One day in 2012, Dorothy S. was at work when she suddenly passed out, dropping to the floor and nearly hitting her head in what could have been a tragic accident. Thankfully, she was OK and wound up in the emergency room with only minor injuries. While she was there, she was given the news that she had full-blown Type 2 Diabetes, a disease brought on by her weight and unhealthy eating habits. A drop in blood sugar had caused her to pass out, and unless she made some drastic changes, her health was in serious danger.
Have you ever thought that no one understands how you feel about your weight? Kristi is one of those people who can relate – she’s someone who truly knows what it is like to be overweight and unhappy about it. She is also someone who had the courage to make a change and is now living her best life for it. Kristi joined the Air Force after high school and even had to lose weight to conform to their requirements. She used laxatives and diet pills to “make weight” whenever she needed to.
PFD technician, retired military
“Before my surgery, I couldn’t even walk 150 yards. I couldn’t do anything with my children. Now I’m walking 2-3 miles a day, climbing 12-15 flights of stairs. I have a lot more energy and I’m a lot happier. I saw my sister for the first time in two years and she didn’t even recognize me!”
Getting healthy can be a family affair. Just ask Teresa C. who, after years of struggling with her weight, found the courage to make a change after her daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. After her daughter’s diagnosis, Teresa knew she had to get healthy, not only to take care of her daughter, but also to set a good example.
Mom, Competitive Runner
Maddie P. isn’t your typical wife and mom of four. She’s a competitive runner, Zumba freak and practicing yogi. But things haven’t always been this way for her. After reaching her peak weight of 252 pounds on her petite frame, Maddie knew it was time to make a change when she couldn’t catch her running toddler. “I didn’t feel like myself; I wasn’t “me” anymore and I felt trapped in my own body”.
Artist, Stay-at-home Mom
“Growing up, I was often bigger than most of my friends. I wasn’t ‘the fat girl,’ but I always felt like I was fighting my weight – but it was a fight that never went anywhere. Things took a turn in my mid-thirties, though, when I went on medication and began treatment for high blood pressure. Everything seemed to be creeping in on me. I knew things needed to change.”
Meet Sarah, a busy wife and mother of four who found herself at the end of her rope after steadily gaining 114 pounds over the course of 15 years. Like so many women, she struggled with her weight after having children. “After my kids were born, it was like my body rebelled against me. My hormones were so out of whack that I couldn’t lose any weight no matter what I tried. And believe me, I tried!” After taking hormonal birth control pills for years, Sarah finally realized the cause of the problem.
US Air Force Veteran
Imagine having to get off a crowded elevator because you caused it to be over the weight limit. Or not being able to participate in a zip line adventure on your family’s vacation to the Philippines. This is what Pat, a decorated former member of the US Air Force, was dealing with after a decade of gaining weight. Ashamed of his body, Pat would sneak away when it was time to take family photos. This is not how Pat envisioned living his life.
“I knew I needed to do something. I was up to 250 pounds. Even going on a walk with my husband was difficult, I would get too easily winded. I had tried Weight Watchers and Tops Club, but none of the programs worked for me in the long-term. We have five grandkids and I wanted to be able to enjoy them, to live as long as I can.” For Cindy, the weight had crept in slowly over time, five pounds here and there over a period of twenty years.
“A simple trip to the grocery store would wear me out,” laments Kat. “After I got back home my knees would hurt so badly that I would have to lie down. But the real kicker was the day I had to carry around my nine-month old granddaughter and I was not able to do it. That’s when I found Anchorage Bariatrics and began the New Directions diet plan guided by clinical dietitian, Erika Van Calcar.”