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When did you have your bariatric surgery? What kind did you have?
I had gastric bypass surgery April 8, 2010. It truly saved my life. I had tried unsuccessfully to lose weight through diet and exercise – I even worked with a personal trainer. My primary care physician referred me to Dr. Liao, and I’m grateful that I went through with it.

What was the hardest part of the program leading up to surgery? How did you get through it?
Going through orientation was tough. That meant I had to admit to myself that I had a problem. I was surprised that changing my diet was fairly easy for me to do. Knowing that it’s what I needed to do to make the surgery successful was very motivating for me. I continue to work out three times a week, and it’s all like second nature to me.

What was the scariest part for you leading up to surgery?
I wasn’t very nervous about the surgery itself. I knew about the risks, but for me the benefits outweighed them. I needed the surgery to survive. What really scared me were the prescreenings. They pointed out so many health problems I had – diabetes, sleep apnea, asthma, hypertension, high cholesterol. I felt bad that I let myself get to that point, but it really reinforced why I needed to go through with the surgery.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to patients who have just had bariatric surgery?
Follow the instructions you’ve been given properly. The surgeons, dietitians and staff do this for a living, so they know what they’re talking about. Also, don’t be shy about telling your doctor or dietitian if you’ve been having any issues after surgery – even if it’s embarrassing. They are professionals and will be able to help you without making you feel embarrassed for asking.

What’s your success story?
I’m down from 326 pounds to 205. My body fat percentage is now 9 percent, and it used to be 60. I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been. As an officer for the Maryland Transit Authority Police Force K-9 Unit, physical fitness is essential for me to effectively do my job. I’ve dropped three uniform sizes, and my energy levels are amazing! My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.

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