Gastric sleeve surgery at the Bariatric & Metabolic Institute (BMI) helped Gary lose 150 pounds, prevent health conditions and increase his love for running.
Finding an Alternative to Yo-Yo Dieting
I have struggled with obesity for most of my adult life. I have tried multiple diet and exercise plans and had some success losing weight, but I always gained it back. In February of 2010, I stepped on a digital scale at home, and it read ‘ERROR.’ When I stepped on the scale at my doctor’s office, it read 330 pounds. I knew I had to take action.
I began running to lose weight. In September 2013, I ran my first half marathon, and in February 2014, I ran my first marathon. While training for my second marathon, I hit 189 pounds.
Shortly after, several things in life changed in a short period of time. I didn’t take the time to exercise and started back to my bad eating habits. I got back up to 250 pounds quickly. I tried several times after that to change my diet and start exercising, even working my way back to a half marathon in December of 2018. But I just felt like I was fighting a losing battle.
With a history of diabetes, heart disease and hypertension on both sides of my family, I felt it was just a matter of time before I developed these conditions.
Taking Action with Weight Loss Surgery
I decided to act by searching for ‘Arkansas Heart Hospital weight loss surgery.’ I followed the steps on bmi.arheart.com to see if my insurance would cover it and if I was a candidate for surgery. The following week I received a call from the Bariatric & Metabolic Institute (BMI) to set up an appointment.
In the spring of 2021, I met with Dr. J.J. Tucker, my bariatric surgeon. At this point, I was not sure if I wanted to go through with the surgery. But Dr. Tucker said something that really stuck with me.
If a person was diagnosed with cancer, they wouldn’t wait until it had progressed to stage four to seek treatment. He said obesity is a disease just like any other disease and needs to be treated as such. Deciding to have surgery should not make us feel like we have failed or given up.
I knew then that this was the step I needed to take. Since gastric sleeve surgery, I’ve lost around 150 pounds and feel amazing! I no longer have issues with indigestion or reflux. I have learned what to eat and what to stay away from. My wife and I are both healthier and more active than we have ever been.
Lifetime Tools from BMI
I view my gastric sleeve as a tool; like any other tool, it has a specific purpose. This ‘tool’ came with an instruction manual, my ‘bariatric bible binder,’ and amazing ‘customer support’ from the great team at BMI. The online patient support group serves as ‘customer reviews’ and ‘frequently asked questions.’
After surgery, I’ve completed in many marathons, including Little Rock, RussVegas, St. Jude’s and Mississippi. My ultimate goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
None of this would have been possible without Dr. Tucker, the BMI team and the tool of bariatric surgery.
From insurance approvals to emotional and physical wellness, our weight loss surgery experts are here for you every step of your weight loss and health journey. Take the first step to a second chance at life at bmi.arheart.com.