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A New Start

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Laura Zabriskie

May 4, 2018
A few years ago, Laura Gorrell looked at the trajectory of her life and didn't like the picture she saw developing, so she decided to do something about it. At age 23, she joined GBMC's Comprehensive Obesity Management Program (COMP). Weight issues had always run in her family and even though she was active in sports, Laura, too, struggled with her weight.

Throughout high school, Laura had been very involved in horseback riding, even competing at the national level. Everything went downhill when she went to college. With the work of two science degrees crammed into four years, she didn't have time to exercise or do much of anything else. "All I did was study, eat, and sleep," she says. Within the span of several months, she gained almost 90 pounds. Despite her passion for horseback riding, she felt she needed to stop due to her increasing weight.

Laura struggled with the idea of weight-loss surgery, thinking that her family wouldn't support her. She was concerned they would think she was too young. She needn't have worried though; her family was incredibly supportive of her decision. Once she realized this, she immediately moved forward and made an appointment with Dr. Elizabeth Dovec. Despite her busy schedule, Laura found a way to make it work. "I didn't want to look back 20 years from now and feel like I had missed out on living. I want to live my life now."

In November of 2015, she had her weight-loss surgery. 115 pounds later, Laura is back to riding and she's training for half marathons with the RUNGBMC group. "I never thought I would do that," she says. Her weight loss has also improved her professional life as a scientist. People treat her differently than they did before. "I always felt like I needed to prove that I wasn't lazy. I don't get the feeling that people assume that about me anymore." Laura is now more confident than she has ever been.

"I'm so glad I didn't wait."
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