Success Stories: Judith

It Will Change Your Life

I can remember being chubby in grade school. I was the one who didn’t want to get on the scale so others could see what I weighed.

You name the diet, and I’ve been on it. But after a while your motivation flags, and you go back to your old ways.

At my top weight, I hurt all over. I couldn’t find clothing to fit. I felt ugly and discriminated against. I could feel people laughing at me and it hurt. My son had just graduated high school, and I hardly spent time with him because I didn’t want to go anywhere. My life was in a downward spiral. I would look at myself in the mirror and say, “I hate you.” I was in a severe depression. I actually considered suicide because I was so unhappy with how I looked, how I felt, and the way people reacted to me.

It was then I got the motivation to get my life back.

There was no question in my mind that I needed to have the surgery. I wasn’t afraid. I emailed University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and said, “Please, you have to help me. I’m at the end of my rope.”

At the start of the program, a whole group of people met with me. They interviewed me and did a lot of tests. They wanted to make sure I knew what I was getting involved with. And they needed to see a sense of commitment from me. Once they realized I was a good candidate for the procedure, I had Roux-en-Y surgery.

Before the surgery I was depressed, inactive and reclusive. A couch potato. First I started walking, then started running. Now I’ve started running 5K’s. I’ve placed and even won a few! I ran a half marathon at Disneyworld. When I ran a 5K at Camp Courageous, somebody found out about my background, and they gave me a trophy for being the most courageous runner that year. I’m so proud of it.

Because of the weight, I was having congestive heart problems, but now I’m fine. I was on quite a few medications, but now I'm just on two. I had a great deal of difficulty breathing, and now I don’t. I still have sleep apnea, but I hope that improves soon also.

Best of all, I don’t hurt all over anymore.

One of the greatest things was that for the first time since 1980, I was able to go shopping and go to the regular size department to buy clothing.

After my surgery, a friend wanted me to talk to someone who was considering having bariatric surgery. She wanted to know what she would be able to eat. When I told her she would have to change her diet permanently, she said, “I can’t give up potato chips and butter.” So I told her, “If you can’t do that, you’re not ready.” Because you have to be ready. You have to do it for yourself, nobody else.

Contact Us

UI Obesity Surgery
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
200 Hawkins Drive, 4604 JCP
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-356-1887
Fax: 319-353-6192