I am a 42-year-old mother of two teenage boys. My weight gain started with my first pregnancy, in which I gained 80+ pounds. From then on, I started my rollercoaster ride of weight loss and gain. My weight was even a hindrance trying for our second child and I had to start fertility treatments, which worked and I gained another 20+ pounds. As a teacher I am on my feet all day and by the afternoon I was so exhausted and my feet and knees ached everyday so much. I had no energy for my boys. At this point, I was extremely overweight (284 pounds), unhealthy, unhappy, tired all the time, very inactive, and at the point where I had spent literally thousands of dollars on every weight-loss program and diet available. I would lose and gain, lose and gain. It was a never ending cycle.
After much prayer, consideration and research I decided to attend a seminar on Lap-Band in 2009 with my sister, who was also overweight. At this point, I knew I had to change my life. One year later, in June 2010, I had my surgery. As the weeks passed my weight began to come off and I felt like exercising. Foods I thought I would crave and miss eating I didn’t even think about anymore. My eating habits changed and so did my lifestyle. Lap-Band helps with my portion control and keeps me on track. It isn’t a “quick fix” to weight loss; it is a tool I use to help monitor my eating habits. By October I had lost 60 pounds and set a goal that I would run my first 5K in January. That day came and with the encouragement of friends and family I finished in 38 minutes. Several more 5Ks came and went and my weight loss continued.
At my year anniversary, June 2011, I had lost over 100 pounds and felt better than I had in years. To be back in the 100’s was my highlight! I am almost at my 5 year anniversary and have maintained my weight. To accomplish these goals, I had to believe in myself and decide to make this life change. Additionally, I believed in Dr. Cottingham and his ability to help me accomplish this goal. I would do it again in a heartbeat! First and foremost I thank God because I wouldn’t be where I am today without him. I also thank my family and friends who supported me along my journey and I also thank Horizon Surgical for making it happen!
I am a woman in my 50′s who weighed 250 pounds. I had so many physical problems that I thought I would never be able to feel better. Whatever diet was out there I tried it. I gave up on myself and decided I was going to be fat all my life. I would go to the doctor with a complaint and the first thing they would say was “we both know you are really heavy.” I knew this but I could never seem to be able to fix it. I felt ashamed of myself and cut myself off from friends and family. Never should anyone feel so ashamed of themselves.
I began to see commercials and read about Lap-Band surgery. I felt like I could have a good life ahead and decided that I deserved one more try. I wanted to be able to enjoy my wonderful family instead of sitting on the couch. I finally went to a Lap-Band seminar given by Dr. Cottingham. My husband and I were convinced that this is what I had been looking for all my life, and I had surgery in 2012. It has been almost three years since I took that step and it has been the best three years of my life. I have lost 100 pounds. I look at myself in the mirror and think “Wow, I can’t believe this is really me!” It took me 16 months to lose that much weight. Of course I wanted to lose all 100 pounds in a week, but I did not gain it all in a week so I couldn’t lose it in a week. My eating habits had to change and I had to start exercising (which I hate), but believe me it is all worth it. You have to decide for yourself that you can do it, and just do it. You will never regret taking that step.
Having lap band surgery was a life-changing experience for me. I have had my lap band for several years now. I’ve lost well over a hundred pounds and kept it off. I am off all blood pressure and cholesterol drugs and no longer have the pain in my knees and ankles that I once had when I walk for any length of time, My energy levels are much higher. However, that being said, it is not the solution for everyone—your entire relationship with food changes as a result and some foods will be permanently off the menu. Having this surgery requires a deep commitment both physically and emotionally and should only be considered by those who are willing to make a lifetime commitment to changing their lifestyle and eating habits and are willing to work closely with their doctor during the process and beyond. (I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your follow-up appointments and following the doctor’s instructions!) Thankfully, Dr. Cottingham and his wonderful staff have been with me every step of the way—offering advice, encouragement and celebrating the successes and milestones along the way. I attribute a large part of my own success to their support because I felt they truly cared whether or not I succeeded. I would encourage anyone considering this option to make an appointment and discuss it with Dr. Cottingham and his staff. I am certainly glad I did!