I’ve had lots of setbacks in my life. The struggles I had with my weight were just another one of many challenges.  But I’m a fighter and no matter what life threw at me, I stayed focused on improving my situation. So when I became pregnant with my daughter in my junior year of college, I took it as a sign that failure was not an option. I was going to have another life depending on me. During my pregnancy, I put on 80 pounds and even more after she was born. I found myself at over 400 pounds when I got my first job after college and was sent to get a physical by my new employer. “If you don’t lose weight, you’ll be dead by the time you’re 40,” the doctor told me.  That scared me to death – not the thought of dying as much as not being there for my daughter.  I found New Jersey Bariatric Center through someone I worked with and I’ve never regretted it.

Surgery went really well.  It helped me learn how to eat. I had a steady weight loss until I hit a plateau about 18 months after surgery. I probably could have stopped there but I felt like I had the ability to finish what I started. I came back to New Jersey Bariatric Center and met with the dietitian. We examined what I was eating. I went back to a 1,200-calorie diet and hit the gym or walked for an hour and half, three days a week. And I did it! I lost more than 75% of my excess body weight, right at the top range of what you can expect to lose from gastric bypass. It took me more than 4 years, but I never gave up. I’m still careful about what I eat. I love chicken wings, but I only eat 3. I don’t have any drinks with empty calories. My Caesar salad comes with the dressing on the side and hold the croutons. And I love my warm lemon water.

Now I want to inspire other women to know there is no stopping them. I am a plus-size model and started my own business selling shapewear. I want plus-size women to know they don’t have to live life with limits. When I had this surgery, my goal was to live to see my daughter graduate college, to see her grown up and hold my grandchildren someday. I wanted to be the best mother I could be. So I don’t focus on the physical. My goal was to live a life worth living. Weight loss surgery helped me realize I can have that life.


*According to national studies, bariatric surgery results in an average weight loss of 55-80 percent of excess body weight. Excess weight is the amount of weight one needs to lose in order to have a “healthy” BMI of 25.

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    By: New Jersey Bariatric Center Staff

    New Jersey Bariatric Center®, a medical & surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerset, Hoboken, East Brunswick, Hackettstown and Sparta, New Jersey, helps patients achieve long-term weight loss success through the most advanced bariatric surgery procedures, including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, gastric band and gastric balloon procedures. Led by the team of Drs. Ajay Goyal, James Buwen, Tina Thomas and Michael Fastiggi, New Jersey Bariatric Center®’s approach to patient care has resulted in zero mortalities and a complication rate that is lower than the national average.

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