Highest Weight: 330 lbs.
Current Weight: 226 lbs.
Goal Weight: 175 lbs.
Bariatric Surgery: gastric sleeve
Surgery Date: December 2018
Largest Size: 28-30
Current Size: 16
Weight related diseases: type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, total knee replacement last summer (due to car accident as well)
Medications: metformin (to treat type 2 diabetes), pravastatin (to treat high cholesterol), c-pap machine
Today: off all medications except pravastatin.
Ever since she was a child, Leonda has struggled with the pressures of being overweight. Leonda was put on her first weight-loss diet when she was just in the 3rd grade. This deteriorated her self-esteem and confidence as all the kids her age could eat whatever they wanted to, and Leonda had to restrict herself. Although Leonda’s parents are both healthy, her uncles have had to deal with weight-related issues.
Leonda’s tendency to gain weight was aggravated by the fact that she was drawn to all kinds of junk food, especially salty chips and sausage biscuits. Leonda has always been a chronic grazer and emotional eater. The pressures she had to deal with at a young age caused her mental stress that became cyclical: the more weight she gained, the more emotionally unstable she felt, which propelled her to continue eating excessively.
In her early 20’s, Leonda made an active effort to help herself lose weight. She went to Jenny Craig and invested a lot of money on the program’s pre-packaged foods. The foods seemed to help her for a while, but as soon as she switched back to a normal diet, she gained back all the weight she had lost.
In 2007, Leonda decided to seek medical help and had the Lap Band procedure. Although Leonda initially lost weight, her physician did not offer long-term follow up care. As a result, she did not maintain successful weight loss.
Before coming to Dr. Sutker for weight loss surgery, Leonda and her husband divorced, which also eliminated most of the emotional food triggers in her life. She has a 21-year old daughter who lives with her, and both of them now keep each other accountable and encourage each other to eat healthy.
Before the surgery, Leonda read books to understand and combat emotional eating. She realized that her inability to accomplish any physical tasks was due to her excessive weight. As a result, her quality of life was poor due to a lack of energy. When Leona decided bariatric surgery was the option she wanted to pursue, she researched the internet for a surgeon who had an excellent reputation as a surgeon along with excellent follow-up care. These requirements led her to choose Dr. Sutker.
Leonda’s first impression of Dr. Sutker was that she found him extremely nice and especially appreciated how he was so easy to talk to. In return, Dr. Sutker always considered her feelings. She was impressed by him as a person and also the reputation that he has built for himself and his practice.
Dr. Sutker performed the gastric sleeve laparoscopically. This means approximately 75% of her stomach was removed which results in a banana shape without having large incisions.
When asked how she felt before the surgery, Leonda described her feelings as nervous excitement about what was to come. She also did not experience any pain or discomfort after weight loss surgery.
After weight loss surgery, Leonda has been fully committed to eating healthy and maintaining a routine. She does not consume more than 800-1000 calories per day and also always makes sure to pack her lunch, so she is not tempted to cheat.
Breakfast: Leonda has a coffee with protein powder, which prepares her for her day and also provides necessary proteins.
Lunch: On alternate days, she has either soup, spaghetti squash with meatballs, or chicken.
Dinner: leftovers from lunch.
For all her meals, Leonda ordered portion-controlled meal prep boxes, and she stays away from all types of fried foods. She also sometimes has only a protein shake for dinner, which satisfies her hunger. For snacks during the day, Leonda enjoys small portions of fresh fruits, low-fat string cheese, and only “lite n fit” yogurt.
While Leonda has not incorporated any workout routines in her days, she has taken up walking to places and in her free time. This has contributed to her gradual and sustainable weight loss, so much so that she has not gained any weight during Covid.
A few of her most favorite healthy things include protein powder in the flavor caramel macchiato, centrax nectar (which she ordered from amazon), powder-based collagen, and a sugar-free creamer.
Since the weight loss surgery, Leonda has been happier than she has ever been before. She calls the surgery “life-changing” and has actively encouraged people to pursue it as a serious weight loss option. She currently has a colleague who is undergoing the process for weight loss surgery. Leonda wants people to go for weight loss surgery if they can follow the rules. She has since been more aware of what she is eating and if something causes her to gain even a single pound. She sometimes lets carbs sneak into her diet as well but immediately recovers from the weight gained.
Leonda is extremely open about weight loss surgery, as it has made her more confident and recovered her self-esteem. She had the full support of her kids and especially her mother, who is now also thinking about getting the surgery.
Ever since the surgery, Leonda has developed extremely high self-esteem. She spent the whole year after her divorce transforming her lifestyle and is now in a place where she is happy and now even dating. Leonda now has a very busy social life and receives countless compliments about her good looks every day.
Her weight loss surgery was an amazing experience for her, and Dr. Sutker and his staff took excellent care of her. Her children have been her biggest supporters, and her son, who is now in his 20s, regularly appreciates her weight loss journey. Leonda is a speech pathologist for the school district, and her colleagues are supportive as well.
Leonda regards the decision to get weight loss surgery from Dr. Sutker as one of the best decisions of her life and has no regrets. Her life after the surgery has been great, and she recommends the procedure to anyone and everyone she meets.