Laura Pollard of Elizabethtown had contemplated weight loss surgery for 10 years or more, but something always stopped her from doing it.
Finally, she convinced herself she was happy. “I thought, ‘I love me. My family loves me. My friends love me,’” she said.
She didn’t have any weight-related health issues, although she did have high blood pressure during her pregnancy. But she reached her breaking point when she could not fasten her bra. “I’m 43 years old. I do not want my kids to have to dress me,” she remembered thinking. “I think I reached the point where I was done with life the way it was.”
Learning about weight loss surgery
That was Christmas time when her weight had reached 355 pounds. She had never been to Flaget Memorial Hospital before, but decided to attend a weight loss surgery seminar there the following March.
Everything fell into place. Her insurance would cover the procedure. The surgeon recommended the gastric sleeve instead of the band, which is what many of her friends had done and most of them haven’t kept the weight off.
She lost 36 pounds between the seminar and her surgery on July 30, 2018. Over the course of the following year, she dropped more than 170 pounds. But the non-scale victories are just as big as the one shown on the scale.
“I’m way more comfortable in my skin,” Pollard said. “I’m more outgoing … just completely way more confident.”
That new level of confidence paid off in an interview for a new job, which she started in March 2019.
“It’s a whole mental game,” she said of carrying the extra pounds. “I knew that, but I don’t think I realized how much pressure I had put on myself. I would find myself looking around to see if I’m the biggest person in the room (before). Now, not only do I not do that, I realize that was unhealthy.
“I can see the changes. I can feel the changes.”
Enjoying the unexpected
She’s a lot more active. She walks two to three miles every day and watches what she eats. She’s able to ride rides at amusement parks. She’s gone hiking. She’d like to go skydiving. When she flew to Mexico with a friend, she didn’t have to have a seat belt extender on the plane.
“There were so many things I didn’t expect,” she said. “I expected the numbers to go down to be able to wear smaller clothes. But my whole outlook has changed.”
She’ll often look at photos of herself and wonder, “how did I ever let myself get there?” While she’s philosophical about the timing – that “everything works out the way it’s supposed to, when it’s supposed to” – she laments, “My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.”
For more information about Weight Loss Surgery, attend an upcoming Weight Loss Surgery seminar at one of our locations.