Weight Loss with A Sister

Sisters Gerri York and Leigh York decided to undergo bariatric surgery together.

“Weight loss can be a lonely journey, so who better to travel with than a sister,” said Gerri.

“I was greatly concerned about our health,” said Leigh. “I felt that going through this journey together would help because we could support each other.”

Gerri York

“There were a few reasons why I decided to have bariatric surgery,” said Gerri. “However, my decision was made after suffering from a few different health issues and wanting to have a higher self-esteem.”

Gerri had struggled with her weight since grade school and had tried to lose weight in the past, cycling through different diets and diet pills.

Gerri was most impressed by the encouragement and guidance the program had.

“I needed something permanent; a weight loss aid that would truly restrict me and give me very few opportunities to ‘cheat,’” said Gerri. “I also needed a program that would encourage and guide me, while holding me accountable. That’s what Archbold’s bariatric program offered.”

Dr. Jarrard performed gastric bypass surgery on Gerri on July 11, 2019. Since then, Gerri has lost 75 pounds and is steadily working towards her goal of losing 100 pounds.

“I feel like the person on the outside is beginning to match the person I’ve always been on the inside,” said Gerri.

Gerri was recently able to complete a home project that she could not have done before surgery.

“I recently installed a doggie door for my dogs, and I would have never attempted to do such a task 70 pounds ago,” said Gerri.

Learning how to eat properly and healthy has been one of the most difficult things Gerri has been through.

“Bariatric surgery is a tool, but not a solution,” said Gerri. “You have to be dedicated to the program, and to the better you, in order to be successful. It’s hard, but it’s so rewarding.”

Leigh York

“I chose to have bariatric surgery simply because of my health,” said Leigh. “I had diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and a lot of lower back pain. I wanted to be off medications and feel better again.”

Leigh had also struggled with her weight most of her life, cycling through diets like her sister.

“I’ve yo-yo dieted my whole life,” said Leigh. “I would lose weight, but gain it right back.”

According to Leigh, the bariatric program was the most challenging thing she has ever done.

“I’ve been successful because of the support this program offers,” said Leigh.

Leigh had the gastric bypass surgery on July 11, also by Dr. Jarrard. Since her surgery, Leigh has lost 85 pounds and is close to reaching her goal of losing 110 pounds.

“Bariatric surgery has improved my life in every way,” said Leigh. “I can cross my legs, use my seatbelt without an extender, tie my shoes, and walk without getting tired. I’m a healthier and stronger version of myself.”

Leigh said her idea of food has changed since starting her bariatric journey.

“I enjoy a variety of good food and healthy snacks,” said Leigh. “I’ve decreased my intake, and I don’t dwell on food anymore. It’s true that no food is as tasty as being slim feels!”

To celebrate their success, Leigh and Gerri are planning a trip to Las Vegas later this year.

“If you want to transform your life, don’t hesitate,” said Leigh. “I only wish that I had joined the bariatric program sooner.”

For more information on Archbold’s Bariatric Weight Management Program visit, www.archbold.org/bariatric-surgery.

Drew Berry

Drew Berry has struggled with being overweight and weight loss for his whole life. In fact, at 27, he was diagnosed with high blood pressure, a common co-morbidity associated with obesity.

“I come from a family that tends to be overweight, so it’s all I’ve ever known, said Berry. However, a few years ago, due to my work schedule my eating habits changed and I lost 150 pounds.”

However, the weight came back.

“I slowly fell back into my old routine,” said Berry. “My weakness at the time was milkshakes, and my thought process was ‘only one won’t hurt me.’ Before I knew it, I was drinking three or more a week, which led me to eating the foods I had cut out of my diet and I gained back the weight I had lost and more.”

Ultimately, “I was tired of being overweight,” said Berry.

After discussing his weight loss options with his primary care physician and Dr. Hanisee, Berry had the gastric sleeve procedure on October 4, 2019.

“I started the program weighing 408 pounds, and since then, I’ve lost 163 pounds,” said Berry. “I’m working towards losing 20 more pounds to reach the goal weight I was at when I lost weight the first time around.”

Berry is now doing things he couldn’t before losing the weight.

“I’m able to walk around outdoors and even exercise and not be out of breath or have my back start hurting,” said Berry. “I can also see my feet now when I stand up!”

According to Berry, the key to bariatric surgery is sticking to the plan that the bariatric team gives you.

“Stick to the advice of portion control, cutting out certain foods and not eating after a certain time,” said Berry. “It’s not easy and it takes time to adjust, but it’s worth it.”

When he reaches his goal weight, Berry plans on buying new clothes.

“Dr. Hanisee and bariatric surgery have given me a new outlook on life,” said Berry. “I would recommend bariatric surgery to anyone who wants to lose weight and keep it off.”

For more information on Archbold’s Bariatric and Weight Management Program visit, www.archbold.org/bariatric-surgery.

Crissy Williams

“There were a multitude of factors that led me to a decision to try bariatric surgery,” said Crissy Williams. “I no longer felt healthy, and I was uncomfortable sitting in chairs, lying down, getting up and my joints were tired of me. I felt horrible about myself, and my daughter was watching. I knew I needed an intervention.”

Williams struggled for 13 years to lose weight. She tried Omninitrition, which is an HCG diet, and a no-carb diet. She would lose the weight, but the loss never lasted.

“I felt like a failure,” said Williams. “I had low self-esteem because I would put the weight back on.”

Williams had a gastric sleeve procedure at Archbold Memorial Hospital on July 12, 2018. Board-certified bariatric surgeon Katie Hanisee, MD, performed her surgery.

“I weighed 303 pounds when I started the my bariatric journey, but I’ve now lost 101 pounds and am closer to my goal weight of 180 pounds,” said Williams.

Since the surgery, Williams has seen a multitude of changes in her life.

“The surgery has made such an impact on my lifestyle,” said Williams. “I’m now able to play laser tag with my children for the first time and ride rollercoasters. I can lean over and pick things up off the floor. I can cross my legs, tie my shoes and wear clothing that’s not out of a plus-size store.”

The key to successful bariatric surgery is reteaching your body how to eat.

“The surgery has changed my way of thinking when it comes to meals,” said Williams. “I’m no longer living to eat, but eating to live. I’m more aware of what I put into by body.”

Williams’s newfound favorite food is riced cauliflower, since it can be used in many different ways. Salsa with cheese chips have also become her go-to snack.

“My advice to people considering the weight loss surgery is ‘Don’t wait, just do it,’” said Williams. “It’s worth the money and it’s worth your life.”

“I feel healthier,” she said. “I can move without getting short of breath; I sleep better and have more energy. And my two children are happier because I can do more things with them.”

For more information on Archbold’s Bariatric Weight Management program visit, www.archbold.org/bariatric-surgery.

Tammy Little

“My deciding factor was when I was told by my orthopedist that I was too young to have a knee replacement,” said Little. “I’ve had five previous knee surgeries, and he suggested that I might benefit by seeing a bariatric physician.”

Little has struggled with her weight since middle school, and she tried following Weight Watchers for a while.

According to Little, what made the Archbold Bariatric and Weight Management Program different than any other program was the help she received.

“I have support with this program, which is vital to my success,” said Little. “Dr. Katie Hanisee has this amazing support group, and it makes me feel like I have my own personal cheerleading team. If I have a question, no matter how small or silly I think it is, they always answer it in a serious manner.”

Little had gastric sleeve surgery on September 20, 2018. She has lost 92 pounds from her highest weight, and she plans to lose a total of 114 pounds. This will put her at a normal body mass index.

“This journey has really changed my life in several ways,” said Little. “I’m able to climb steps without feeling as though I need to sit down, and I’m able to walk and stand up easier.”

Little also had to relearn how to eat and read labels.

“Kudos to those who can read labels, because it is really complicated,” said Little. “I’ve also learned that it’s okay to have a little treat every once in a while. We just have to be mindful of what food and how much of it we are putting into our bodies.”

One of Little’s biggest accomplishments since joining the bariatric program was horseback riding with her husband for their 25th wedding anniversary.

“My husband and I have always enjoyed horseback riding in the mountains, but we’ve always had to go to a certain farm that could accommodate larger people,” said Little. “This year, for our anniversary, we were able to go to a different place that didn’t have to accommodate us based on our size.”

When asked if someone should consider the bariatric journey, this is what she had to say:

“I would tell someone considering this journey to do research,” said Little. “Bariatric surgery is a life-changing event, and it is not one to be taken lightly. You have to relearn how to eat and will have frustrations, but the good that comes from the journey outweighs the bad.”

For more information on Archbold’s Bariatric Weight Management program visit, www.archbold.org/bariatric-surgery.