Throughout her childhood and high school years, Kat shared a close relationship with her mother, but they also shared an unhealthy lifestyle of overeating and yo-yo dieting. Today, at age 67, Kat remembers steadily gaining weight during her youth and commonly being called the “fat kid.” Since it was the only life she knew, she thought it was OK – until it began affecting her health.
Pregnancy Weight Gain & Health Challenges
In 1991, when Kat became pregnant with her own daughter, she gained more weight that led to health problems. Kat was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and shortly thereafter, she became insulin dependent. After her daughter was born, she continued to gain weight and had to remain on insulin. She was soon diagnosed with high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol, and Kat developed poor sleep habits that consistently prevented her from getting a full night’s rest. Eventually, Kat had to start seeing a cardiologist to get her risk factors under control. In an effort to prevent further health complications, Kat made countless attempts to lose weight.
“From dieting to diet pills, I probably tried everything,” Kat says. “I even obtained a prescription for thyroid medication, without a thyroid condition. Then there was fen-phen, Jenny Craig®, the Atkins™ Diet, eliminating fat, and so on. Sometimes I would see short-term results, like losing 20 to 30 pounds, but then I’d gain 40 to 50 back. It was a yo-yo.”
Kat Has Gastric Bypass, With Her Mother’s Blessing
By 2010, Kat was ready to do something more drastic. She had reached 285 pounds – her highest weight ever – and chose to move forward with the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery. She scheduled her surgery for April 2011 – which was right around the time her mother became ill with leukemia. While Kat wanted to postpone the surgery to care for her mother, her mother encouraged her to move forward.
“Even though she was sick and in the hospital, my mom refused to let me postpone the surgery,” Kat explains. “It was really important to her for me to lose weight and get healthy.”
Following her mother’s wishes, Kat went through with the RYGB surgery and saw great results, losing about 100 pounds in the first year. Initially, she was extremely strict with her nutrition, diet, and exercise routine. She followed all the rules and even joined a dedicated exercise group. In time, Kat got her weight down to 170 pounds.
“It was an amazing difference and a true lifestyle change,” Kat explains. “But sometimes life gets in the way, and you get off track. By 2023, I had started to gain back a lot of weight.”
Thanks to a Good Friend, Kat Discovers True You
Kat was already thinking it might be time for a revision to her gastric bypass when she heard about True You Weight Loss from her childhood friend Patty. After some research and a consultation, Kat decided that a transoral outlet reduction (TORe) was the best option to help her turn the tides. TORe is for patients who have already had a gastric bypass. It’s a same-day, incisionless procedure that tightens the stomach pouch and outlet back to their original size. With TORe, Kat wanted to avoid further weight gain and the recurrence of any health conditions, while also getting back to the healthier lifestyle she had enjoyed after her RYGB.
Closely connected in their friendship, both Kat and Patty had their weight loss procedures on the same day (December 8, 2022) at True You’s Atlanta location with Dr. Daniel Maselli, a highly trained gastroenterologist who performs complex endobariatric weight loss procedures. Kat travelled to True You from her home state of Florida, and while she was nervous, she was excited to be making another bold move toward preserving her health. The results proved to be well worth Kat’s travel and effort.
Success With TORe – Gastric Bypass Revision
As a result of the TORe procedure, Kat achieved her lowest weight ever – even less than she’d experienced with her RYGB surgery. Before long, Kat also experienced improved overall health and was able to stop taking all medications, including the metformin she was taking for her pre-diabetes, and her blood pressure medication. Additionally, her elevated cholesterol improved, she started sleeping soundly for the first time in years, and was totally released from her cardiologist.
Today, Kat has reached 140 pounds and is wearing a size 8 or a small in clothing, something she has never experienced in her life. She is also much more active than she has ever been, which includes riding her bike and walking three to five miles per day. She even purchased a treadmill to ensure she can walk on days when the weather is poor, and she is consistently walking 15,000 steps per day.
“This is a whole different way of life for me, and it’s absolutely amazing,” Kat says. “The fact that I am choosing to get out there and exercise – well, it’s just something that I never would have done before I lost the weight.”
Thriving With Support from True You, Family & Friends
Kat’s family and friends are extremely proud of her, and she continues to be thrilled with her results. Having the support of her friend Patty throughout the journey has been a good motivator. After their procedures, Kat and Patty shared a common understanding of the journey, and they’ve been able to talk and encourage each other every step of the way. Additionally, Kat expresses deep appreciation for Dr. Maselli and the True You team.
“Dr. Maselli is an absolute rock star,” says Kat. “The care and compassion he shows for his patients helps save lives, and I mean that. Without Dr. Maselli and the entire True You team, I would never be where I am now. It just wouldn’t have happened. They were always reaching out to see if I was okay or what I needed. Plus, they have taught me so much about nutrition, which has enabled me to make better choices. To this incredible team, I say thank you!”
Kat is also especially grateful for her True You nutritionist Kathleen, whom she credits with helping her learn how to avoid bad foods, choose appropriate portion sizes, realize ways to satisfy cravings without extra calories (like sugar-free pudding and ice pops), and utilize diet plans and cooking tips that have changed the way she thinks about food (such as eating a Sloppy Joe without the bun!). Kat even uses journaling now as a method to keep track of her calories and food intake.
“Kathleen is simply amazing, and she’s now a good friend,” Kat says. “In fact, having her as a nutritionist has been as big of a value to me as my actual revision procedure. I’ve never had someone I can talk to about healthy eating and nutrition, and I have learned so much from her – she reminds me that it’s OK to have a bad day, and encourages me to get back on track when I need the extra motivation. It’s all just been so life-changing.”
The Best Reward of All – Motivating Her Own Daughter
Not only has Kat experienced personal weight loss success, but she also inspired her daughter to lose weight, take charge of her health, and live a more active lifestyle. This has been especially meaningful to Kat. Her daughter has lost more than 30 pounds, and lives a more active lifestyle with outdoor recreational activities.
“I’m proud to be able to help motivate my daughter, and I’m so proud of her,” Kat explains. “I would never want her to suffer like I did, and she didn’t want to follow in my footsteps. I’m extremely gratified that she was able to realize this early in her adulthood and change her life for the better.”
New Body, New Life
Kat is thrilled with her new body and can feel the difference her weight loss has made.
“It’s kind of scary and hard to adjust to the idea that I no longer have a plus-size body, but I love it,” Kat reflects. “My daughter has even convinced me to wear activewear, such as cropped tops with high-waisted leggings.”
Meanwhile, Kat realizes that her own hard work, dedication, and determination have also been crucial to her success. She is an active member of several True You social media groups, and to those who ask her about her procedure, Kat emphasizes that it is a tool, not a solution.
“Having a weight loss procedure does not make it easy to lose weight,” Kat explains. “For anyone who is considering gastric bypass or a revision, my advice is this – you must be mentally prepared, and it’s imperative that you make good choices, such as eating right and exercising. While True You will support you, you must do your own work, too. It’s okay to struggle, just be realistic, and figure out the right balance that will work for you.”
Supporting Others While Feeling Her Mother’s Love
Looking ahead, the future is bright for Kat. She plans to keep up with her active lifestyle, and is excited to soon undergo a plastic surgery procedure to remove excess skin – something she’d never needed before. Meanwhile, she is proud to continue educating and supporting others who are interested in a weight loss procedure. Connecting with other patients helps keep her motivated, and, in reverse, Kat knows that the support she received from her daughter, family, and friends, as well as thoughts of her mother’s support, were an instrumental part of her journey.
“I wish my mom could have lived to see me this small,” Kat concludes. “But I know she is watching me – she’s up there saying, ‘I knew you could do it! I knew you could do it! And…I did. For that, I am really proud.”
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