Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery Success Story: Terrilyn Jackson
I decided to have the surgery because I wanted to get off my blood pressure medications and... be around for my kids and grandkids.
— Terrilyn Jackson: Gastric Bypass Surgery, 2007
Turning to food for comfort, Terrilyn Jackson began overeating at about age 11. As a teenager, her weight went up and down. And after she got married, her weight increased after the birth of each of her two children.
Most of Terrilyn’s meals included fried meat, potatoes or rice with gravy, corn or peas, and dessert. She was eating chips, cookies, ice cream, and other snack foods, but not very many fruits and vegetables.
"I decided to have the surgery because I wanted to get off my blood pressure medications and I wanted to be around for my kids and grandkids," Terrilyn explains. "I was shortening my life everyday."
Terrilyn had gastric bypass surgery in 2007. Within a year she had lost nearly 90 pounds. Terrilyn exercises on her treadmill one to one and a half hours in the morning, at least five days per week. She also stays on schedule taking her vitamins and minerals, and attends support group meetings regularly.
Terrilyn is now very portion-conscious and tries to stay away from fried foods. She eats mostly baked or grilled chicken or fish, but not a lot of beef. When eating out, she either takes at least half of her food home or orders a child-sized portion. And she makes sure she drinks her liquids. Terrilyn still has the occasional snack, but she makes better choices than she used to and stays away from vending machines.
Terrilyn can get down on the floor and play with her grandkids now, too. Before losing the weight, it hurt to get down on the floor, and she had to hold onto something to get back up. Terrilyn says it is also more comfortable to fly now. Before she had weight loss surgery, she felt that she was getting too big to sit in the seat. “I was almost to the point of needing an extender.” A big milestone for her was being able to tighten the seatbelt and have extra room left.
She also has more energy. On weekends, she enjoys going places and doing things with her grandkids, such as walking around the mall. “I’m just out more, doing things. Shopping is more fun now. Before, I would get winded or tired walking around at the mall. Now I have to slow down because some people can’t keep up with me anymore,” Terrilyn explains.
Terrilyn says that losing the weight has also helped her look younger. "If the grandkids are with me, people think they are mine."