A Personal Decision: Choosing to Undergo Bariatric Surgery

For as long as I can remember, I have always thought of myself as "fat." I have really grown to dislike that word. Even in college, when I was 155 pounds, I still felt bigger than all of my peers. I have never considered myself attractive because of my weight. Because I felt embarrassed of my size, I knew that I had to be the "best" mom and the "best" wife.

Pre-surgery

Being kind to others has always come easy to me because it is has been my nature. But I have also taken a lot of hurtful and humiliating comments. On more than one occasion I was asked when my baby was due. My children were four and five years old. How do you answer something like that?

I knew many years ago, after dieting for most of my life, that I was destined to be obese, that's just how it was going to be. I watched my father with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, open heart surgery, diabetes; I could go on and on. I knew after my father passed away that the road he traveled would soon become MY destiny. I had to make a change. I gave one more diet program a chance with minimal success.

My final stop was on the doorstep of Dr. Christina Li's office at Sinai Hospital. I had a friend that had surgery with Dr. Li, and I was amazed when I saw how successful she was at only four months out of surgery. I actually turned my head twice, not recognizing her the first time until I heard her speak.

3 months post-surgery

The point that I wanted to make telling you my story is that making the decision to have bariatric surgery is a personal decision. It most certainly is not the "easy" way out. It takes hard work and dedication to living a healthier lifestyle.

On January 19, 2012 I made that decision. To date, I have lost 43 pounds, and I am feeling more healthy with every day. My choice to have the sleeve gastrectomy did not come from vanity but from the will to live a healthier me. I will be forever grateful to Dr. Christina Li and her staff for their unwavering support of my decision.  They were supportive and available every step of the way.

Bariatric surgery should never be your first try at losing weight; the bariatric division at Sinai will tell you that. The surgeons are here to give us the tools to make the changes in our lives. I decided that I wanted to live to see my grandchildren. I wanted to live to be active with my husband as we grew old together.

If you feel you are at a crossroads and desire to live a healthier life, please give Dr. Christina Li or Dr. Cynthia Long a call at 601-WELL. It certainly is not a quick fix, but a slow and steady progression. I have lost 43 pounds and I am amazed. Every day is a new and exciting challenge. I am so ready to take it on!

-Written by Diana Naanaa, LPN, Division of Bariatrics, Sinai Hospital

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

Print this entry

1 Response

  1. Bettina S
    You are doing such a wonderful job and are an inspiration! I can't wait to follow along on the rest of your journey to greater health and wellness. Congrats on your success so far!

Leave a comment

*

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

LinkedId

Instagram

Follow Me on Instagram
  • #TBT Did you know #SinaiHospital used to be located in downtown #Baltimore? It wasn’t until 1959 that Sinai moved to its current location.

    lifebridgehealth: "#TBT Did you know #SinaiHospital used to be located in downtown #Baltimore? It wasn’t until 1959 that Sinai moved to its current location."
    8
    0
  • #CarrollHospital was happy to participate once again in Westminster's Main Street #Holiday Electric Parade. This year the hospital ambassador, Carroll, joined the fun too! #LifeBridgeHealth #CommunityEvent #Maryland #Lights #Westminster #Healthcare #Hospital #Festive

    lifebridgehealth: "#CarrollHospital was happy to participate once again in Westminster's Main Street #Holiday Electric Parade. This year the hospital ambassador, Carroll, joined the fun too!

#LifeBridgeHealth #CommunityEvent #Maryland #Lights #Westminster #Healthcare #Hospital #Festive"
    21
    0
  • In this week's #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet the eight providers and 20 support staff members of the Carroll Medical Group. This large team is big enough that our patients can easily find a provider whose personality fits well with theirs, but small enough to have a warm, family-oriented atmosphere. #Maryland #LifeBridgeHealth #Employee #EmployeeSpotlight #EmployeeAppreciation #Healthcare

    lifebridgehealth: "In this week's #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet the eight providers and 20 support staff members of the Carroll Medical Group. This large team is big enough that our patients can easily find a provider whose personality fits well with theirs, but small enough to have a warm, family-oriented atmosphere. #Maryland #LifeBridgeHealth #Employee #EmployeeSpotlight #EmployeeAppreciation #Healthcare"
    17
    0
  • #TBT Did you know there’s a mini-museum inside #SinaiHospital? Located behind the cafeteria near the tray return, “Sinai Pride” provides a look back in time, displaying notable medical instruments, historic photos and more. Stop in and check it out!

    lifebridgehealth: "#TBT Did you know there’s a mini-museum inside #SinaiHospital? Located behind the cafeteria near the tray return, “Sinai Pride” provides a look back in time, displaying notable medical instruments, historic photos and more. Stop in and check it out!"
    24
    1
  • Lavish #holiday feasts can interfere with important daily routines for people with diabetes. This holiday season, manage your blood sugars by balancing your choices. Desserts with sugar can still be part of special occasions when you have diabetes. But remember that they count toward your total carbohydrates. You shouldn’t just add holiday desserts to what you would usually eat. Instead, cut carbohydrates elsewhere in your meal so that you can have dessert without adding to your total carbohydrates. #WednesdayWisdom #NDAM

    lifebridgehealth: "Lavish #holiday feasts can interfere with important daily routines for people with diabetes. This holiday season, manage your blood sugars by balancing your choices. Desserts with sugar can still be part of special occasions when you have diabetes. But remember that they count toward your total carbohydrates. You shouldn’t just add holiday desserts to what you would usually eat. Instead, cut carbohydrates elsewhere in your meal so that you can have dessert without adding to your total carbohydrates. #WednesdayWisdom #NDAM"
    19
    1
  • Ready for some #Thanksgiving leftovers? Here are some pictures from the #TurkeyTrot, which supported The Y in Central Maryland. #LifeBridgeHealth was a proud sponsor of this year's event, and our CEO Neil Meltzer was one of the starters for the race in Towson along with the Y CEO John Hoey. Thanks to everyone who participated, including many of our LifeBridge Health employees and their families. #Maryland #community #supportlocal #communityevent #run #exercise

    lifebridgehealth: "Ready for some #Thanksgiving leftovers? Here are some pictures from the #TurkeyTrot, which supported The Y in Central Maryland. #LifeBridgeHealth was a proud sponsor of this year's event, and our CEO Neil Meltzer was one of the starters for the race in Towson along with the Y CEO John Hoey. Thanks to everyone who participated, including many of our LifeBridge Health employees and their families. #Maryland #community #supportlocal #communityevent #run #exercise"
    23
    0
  • Patients, families and staff enjoyed meeting #Maryland's First Lady, Yumi Hogan, who stopped by to help out at the annual #Thanksgiving lunch at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai. #SinaiHospital #LifeBridgeHealth #Healthcare

    lifebridgehealth: "Patients, families and staff enjoyed meeting #Maryland's First Lady, Yumi Hogan, who stopped by to help out at the annual #Thanksgiving lunch at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai.
#SinaiHospital #LifeBridgeHealth #Healthcare"
    38
    0
  • In this week's #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet the dedicated team members of Total Women's Health of #Baltimore. This team, led by Dionne D. Oliver, M.D., works hard to communicate and collaborate with each other, not only to do their jobs effectively but to provide superb patient care. We thank you for all that you do!

    lifebridgehealth: "In this week's #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet the dedicated team members of Total Women's Health of #Baltimore. This team, led by Dionne D. Oliver, M.D., works hard to communicate and collaborate with each other, not only to do their jobs effectively but to provide superb patient care. We thank you for all that you do!"
    33
    3
  • #NorthwestHospital is proud to partner with Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) on a health care magnet school, the Northwest Academy of Health Sciences. We look forward to working with these amazing students who are truly the future of health care!

    lifebridgehealth: "#NorthwestHospital is proud to partner with Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) on a health care magnet school, the Northwest Academy of Health Sciences. We look forward to working with these amazing students who are truly the future of health care!"
    16
    1
  • Thanks to the #AmericanHeartAssociation for sending us this photo of #TeamLifeBridge who participated in this fall's #HeartWalk. Thanks to everyone who came out to #supportthefight against #heartdisease and #stroke. #MDHeartWalk

    lifebridgehealth: "Thanks to the #AmericanHeartAssociation for sending us this photo of #TeamLifeBridge who participated in this fall's #HeartWalk. Thanks to everyone who came out to #supportthefight against #heartdisease and #stroke. #MDHeartWalk"
    22
    4