Union Beach native honors 10-year bariatric anniversary by losing an additional 60 pounds in 2021
In 2011, Peter Van Leeuwen, a 59-year-old auto parts professional, was dealing with too many health issues related to his weight—type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
“At that time, I was taking eight prescription pills a day,” Pete vividly recalls. “Many of my health issues were related to my weight.”
Pete recalls seeing photos of himself at his daughter Nicole’s wedding and one picture stood out in particular—his size obscured the chair where he was seated.
“That particular picture just stuck in my mind,” he recalls.
Sleep apnea specialist recommends bariatric surgery
Pete’s pulmonologist, Dr. Adrian Pristas of Monmouth Sleep and Pulmonary Associates in Hazlet, suggested he consider bariatric surgery to lessen his worsening sleep apnea symptoms.
“Dr. Pristas recommended I consult with Dr. Adeyeri and I made an appointment the same day.”
At the time he met with Dr. Adeyeri, Pete’s weight was nearly 400 pounds.
“Pete is a smart guy with a great personality,” Dr. Adeyeri says. “But his weight caused health complications and as he aged, these issues would only become more troublesome.”
Gastric bypass resolves weight-related health issues
Pete was approved to undergo gastric bypass and he lost more than 80 pounds the first year after surgery. His weight continued to drop until he plateaued at about 278 pounds.
“My medical issues were significantly lessened after I lost 125 pounds,” Pete explains. “I’m able to control my diabetes and blood pressure and my cholesterol numbers have dropped significantly.” Pete does still require treatment for sleep apnea, but his symptoms are less severe.
In 2016, Pete retired and relocated to Florida. He didn’t regain any weight, but he was no longer losing weight.
That all changed this year, around the 10th anniversary of his weight loss surgery.
“I still wasn’t happy with my weight. So at age 69, I decided to make some changes.”
Honoring 10-year bariatric surgiversary with additional weight loss
“I maintained my original weight loss, but still wasn’t where I wanted to be,” he says. “So I made the decision to stop eating three poor quality things that were holding me back.”
Pete swore off:
- White (processed) bread
- Candy (a trigger food)
Immediately, the weight began to come off again. “It was so motivating to see how positively your body responds when you get rid of the bad stuff,” Pete says with a smile.
Ten months later, at age 69, Pete has lost another 60 pounds and today weighs 210, the lowest weight he can recall. He now wears size 42 pants (formerly size 52). His goal is to weigh under 200 pounds by the end of this year.
While Pete loves his life in Florida, he misses the camaraderie of the Old Bridge Medical Center’s Bariatric Support Group. “I tried the local hospital support group here, but it didn’t provide the closeness and support I received from Dr. Adeyeri’s group. I really miss it.”
Pete’s daughter follows in Dad’s healthy footsteps
Pete’s daughter Nicole also faced weight issues throughout her life. After seeing her father’s success, she also had gastric bypass in 2019 and achieved outstanding success as well:
“My daughter’s success makes me feel pure happiness,” Pete says. “I’m so proud she had the courage to take care of it when she was in her 30s.”
Nicole, a frontline healthcare worker, also battled and defeated Covid-19 on two separate occasions.
“Seeing the positive difference weight loss surgery made on my father made my decision about becoming healthier so much easier, Nicole explains. “He was more active and wanted to do more with me, which ultimately brought us even closer than before.”
Is gastric bypass, gastric sleeve or the duodenal switch is right for you?
Call our Sterling Surgicare team of friendly, respectful and knowledgeable weight loss surgery pros at 732-217-3897 to learn more and schedule a one-on-one appointment to talk personally with Dr. Adeyeri about your weight loss challenges and goals.