Julie’s Story

Weight loss Success

Julie before surgery

Julie before surgery

Unlike most of my classmates, I was attending Weight Watcher meetings when I was 9 years old. I was picked on, called names and had to have clothes made for me by my grandmother because clothes off the rack would not fit. By 6th grade, I began to play sports and lost enough weight to be able to wear “husky” sizes. Even after earning a volleyball scholarship in college, I struggled to keep weight off and maintain a size 14. For these reasons, I HATE to go clothes shopping.

After college and graduate school, I was an Athletic Trainer which required a lot of traveling with the various sports teams. We would eat late at night after games and quite frankly, I was eating like I was still an athlete although I was not working out like I once did. Therefore, my clothing size increased to an 18. I tried every fad diet possible and would lose 20lbs and regain 30lbs.

Julie on day of surgery

Julie on day of surgery

Then along came my baby and so did more weight. I joined the 200lb club, yet I had a “good” excuse….”it was BABY weight”. It was at this time I did the Atkins Diet and lost 50lbs! Yep…you guessed it, I then put back on 70lbs.

I started having foot pain and low back pain. I was not sleeping well and snored badly. I was tired all the time and couldn’t keep up with my daughter. One of the parents with my daughters’ soccer team had gastric bypass a few years ago and had lost 120lb. She looked healthy and was very happy unlike me who was miserable.

Julie after surgery

Julie after surgery

I had no co-morbidities and was overall healthy except for my weight, yet I knew it was just a matter of time before I did develop a weight- related disease. I felt had to do something! By the grace of God, I took a new job and started working in Bariatrics. As I learned more about the surgical options and saw firsthand the patient’s journey from start to finish, I decided that surgery was the right choice for me.

I realize this decision is not for everyone and that I can regain the weight by making poor food choices. For the first time in my life, food does not control me. I am so blessed to be surrounded by the great surgeons and staff at Southern Surgical and believe that through their support, as well as the support of our patients, I will finally have success at weight loss.

Julie Johannes, PA-C, MSS