Meet Jon. Because of hard work, dedication and bariatric surgery, he went from taking 24 medications a day to completing a half marathon in less than a year. Read his story.
READY FOR CHANGE
“Since 1995, health issues and weight have always been a challenge for me. I was always ‘the big kid.’ My all-time high was 414 pounds. Looking at size 54 pants and 4-5XL shirts was my normal. Back pain, joint pain and 24 pills a day was my life.
My mother was the insurance coordinator for a bariatric center in Dallas, and she always tried to get me to look into surgery. When she passed away, my weight gain really increased. And over the summer, I saw a picture of me and my brothers and felt disgusted with who I had become. It was then that I knew I had to make a change.
In December 2021, Dr. JD Fuller performed gastric sleeve surgery. He is a fantastic, top-tier doctor with fabulous bedside manners, and I cannot say enough about the wonderful staff and care I received at the Bariatric & Metabolic Institute at Arkansas Heart Hospital. I was up and walking a few hours after surgery, and I walked two miles the day after surgery. There was very minimal pain. My pre-surgery worry was completely unnecessary. I tend to overanalyze things, and there just really was no reason for it.
CONQUERING GOALS AFTER WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY
Prior to surgery, Dr. Fuller and I decided on a goal weight of around 240 lbs. I thought maybe 235 would be great. Well, I hit that goal. And I noticed other changes too. My back pain is mostly gone, my joints feel great, and I ran a half marathon in two hours and 20 minutes. There were a lot of emotions going through me as I completed the run. I was proud, grateful, energized and felt truly blessed.
My next goals are to run a full marathon and then complete a triathlon. The half marathon was just one step in the process.
SETTING AN EXAMPLE
My wife is very happy for me and is considering bariatric surgery for herself. My kids have been very supportive and keep saying, ‘wow!’ My oldest daughter has started running with me every day. She is adopting a healthy lifestyle. This has also allowed me time to spend with her to chat while we walk/jog.
People ask me if I could have adopted exercise and eating habits and gotten the same results. I answer you might be able to, but if it was not for this tool and commitment to a lifestyle change, it would not be a permanent solution. My only regret is that I did not do this 10 years ago. Last time I weighed under 235 pounds, I was in high school.
I want to celebrate this success and encourage everyone else in this process to commit, stay committed, and press on. Food does not have to control your life. Take charge, be accountable and be the best version of you that you can be. You all have been an inspiration for me. I hope I can be that same inspiration for someone else.”
Bariatric surgery can help those struggling with obesity have a happier, healthier and longer life. The team at the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at Arkansas Heart Hospital is here to help you take the first step toward a new you. Visit bmi.arheart.com to see our surgical options, process and doctors.