Allan Palomar: A Success Story

September 9, 2019

Around 10 years ago, I was nearing 500 pounds and struggling to live my life to the fullest.

Now, I currently weigh 220 pounds, and as a long-distance cyclist I finished a 71-mile ride, and will soon tackle a 104-mile ride!

How did I get here? Well, that’s really a two-part answer.

First: I had a sleeve gastrectomy done in September 2017 by Dr. Marc Neff.

It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes that I realized I needed to act in order to change my future. Working in the medical field, as a dialysis technician at Jefferson Health in New Jersey, I knew the kind of health risks I was facing for the rest of my life. Prior to surgery, I lost over 100 pounds – as this is necessary to improve the safety and effectiveness of the procedure.

Dr. Neff and his team are as knowledgeable as medical professionals come, and for that I am grateful. Having the opportunity to work with a dietitian through this journey has been incredibly helpful; she educates me on what to eat, when to eat, and how to properly refuel for my races (with plenty of electrolytes!).

Second: I had to get into the right mindset. If you aren’t mentally prepared for life after bariatric surgery, then you need to speak with your doctor, and your loved ones, before having it done.

Like most things in life, with bariatric surgery, you’re only going to get out of it what you give.

As I was working out, I thought to myself, “what if I took my fitness to the next level?” That’s what inspired me to get into long distance cycling. It’s helped me to focus on maintaining my health, as well as work toward new goals.

After bariatric surgery, you have to think in a similar way. You have to put continuous effort into your own health. Not everybody is going to want to take up cycling, but finding something to strive for keeps you from falling back into your same old habits.

It’s also really important to know that it will take time to recover and adjust to work and your social life again. When someone offers me unhealthy food, I know that I have to be open about my experiences and accept that I can’t eat as much of it as the next person. I do, however, have the self-control to have small portion sizes of these foods, on occasion. It’s okay to indulge, just don’t overdo it.

I’ve had no regrets about my decision to undergo weight-loss surgery. I feel great! I’m no longer diabetic, but I do still sleep with my CPAP, because it helps me get a better night’s sleep.

Bariatric surgery has changed my life, and I’m never going back to being unhealthy.