My Weight Loss Journey: Andy

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“A life-long struggle”

In February of 2019, I chose to take back my life.

It was a struggle. It seemed I was destined to lose. My weight had always been an up-and-down adventure my entire life, with seemingly more “ups” than “downs” in recent years.

I tried all the fad diets, workout programs, special tips, and tricks, and the struggle persisted. The idea of achieving a healthy weight was a goal that felt impossible to reach. Just when I was incredibly frustrated, overwhelmed, and felt utterly hopeless – well, it got worse. In 2018 I had a significant flare-up of Multiple Sclerosis that seemed to focus the brunt of its attack on my legs and feet. As a result of this flare-up, I was in the hospital for over a week. My persistent weight issues, which were challenging and severe before, were now even more of a challenge. The seriousness of this struggle was reaching a critical point. It was apparent something needed to be done, but I felt I had tried everything.

As I struggled and coping with a new MS diagnosis, increasing weight complications, and limited mobility, my family doctor referred me to the weight management program at KCH. To say I was embarrassed and a little skeptical was an understatement. After all, I had tried it all, or so I thought. Upon meeting Amy Ferenbaugh, Dr. McLaughlin, and the rest of the weight management team, my feeling of embarrassment and hopelessness quickly vanished. I was embraced as a whole person. I was listened to. I was valued and validated. They heard my concerns, took the time to understand them, and helped me form a realistic plan to be the healthiest version of myself. I set goals that seemed like a dream, things that I had stopped dreaming about honestly. Riding roller coasters with my kids, running races with my friends, buying clothes without those pesky “X”s in front of the size, getting off as many medications as possible, living long enough to see my grandkids, and...

The team provided many tools to help me achieve my weight loss goals. I was educated on healthy eating habits, physical wellness, psychological components, and weight loss surgery. The tools they provided were incredibly valuable and helped me to address my mental and physical habits. I was able to move towards my goals and experience the success associated with

In the summer of 2020, after being in the weight management program for about 10 months, I decided to pursue gastric sleeve surgery. Along with the tools provided by the team, this surgery allowed me to drop from my highest weight of 440 pounds to right around 240 pounds. My energy level is off the charts; some would even say I have an “obnoxious amount of energy.” My confidence is at an all-time high, and my MS is at a high level of manageability now. Most importantly, I feel like I have not felt in years. I have a straightforward process now, the program was simple to follow, and the support was amazing. If you have been struggling, if you feel overwhelmed, hopeless, or beat down – don’t give up! There is light at the end of the tunnel, and even if your journey does not include surgery, the tools from the weight management team are still incredibly valuable and will help achieve your goals as they have mine.

So, for me, it is no longer “a lifelong struggle”; instead, it is “a fresh start, full of hope!”