Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery Success Story: Mary Gadson
Who would have thought that I would be taking cycling classes and buying size 12-14 dresses again? I’m living now.
— Mary Gadson: Adjustable Gastric Band Surgery, 2007
"In high school, I was in track and basketball. I didn’t start to have a weight problem until 10 to 15 years later. After the birth of each of my two children, I continued to gain weight. And during that time, my mother, who was overweight, died unexpectedly of a heart attack.
"Sixteen years later, my 52 year-old husband, who was not overweight but was a smoker, died unexpectedly of a heart attack. When he died, it brought back all those memories of my mother’s death. She had died at age 63, and I was bigger than she had been. I had always just been healthy, but now I could see myself heading toward a brick wall.
"I was wearing size 28 dresses, and, when I realized I couldn’t buy pants that fit me where I shopped, it was an eye-opener. I had not been exercising. I ate whenever I was happy, sad or stressed. I drank sodas all day and did a lot of snacking. If I opened a large bag of chips or cookies, it would be gone the same day. I had something in my mouth all day. At my favorite place to eat, I would order a triple bacon cheeseburger, large fries and a large vanilla milkshake.
"Shortly after my husband’s death, I tried to lose weight by dieting and couldn’t do it. I would lose two or three pounds and gain more back. It was difficult and uncomfortable to put on my shoes and socks. I tried walking but was miserable, so I started working out at an exercise facility. I did my homework and attended a bariatric seminar. I looked at the pictures and thought, ‘maybe I can do this.’ I decided to have the surgery.”
More than two and a half years after her adjustable gastric band surgery, Mary has lost 128 pounds and is continuing to work toward her goal of attaining a healthy weight. She can now wear pants. She no longer eats the way she used to and she exercises regularly. She says that her feet and knees don’t hurt — even after a good workout in an aerobics class.
"People say that I look younger now, not as tired. Now I look like I am my 16 year-old daughter’s mother, not her grandmother. I now have a social life, also. Before, I didn’t go to family reunions because I was so big. Who would have thought that I would be taking cycling classes and buying size 12-14 dresses again? I’m living now. You can live to live (day by day) or you can live to LIVE!!
"I would recommend the program at Scott & White. In today’s microwave society, people are taking shortcuts, which can be dangerous. At Scott & White, they didn’t take any shortcuts or rush anything. Step one was attending the seminar and step two was attending classes. Each step of the way, I had to do my part and they did their part."