Jefferson University Hospitals

Dolores Lost 115 Pounds with Support from Jefferson

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Bariatrics - Dolores

"I Wanted to Be Fit and 50, Not Fat and 50"

Dolores' life changed, like most of ours do, when she became a parent. She adopted her son when he was four, and instantly, he became the most important part of her life.

That's when Dolores began to lose control of her weight.

"I kind of lost track of things and just started gaining the weight," she says.

Ultimately, the 5-feet-4-inches tall South Jersey woman reached 258 pounds and a body mass index (BMI) of 44.3, qualifying her as morbidly obese.

Over time, she tried diets – lots of diets, including some well-known commercial plans. One of these diets would work for a while, but then she would not only regain the weight she'd lost but also add a few more pounds.

"I would do well and then get bored with the routine – the diet, the exercising – and just drop out of it," Dolores says.

Her weight problem affected her life. She was always tired – exhausted, in fact. When she walked up a flight of stairs, she would be out of breath before she reached the top. Walking even short distances was difficult and would take her much longer than it did for her friends.

The ultimate humiliation involved her son. On a trip to an amusement park, he wanted to go on the rollercoaster. Dolores barely fit in the seat.

"The look on the woman's face as they tried to close the safety bar was painful for me," she says. "I was embarrassed for my son."

That's when Dolores decided she needed more than ineffective diets. She realized she had to choose a method of losing weight that would also provide her with support to help her keep it off. She decided to have bariatric surgery.

"I knew I needed more help to achieve my goals," she says. "I made the decision to go to Jefferson. Their Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Program team made me feel completely comfortable and has continued to be my biggest cheerleader by having me participate in a monthly support group that has helped me lose – and keep off – 115 pounds."

In addition to just feeling better, Dolores says the surgery and her resulting weight loss have greatly improved her quality of life, which is better now at the age of 50 than it ever was in her 40s.

"It's given me more energy, I feel younger, I can go hiking and camping with my son … I am just trying different things that I always wanted to do but was embarrassed to do or didn't have the energy for in the past."

Now she's active, and that has helped her keep the weight off. She no longer drives around parking lots to find the closest spot. Because she has more energy now, she's doing more around the house and yard.

And with the help of her team at Jefferson, she's learned to cook and eat better. Food tastes better, she says, because she's not covering everything with sauces and gravies.

Dolores regularly attends the monthly support group at Jefferson to help her stay on track. She loves her new life and knows that it will help her stay healthy so she can be here for her son.

"Being a single parent, I want to be around for him, and I want to be there to enjoy his life as he grows older, gets married and has kids of his own," Dolores says. "I wanted to be fit and 50, not fat and 50."

To read other stories of people who choose weight loss surgery at Jefferson, visit the MyWeightLoss website.