Stephanie’s story: I have a new sense of adventure

Stephanie lifting weights.

When Stephanie stood beside her father at a family picnic a while back, he didn’t recognize her. When she got his attention, his eyes widened.

“Dad, it’s me, Steph!” she laughed. “Wow, you look like you did in high school,” he told his 41-year-old daughter. She loves that memory … and how she feels and looks 90 pounds lighter after a sleeve gastrectomy at Salem Health’s Bariatric Surgery Center.

She had to replace everything but her socks. Even her shoes shrank from size 9 to 7.5.

Stephanie tried every diet, always gaining it back. As a young mother, she was already battling arthritis. A friend had done “the sleeve” and encouraged her to look into it. After the intro session and meeting her new doctor, she was sold.

“Salem Health gives you the tools to be successful far beyond the surgery,” she said. “I have a new sense of adventure. People tell me I’m a different person. Instead of being afraid I won’t fit, now I say ‘let’s try it!’”

“Trying it” so far has included riding a Zip Line, dancing for hours and exhausting her girlfriend by walking through every park at Disney World in a day. She keeps in shape with almost-daily walks with her husband and by working out at the local YMCA.

The foods and portions she used to eat don’t even appeal to her now. Making healthy choices is easier. She also loves shopping!   

Stephanie’s son looked at an old photo of her the other day. “Is that really you?” he asked.

“Yes … it was,” his mom answered.

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