Meet Mindy

Starting Weight: 268 pounds

Current Weight Loss: 144 pounds

This is Mindy. With the help of the expert team at the Center for Weight Management, she's four years post-op and living her best and healthiest life. Here's what she had to say about her weight loss journey at GMC:


Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

A: My name is Mindy, and I’ve been working as a marketing professional and dental implant treatment coordinator at Gwinnett Oral Surgery for the past six years. Since my surgery, I’ve also become an independent financial broker with Transamerica.


Q: What do you enjoy doing in your personal life?

A: I’m a proud mother of two beautiful girls, ages 19 and 14. I was a single parent for most of their lives. I love our family time—playing board games, shopping or just curling up to watch a movie together. When I’m not busy hanging out with them, I enjoy plenty of outdoor activities. I especially love hiking new trails and surrounding myself by nature. Oh, and the beach—anywhere there is water I love to relax and unwind.


Q: What made you decide to seek out bariatric surgery?

A: Well, I haven’t always been this active. A few years back, before my weight loss surgery, I had several conditions that limited these activities—as well as my confidence to do them. I felt depressed, and I cried a lot in dressing rooms, because nothing ever seemed to fit right. I was under the care of a pulmonary doctor as well as a cardiologist. I remember sitting in the lobby at one of my appointments with my bags of medications, and thinking to myself, “I’m the youngest person in here, and I have just as many medications in my bag as they all do.” I remember breaking down in my physician’s office, because I was so overwhelmed that nothing I was doing seemed to help me get my weight under control. I was losing out on life, and all I wanted was to have it back. That same day, my doctor suggested that I look into weight loss surgery. I had never really thought about something like that myself, and I was actually very hesitant—at first—to do something I considered so invasive.


Q: What made you change your mind?

A: After pondering the advice for a few weeks, I started reading reviews and looking up facilities and doctors who perform bariatric surgery. That’s when I found GMC’s Center for Weight Management and Dr. Robert Richard, MD. At the time, I had no idea how much my life was going to change, and how I forever would be in debt to Dr. Richard and GMC. I was very impressed by Dr. Richard’s credentials and was eager to make my initial consultation to see what he thought. At this point—after several failed attempts to save my life—I had nothing to lose but to give surgery a try.


Q: What was it like to go through the surgery?

A: Once my surgery was approved, Dr. Richard and I chose to go with the Roux en-Y gastric bypass. The hardest part of the whole experience was the liquid diet prior to surgery. Haha, I was so hangry towards the last day! The morning of surgery, I was extremely nervous—maybe more anxious than scared, but I had the support of my family and friends to get me through. Surgery went well and I had experienced no complications. Before I was released, I remember asking Dr. Richard about when I should start taking all my regular medications once I went home. His reply brought tears to my eyes—he said, “Throw them away, and get rid of them. You won’t need them anymore.” I’m not going to lie, even though I fully trusted Dr. Richards, I was apprehensive to throw them away and held on to them awhile longer. I later realized that he was absolutely right!


Q: What was your recovery like?

A: I was already up walking around within a few days after surgery. I was determined to make the most out of the new opportunity I’d been given. I immediately started walking park trails every day with a good friend of mine. I found it exhilarating to get out again and push through my comfort zone, as I watched the weight I had tried so hard to lose—for years—shed off. I remember looking in the mirror and saying, “I can’t believe this is me!” A year later, I started saying, “Here I am,” because the person I always envisioned I was on the inside was finally showing on the outside.


Q: How has bariatric surgery changed your life?

A: Well, my mother always told me, “Smile, and the world will smile with you.” I have finally found a reason and purpose to smile, and I want to use that to inspire others and do everything I can to help others in all areas of life. I’m now a women’s empowerment coach, and I’m dedicated to speaking to other women to help them feel better about themselves. Before my surgery and before meeting Dr. Richard and his incredible staff at GMC’s Center for Weight Management, I would have never had the courage or confidence to empower others the way I do now.


Q: Would you recommend GMC's Center for Weight Management to others?

A: Yes, I owe it all to Dr. Richard and GMC’s Center for Weight Management—they gave me my life back. I am the person I am today because of him and the impact of this facility. I would recommend that anyone struggling with weight loss should start their journey here. During the program they teach you proper eating habits, portion control during and after surgery and they assess you mentally to make sure you are able to process changes and emotions through the journey. They also have excellent support groups you can attend, and I highly recommend you do! Not only will you find other individuals fighting the same battles in their weight loss journey, but also real people facing everyday life issues that you can relate to. It is very easy to make new best friends here!


Q: Is there anything else you'd like people to know?

A: If I could say one thing to everyone reading this, it would be—at GMC’s Center for Weight Management, you are not alone, you will never fall short, there will always be a hand to hold and you too, will find success here.


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