Sherrese’s Story: 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 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.’”

A mother of five, Sherrese was battling sleep apnea,high blood pressure, and an increasing risk of diabetes.

“I had to lose more than 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.”

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. 

Starting the Journey to Permanent Weight Loss

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 says. “And then I had to write down everything I ate and drank…everything.”

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

Surgery and the Road to Recovery

Sherrese had a successful Roux-en-Y surgery with Joe Northup, MD, of Premier Weight Loss Solutions, and after 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,” she says. “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 reminder of her old days — a pair of capri-length jeans she wore when she weighed 340 pounds. Now weighing 110 pounds, she can easily fit into one leg of those jeans.

“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.

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