Sherrese Boyd's Story

Read Sherrese Boyd's story about Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass.

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A Life-Saving Failure

Sherrese Boyd’s successful weight loss is rooted in what turned out to be a life-saving failure.

A few years back, she had identified the kind of job she wanted, found that job and made it through the application process and interviews.

But at 340 pounds, she came up a slender two points short of passing the required physical.

Deflated, back at square one, and having tried a string of diets whose common element was their failure to work, she decided it was time for a change.

“I said, ‘It’s time for me to do something, or I’m not going to live long.’”

In addition to her five children, Sherrese had three constant companions: Sleep apnea, high blood pressure and an increasing risk of diabetes.

Although her family doctor was initially against the idea of surgery, after doing some research on her behalf, “he got on the line to Dr. (Donovan) Teel” of Premier Metabolic and Bariatric Associates. “They both came up with a plan, and I did what they said.”

“I had to lose over 200 pounds to get down to where I wanted to be, so the roux-en-y (gastric bypass surgery) was a better procedure for me to do.”

More complicated than the more common vertical sleeve gastrectomy, it results in a smaller stomach and shorter intestinal tract, lessening the amount of food taken in and digested. 

Sherrese followed a strict diet for nine months before the surgery, relying on support from the staff at her primary care physician’s office. The goal was to change her relationship with food.

First, “I had to do a calorie count,” she said. “And then I had to write down everything I eat … everything. You have to write down everything you drink also.”

That led to adjusting not only to smaller portions, but moving her heaviest meal of the day away from where it had resided: at midnight because of her third shift job.

She also started eating a more healthful mix of foods.

“Once I changed my eating and my lifestyle,” she said, she discovered that what her nutritionist had told her was true: “I started noticing that your body actually talks to you.”

Dr. Teel performed her surgery Dec. 19, 2013.

At the end of her six weeks of recovery –now knowing how to listen to her body -- she returned to her pre-surgery diet, but with reduced portions. 

In addition to taking in fewer calories, Sherrese made it a point to burn more: she went to the gym with her daughter and to the park with her boys. Over time, that steady diet of exercise paid off.

“Right now, I’m at the point where I run four miles every other day” with the same daughter, she said.

“I maintain my weight with eating right, keeping up with my diet, keeping up with my vitamins, keeping up with my doctors, and exercising.”

She also gets help from a memento from her old days -- a pair of capri-length jeans she wore when she weighed 340 pounds and that, at 110 pounds, she can easily fit into one leg of.

They, too, talk to Sherrese.

“I hold on to these jeans to show me where I came from, how far I came and … that I don’t want to go back there.”

She’s confident she won’t – a confidence gained along the road to losing all that weight.

“I learned how strong I am after having surgery, cause it takes a lot of strength and willpower to do this.”

And to think it all started when she failed to pass a physical by a slender two points.