Leah Anderson, 50, struggled with her weight for years. Like many people, she dabbled in varying diets, new exercise regimens and lifestyle changes. But for every pound lost, she would gain it back and then some. After each disappointment, her weight made life more difficult.
“I could barely walk. To do so meant my feet would hurt, and once I sat down I couldn’t do anything else,” Leah said. “I was done for the rest of the day.”
At this point, Leah began to research weight loss surgery and how she could take back control of her life.
She couldn’t quite believe it would work. She had known people that had gone through the procedure, and while they looked great for a time, they slowly began to gain all their weight back. Regardless, Leah wanted to give it shot. She needed to for her health.
Leah had a number of conditions that were directly tied to her obesity. She had plantar fasciitis, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. She felt unwell most of the time. She barely moved and had little energy.
After researching weight loss surgery and attending several meetings at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Leah met with bariatric surgeon Steven Patching, M.D. He was straight forward and didn’t sugar-coat anything – just what she wanted.
“I knew it was the right place for me, because Dr. Patching was completely honest and upfront with everything that was going to happen,” Leah recalled. “Nothing was a surprise.”
On May 1, 2017, Leah had gastric sleeve weight loss surgery, with swift, noticeable results.
“Immediately after surgery, I no longer took blood pressure medicine and I no longer took Metformin for my diabetes.” Leah said. ”By my next A1C test, my sugars were normal. They hadn’t been normal for 10 years!”
Leah has made several changes in her lifestyle to ensure her long-term success. She eats healthy food. She exercises regularly. And, perhaps most important, she meets with her weight loss surgery support group every month.
“Our friendship keeps us strong,” she said. “We feel like we owe it to both the group and ourselves to keep the weight off. Not to mention, we can share different ideas on how to stay fit and healthy. Essentially the groups helps to keep us in check.”
Since her surgery, Leah has lost over 95 pounds. She finally feels like she’s in control of her health now. She can go for long walks into town with her husband and can play catch with her grandkids at the baseball diamond around the corner from her home. Leah has her life back.
For anyone thinking about weight loss surgery, Leah has one piece of advice: “This process is a life-long change. It’s not a quick fix. To keep the weight off after the procedure, you have to use the skills and practices that you learn from this program for the rest of your life.”