Weight Loss Leads to Photo Fun for Felicia


Title: Weight Loss Leads to Photo Fun for Felicia

Patient: Felicia

Age: 51

Height: 5’6”

Highest Weight: 288 lbs.

BMI: 46.4

Current Weight: 177 lbs.

BMI: 28.5

Goal Weight: 175 lbs.

BMI: 28.2

Bariatric Surgery: Gastric Bypass

Surgery Date: October 15, 2019

Largest Size: 22 or 3xL

Current Size: Medium top or 12 Bottom

Weight related diseases: congestive heart failure, asthma, COPD, arthritis, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol

Life Before Surgery

Felicia was 155 pounds after she met her husband in the 90s- and gained what she described as a few “love pounds.” But a few love pounds escalated. Working late shifts in the manufacturing industry would cause Felicia to eat large, late night meals. By the time she got engaged to her husband, Felicia weighed 200 pounds. Like many brides who want to lose excess weight before the “big day,” she did a crash diet. This regimen consisted of the original Formula One diet pills, salads, and water only. In two months, she dropped down to 155 pounds for her wedding.

Eventually, Felicia developed asthma and was put on prednisone for treatment. This medication contributed to her weight gain, as it is a common long-term side effect. Felicia suffered from other health complications that resulted in weight gain as well. Over time, she had tumors on her ovaries that required three emergency surgeries. In the mid 2000s, Felicia got pregnant in her fallopian tubes after her third round of IVF treatments, which was almost fatal. The drugs from the IVF treatments contributed to weight gain as well. Eventually, she had a hysterectomy. The medications used to treat the ovary tumors and the hysterectomy caused weight gain as well.

Felicia is a successful chef, which only made eating a healthy diet that much more challenging. Known for her desserts such as cupcakes, lemon meringue pie, and strawberry shortcake, Felicia was constantly surrounded by sweets along with savory foods such as meat and lots of potatoes.

Because of her excess weight, Felicia woke up in pain daily and often needed to use crutches or a walker to move around her house. In 2018 she underwent a reconstruction surgery for her foot which had ripped ligaments. Any time Felicia put pressure on that foot, it caused severe pain because of her weight. Eventually, she also became a candidate for knee surgery because of arthritis. All of these conditions resulted in a lingering depression. “I had no quality of life. It was terrible,” Felicia admits. When addressing her weight with the doctors she worked with, they all told Felicia to “avoid fast food.”

Eventually she worked with a doctor who realized her weight was not a matter of avoiding fast food and referred Felicia to Dr. Sutker. However, Felicia got nervous and skipped the informational workshop she was scheduled to attend. Months passed. One day she was in church and felt a pain in her stomach so severe that she slumped over, choked on stomach acid, and drove herself to the ER. The G.I. doctor discovered that she had gallstones, which are removed by a general surgeon.

After the surgery, Felicia woke up and saw Dr. Sutker, who had removed the gallstones. “I was supposed to see you months ago, but I chickened out!” she admitted. Believing this reconnection was more than a coincidence, Felicia scheduled a consultation with Dr. Sutker. This she time attended.

Around the same time as when her gallstones were removed, Felicia’s cardiologist said he would need to put a pacemaker in her heart because her husband couldn’t hear her breathe at night. She was not suffering from sleep apnea. “You’re playing Russian roulette with your life,” he told Felicia. That message resonated with Felicia deeply and was another catalyst for deciding to undergo a gastric bypass procedure.

Felicia decided not to tell anyone that she was undergoing the gastric bypass procedure. “I didn’t need any negativity from anyone.” Today, she is very open about her surgery.

As someone who struggles with anxiety, Felicia needed to redirect her self-talk to pump herself up before the surgery instead of letting negative thoughts overwhelm her. During the gastric bypass surgery, Dr. Sutker also repaired her hernias. After the surgery, Felicia says she woke up “naturally high.” She was ready to start the beginning of the rest of her life.

Life After Surgery


As a chef, Felicia serves amazing sweet and savory cuisines for her clients. However, she can’t eat any of the foods she prepares. While someone else would have a negative disposition about this reality, Felicia channels her talents and creativity in the kitchen for her own innovative, healthy meals. Today, she follows mainly a pescatarian diet and aims to consume over 40 grams of protein per day.

Felicia will make a smoothie with the following ingredients:
1. hibiscus berry protein powder, 1 cup of fruit, ice, amino acids and hemp milk.
2. sugarfree-cappucino protein mix with one banana, coffee, and almond milk.

Or, she will eat an eggwhite with guacamole.

Lunch: vegan taco base or veggie wrap with a low-carb tortilla tomato basil filled with onion, sprouts, kale, butter lettuce, spinach, guacamole, and cheese.

Dinner: 3 oz. salmon with sriracha and on a bed of lettuce , brussel sprouts with truffle oil, spinach with garlic.

Snacks: piece of fruit such as blackberries, or her own low glycemic popsicles.


With a demanding work schedule, Felicia incorporates exercising into her daily routine by doing squats, leg raises, and lifting all the foods she has to purchase. She is also moving on her feet all day.


Felicia is a member of cardiacfitt.com, where she is able to connect with other patients. As a chef, she has led Zoom cooking classes. There’s no slacking off in Felicia’s class. She requires everyone to buy the ingredients ahead of time and show off their results live to the rest of the class.

Felicia 2.0

Felicia’s self-esteem and energy levels have skyrocketed. “It’s larger than life,” she describes. As the pounds have melted off, Felicia loves seeing her face and fingers thin out and no longer experiences pain throughout her body. Bye-bye to the crutches and walkers. When she looks in the mirror, Felicia can’t believe she is seeing her own reflection. Her marriage has drastically improved. Felicia’s husband now surprises her with clothes and has gone back to flirting with her as if they were still dating.

Words of Wisdom:

Felicia’s goal is to inspire as many people as possible who struggle with obesity to change their lives and undergo weight loss surgery. “If you let someone convince you not to have the surgery, you’re doing your mind a disservice.” She also advises patients to take their vitamins faithfully and to follow the program for maximum results.

Life List

Felicia’s talents extend past the kitchen. She is planning to pursue modeling once the pandemic crisis passes. “I have a natural Coke bottle shape,” she says proudly. This past June, Felicia did a photo shoot which she posted on her Facebook page that generated over 1,000 views.

As for Dr. Sutker? “He is my angel on Earth. If he hadn’t been there the day I had my gallstones taken out, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

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