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The following is part one of a two-part Question and Answer session with Comprehensive Obesity Management Program patient Jennifer D.

What type of surgery did you have and when?
"I had gastric bypass surgery on May 3, 2011."

Why did you decide to have bariatric surgery?
"I had been contemplating having it for about 10 years. I had tried everything a number of diet programs but just couldn't lose the weight and keep it off. At the point I decided to take the step and have weight loss surgery, I was at the highest weight of my life and on blood pressure medicine. I was 34 years old, and I was tired of coming out on the losing end of this weight battle."

Did you attend any of GBMC's free bariatric support groups prior to surgery?
"Yes, and they were extremely helpful. While the surgeons and dietitians are always available to answer your questions, it is such a huge help to hear from people who have actually been through the surgery or are going through the same thing as me. They were able to explain what was going to happen and give me tons of real world advice."

In your opinion, what was the hardest part of the program leading up to surgery?
"Trying to adapt to how different my life was going to be after surgery was a challenge. Paying closer attention to what I was eating and food journaling really opened my eyes. Even though I'm eating less, I take twice as long to grocery shop because I'm being more careful about reading the labels and not just saying, 'It says fat free, so I'll buy it.'"

What is one piece of advice you would give to patients who are still going through their pre-surgery program?
"Bariatric surgery is not a magic pill - you still have to do the work and put forth the effort. The more you prepare your body by making healthy diet choices and getting exercise before surgery, the smoother things will go afterward."

Want to find out about Jennifer's post-surgery experience and success? Stay tuned for part two of the Q&A session in a future edition of eCoach.

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