According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 39% of adults in the United States are considered obese and have a body mass index of greater than or equal to 30.
In Georgia, 32.5% of adults fall into the obese category. That’s up from 20.6% in the year 2000 and a drastic increase from 10.1% in 1990.
Studies show that people with obesity, compared to those with a normal or healthy weight, are at an increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions, including high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and mental illness.
The chronic diseases associated with obesity can be costly to treat, dangerous to a person’s overall health, and even deadly.
Losing weight can help you get closer to the normal BMI range, reverse certain health conditions, and improve your overall health. And though many people find success with nutrition- and exercise-focused weight loss programs, most people with extreme obesity struggle to find success with traditional weight loss methods.
Last spring, Archbold Memorial Hospital launched a Bariatric and Weight Management Program that offers a comprehensive range of individualized weight loss services. The program offers nonsurgical and surgical weight loss options, including sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass procedures, for long-term weight loss results.
Archbold’s Bariatric and Weight Management Program has a unique distinction – it’s the only one in South Georgia with two fellowship-trained, board certified bariatric surgeons.
“We’re so proud of the results we’re seeing for our patients participating in the Archbold bariatric program,” said Archbold bariatric surgeon Katie Hanisee, MD, who also serves as the program’s medical director. “We currently have over 200 patients at different stages in the program, and our patients are experiencing great success with bariatric surgery.”
One of the first patients to join Archbold’s program was Crissy Williams.
“There were a multitude of factors that led me to a decision to try bariatric surgery,” Williams said. “I no longer felt healthy, and I was uncomfortable sitting in chairs, lying down, getting up, and my joints were tired. I felt horrible about myself and wasn’t setting a good example for my daughter. I knew I needed an intervention.”
Williams struggled for 13 years to lose weight. She tried an HCG diet and a no-carb diet. She would lose weight, but would always gain it back.
“I felt like a failure,” Williams said. “I had low self-esteem because I would put the weight back on.”
After meeting with Hanisee to discuss her options, Williams underwent a gastric sleeve procedure at Archbold Memorial Hospital on July 12, 2018.
“I weighed 303 pounds when I started my bariatric journey, but I’ve now lost 112 pounds and am closer to my goal weight of 180 pounds,” Williams said.
Since having surgery, Williams has seen a multitude of changes in her life.
“The surgery has made such an impact on my lifestyle,” she said. “I’m now able to play laser tag with my children for the first time and ride rollercoasters. I can lean over and pick things up off the floor. I can cross my legs, tie my shoes, and wear clothing that’s not out of a plus-size store.”
Williams said a big factor in being successful with bariatric surgery is having the right mindset and being able to teach your body how to eat properly.
“The surgery has changed my way of thinking when it comes to meals,” Williams said. “I’m no longer living to eat, but eating to live. I’m more aware of what I put into by body.”
Williams’s newfound favorite food is riced cauliflower, since it can be used in many different ways. Salsa with cheese chips has also become her go-to snack.
“My advice to people considering weight loss surgery is don’t wait,” she said. “Just do it. It’s worth the money, and it’s worth your life.
“I feel healthier. I can move without getting short of breath. I sleep better and have more energy. And my two children are happier because I can do more fun things with them.”
“Archbold’s bariatric program provides a supportive environment that has truly helped set our patients up for long-term weight loss success,” said Archbold bariatric surgeon Joey Jarrard, MD. “Our program guides each patient through the medical, nutritional, and psychological program components, and we tailor our treatment to each patient’s individual needs. We follow our patients after surgery, too, and provide the support they need while monitoring their weight loss and overall health status. It’s exciting to see our patients already having such great results.”