that gym cares what I look like!

We put together a solid workout for me to follow and I see so much progress already.

Although I hit a weight loss plateau (weight loss stall), I now know that exercising regularly, including weight training, will help me move beyond it. 

How incredibly silly I feel to have wasted so much time worrying about how I would fit-in at a gym! 

People are kind and supportive–and if ever I run into someone who isn’t? Well shame on them.

My focus today is on establishing a regular exercise routine vs. charting pounds lost. 

It is more about creating good habits that are sustainable long-term for me.

READ: Exercise: Insurance for Long-Term Bariatric Success

Making fitness a family affair

Best of all, I am proud to say that my teenage boys decided to join with me. I want to be a good example for them as their Mom.

Starting in 2020, I feel physically and mentally stronger. I’m no longer weighed down by those tired excuses that used to run through my brain.

I am turning 50 this summer and my health—where I am today–is the BEST gift I could ever give myself.