Susan Ferguson lost more than 120 pounds in two years following her weight loss surgery at Duke. Looking back on the experience, the Roanoke Rapids teacher remembers being scared and uncertain before undergoing the procedure. She wishes she knew then what she knows now.
Here are Susan's her top five insights to people considering weight loss surgery.
1. You Have No Idea How Much Better Your Life Will Be
When you get rid of 120 pounds, it’s like having another human being taken off your back and your knees. If I knew how much better I would feel after the surgery, I would not have waited so long to make the decision.
2. Find a Doctor You Trust
Ask about his experience, read his online reviews. Find a surgeon you trust and have confidence in because this is not minor surgery. My surgeon was very professional and businesslike, and I appreciated that. He knows what he’s doing.
3. Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
If they tell you not to eat something before a certain time, don’t eat it. If they tell you to take vitamins, supplements and calcium, do it. I heard of people having ulcers and other problems I never had. I credit my success to my doctor and following my health team’s advice.
4. Keeping the Weight Off Takes Work
For the first 18 months, the weight comes off - if you eat the way you’re supposed to eat. Now that I am two years out, I can see how it can be easier to slip back into old habits. Personally, after going through so much to have my plumbing rerouted, I have no intention of picking up the habits that got me into this mess in the first place. You have to commit the rest of your life to the lifestyle changes that will keep the weight off.
5. Exercise Won’t Be So Hard When it’s Easier to Move
Exercise used to be drudgery. Now I play tennis and golf and go on walks with my husband. You may not run a marathon, but you will find exercise less distasteful. The secret is finding activities you enjoy because it’s something you have to do.