Meet Our Patients: Meet Laura

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Now I'm More Confident and Living Life to the Fullest

Meet Laura

Laura, a patient of Joseph Regan, M.D., Bariatric Surgeon, Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s

“Food was my best friend,” says Laura as she describes her 22 year struggle with weight loss and food addiction. “My husband, son and I would eat fast food and sweets constantly. Our big nighttime snacks were a ritual.”

As someone who comes from a family full of obesity, Laura’s struggle began as a young adult. “I always found a lot of comfort, and even fun, in all the eating I was doing.”

The results, however, were not as fun. High blood pressure, weak knees and yoyo dieting began to take their toll. “I have always had a very hard time finding and holding down a job due to my bad knees and poor health. Even just going out in public was hard,” she describes. Laura says she tried a number of diets, one time losing up to 60 pounds, and gaining it all back every time.

Then she made a decision. A neighbor of Laura’s underwent gastric bypass surgery and had great success. She discussed the option with Laura, who decided to go for it.

“I kept looking in the mirror thinking ‘you’re going to be 40 and you’re not even living’.”

Laura underwent bypass surgery at Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s in March 2004 and to date has lost 165 pounds.

“My journey with weight loss has included a lot of group support and individual counseling,” says Laura. “If you are going to have surgery, you really have to be committed to the lifestyle change that goes with it.

“I exercise all the time, but it wasn’t easy in the beginning. I would struggle to even walk. I kept with it though and now I walk every day, sometimes twice. I’m also a lot more active with my son. We’ve gone rock climbing, we’ve crawled through caves together . . . I never thought I’d be able to connect with him in this way. He’s my biggest supporter.”

In her weight loss journey, Laura says she has learned a valuable lesson about fitting into both certain clothing sizes and people’s expectations. “I believe anyone choosing to undergo this type of surgery should do it for themselves. It’s not about fitting into a particular size of pants or meeting other people’s expectations – it’s a totally personal choice.”

As with many people who successfully undergo gastric bypass surgery, Laura’s life has been transformed. “My addiction to eating is something I believe I will struggle with for the rest of my life,” says Laura. “But I’ve gained so much confidence with my weight loss that I’m motivated to stay this way. I have a new job, new health and a new relationship with food.”


Laura Before Surgery
Laura Before Surgery
Lauar After Surgery
Laura After Surgery


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