Gina Found the Inspiration and Willpower to Get Healthy
Gina after surgery
Gina before surgery
From the time she was about 12 years of age, Gina began having weight problems. Despite trying just about every diet available over the years, her weight continued to go up and down. Then, in 2014, Gina hit rock bottom. “My mother passed away suddenly and I just ate and ate,” says Gina. “I missed my Mom so much – I was hungry for her.”
Gina’s Mom became the inspiration for her to have gastric sleeve surgery. “I was approaching my 50th birthday and realized I still have a lot of life to live,” adds Gina. “I knew I needed to get healthy.” Prior to her surgery, Gina had high blood pressure, acid reflux, sleep apnea and chronic migraines. She never exercised and her weight escalated to 250 pounds. “I woke up every morning feeling sore and winded,” explains Gina. “Now, I enjoy walking and biking with my husband, who is a marathon runner. We exercise together – and I love it.”
“Every day is a conscious effort of what foods I’m going to put in my mouth. But being mindful has great rewards because ‘nothing tastes as good as thin feels’ – that’s my motto.”
In addition, Gina joined a walk-fit program and exercises, including walking, at least five times per week. She also goes to the YMCA with her husband and son. “Getting and staying healthy requires hard work, dedication and willpower, but it’s paid off because I feel so much better,” she says.
Gina attributes much of her success to Dr. William E. O’Malley, her surgeon, as well as to her great support system. “My relationships with family and friends didn’t change at all since I’ve had the surgery,” confides Gina. “In fact, we’ve become closer. Everyone from the Bariatric Surgery Center at Highland Hospital has been so supportive, too.”
Today, Gina has maintained her weight loss. She follows the Bariatric Surgery Center’s nutrition program and has found that cooking healthy is “so much fun.” Gina purchased a Spiralizer and enjoys trying new recipes and sharing them with family and friends. “Every day is a conscious effort of what foods I’m going to put in my mouth,” Gina comments. “But being mindful has great rewards because ‘nothing tastes as good as thin feels’ – that’s my motto.”
For a woman who once avoided doctor’s appointments, social engagements, reunions, being in pictures, exercise and, most of all, getting on a scale, Gina is now confident in herself. “The last time I shopped at Lane Bryant, the smallest size was too big for me,” she exclaims. “This was such an amazing feeling, I cried!” Gina has sold all of her plus size clothes and now enjoys shopping for smaller sizes. She adds that if her story can help just one person, she’d tell it over hundreds of times. “It’s not always easy, but it’s well worth it,” says Gina. “To get your life back is priceless.”
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