Tag Archives: bariatric surgery

Guest Blog: My Bariatric Surgery Success Story

This week we welcome Sean Amore as our guest blogger. Sean, weighing 483 pounds at the time, had gastric bypass surgery in March 2007. Having lost half of his body weight since, Sean continues his weight journey while living with his wife and daughter in Wichita, Kansas and working in public relations – writing about all of the above, and more, on his own blog, My Journey.

Sixteen months after gastric bypass surgery at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Connecticut, I’ve lost 240 pounds.

sean amore bariatric surgery sean amore bariatric surgery

I would credit my surgery for helping to change my life but I go out of my way on my blog and when I speak with people about my gastric bypass journey to make it clear that the surgery is not itself a silver bullet and is not a guarantee of weight loss or long term success. Statistically, the impacts of surgery only last about eighteen months. The rest, as they say, is up to “you.”

The short-term impact reality of surgery has left many people skeptical of gastric bypass. The lore of the procedure is that you wake up with a ping-pong ball sized pouch and are healed of all that ever ailed you when it came to food and diet. Life after gastric bypass is no different than life before. You have to stay vigilant to the diet, you have to exercise and you have to decouple and your emotions or you will not succeed.

I’ve spent the last two years working on my diet, my physical health and fitness, my mental health and fitness, trying to identify and master the emotional triggers that always drove me to food and trying to make myself a better overall person. I was only in surgery for four hours.

I believe three things will make all the difference in my long-term success:

Family and Friends – I have a great support system. My wife and daughter loved me at 500+ pounds and they love me today. My family and friends still cheer for me. I am looked out for and respected, no matter what. To have that security drives me to make “good” in return after years of not being the man I am becoming.

Diet – I have three simple rules 1 – Low fat, high protein. 2 – Low-to-no sugar (even “allowed” sugars). 3 – Every calorie counts so count every calorie. I made changes before surgery (stopped eating and drinking at the same time, reduced portions, counted calories, etc.) so that, by the time I returned to “real foods” after surgery, I was ready for my food reality. I still count every calorie every day and have found lots of help in blogs, and cookbooks, too.

Professional Support – I enrolled in a formal, medical program for my surgery. Nutritionists, blood work, stress tests, mental evaluations and counseling, mandatory pre-surgery weight loss, support groups, physical trainers and medical professionals who really understood obesity medicine, etc. I had six months of it before surgery and six months after (with ongoing visits for the rest of my life). If you look at the statistics –patients to just have the surgery with no real prep or follow up are often less successful with the surgery.

Simple diets or drastic gastric-bypass surgery, it is nearly impossible to have long-term, meaningful weight loss and improvement of quality of life without a true commitment to a life of changes.

Bariatric Surgery and its health benefits

With obesity being the number one public health problem facing Americans today, finding long-term solutions that reduce the harmful effects of this growing epidemic. On the 4/20/08 episode of 60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl reported on the surprising healthy effects that having weight loss surgery is having on many patients. When the surgery is performed and the individual adheres to the post-operative dietary and exercise guidelines, reductions in hypertension, coronary artery disease, Type II diabetes are seen as well as reduced risk for certain cancers like breast, colon, endometrial cancers. Obviously, bariatric surgery is not just about losing pounds. These new findings are also broadening the medical community’s knowledge of the complex interplay between obesity and these other health conditions.

Dr. Phil Calls Bistro MD To Help In “Extreme Weight” Case

With a case of extreme obesity slowly killing a man, Dr. Phil has called upon Bistro MD and Dr. Caroline Cederquist M.D., the developer of the diet with hopes that her expertise and her medical delivery diet can offer critical help to the situation.

On the show, which aired yesterday, January 29, Dr. Phil employs his popular team approach, and he’ll have input from his usual posse of medical experts for Kevin, who at age 44 has reached the stunning weight of 715 pounds. But faced with a weight problem that extreme, not just any doctor has the depth of experience to offer meaningful help.

So Dr. Phil called in Bistro MD and Dr. Cederquist, a board-certified family and bariatric physician who has at the core of her treatment a focus not on extreme diets or radical regimens, but on addressing the metabolic irregularities that develop in overweight people from a few pounds overweight to hundreds of pounds.

“Kevin is disabled and virtually homebound,” says Dr. Cederquist. “He has gained 300 pounds in the past five years. He suffers from diabetes and severe sleep and breathing difficulties. Problems with his joints and his sheer mass make it almost impossible for him to move around, and as a result, he scarcely leaves his bed, let alone his house. Getting him from home to the Dr. Phil studios was a major undertaking.”

Dr. Cederquist said Kevin had been rejected for weight-loss surgeries because the medical conditions related to his obesity makes him too high-risk as a candidate for surgery. He has sunk into a depression over his worsening situation, and resorts to eating for comfort, further worsening his conditions—and his despair.

“These are often people who have been successful at everything else in their lives, and they cannot understand why their efforts to lose even 20 pounds are so futile,” she says. “But for them, it’s just not as simple as eat less, burn more. Losing weight is not just about eating less of the wrong things; it is about eating more of the right things.”

Because Kevin’s high-risk status prevents him from pursuing bariatric surgery, Dr. Phil’s staff assessed a number of options for Kevin, and ultimately, Dr. Phil asked Dr. Cederquist to help with Kevin’s case. She had developed a home diet delivery program that specifically addresses both the practical and metabolic problems most people as well as Kevin must overcome. The home delivery diet, called BistroMD, is a home-delivered diet that Dr. Cederquist developed.

The gourmet foods in the BistroMD diet will help Kevin deal with both the practical and the medical challenges he faces. The meals are portion-controlled and designed to preserve lean muscle tissue as the dieter loses body fat. Because they are low in glycemic load, the foods also tend to reduce the sugar and carb cravings that lead so many to abandon their dieting attempts.

While Kevin is an extreme example, his metabolic abnormalities are common and are becoming more so. Currently 70.8% of men and 66.2% of women in the U.S. are overweight. The vast majority of overweight people develop metabolic abnormalities as they gain. But with the right nutritional program is the underlying principle of the Bistro MD diet. The macronutrients of the diet include adequate lean protein spread throughout the day, controlled portions of complex carbohydrates and the right amount of “good” fats.

This article borrowed from Bistro MD.