Barbara Bungy - Healthier Life, Healthier Me

August 11, 2020

A Bariatric Success Story 

Ten years ago, Dr. Adam S. Goldstein performed lap band surgery on me. I was 39 years old, weighed nearly 300 pounds, and was suffering from sleep apnea and at risk for hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. 

Just three months after surgery, I no longer needed my CPAP machine. By 18 months, I had dropped nearly 80 pounds. I stuck to my new diet, and I frequented the gym five days a week.

However, over the next couple of years, I returned to graduate school (studying for my MBA) and worked a full-time job simultaneously. In spring 2015, I joyously celebrated my graduation, but unfortunately, I had gained back 40 pounds.

It was a challenge, but I had to accept what happened and get back on track; I knew I didn’t want this surgery to be for nothing. Plus, I needed to be healthy enough to take care of my mom, who is living with hypertension and diabetes. 

When I began my new executive-level position in Center City, it completely shook up my lifestyle – for the better. Despite the complexities of navigating a new job, it was a blessing on so many levels. I fell into a much healthier work/life balance. Just the physical location of my job allowed me to access healthier food options and move more during my commute.

I steadily started to lose weight again, but I was still feeling significantly fatigued. As it turns out, I had developed hypothyroidism. After drawing many labs, my endocrinologist was able to prescribe the proper treatment, and since, I’ve been able to drop another 70 pounds!

I’m currently at my lowest weight ever (as an adult) at 175, but, more importantly, I feel great!

I have experienced countless non-scale victories, the most paramount being the progressive improvement of my physical health. I also love being able to walk into any clothing store and find clothes that fit and complement my figure.

Over the years, I learned many things that helped me make the most of my surgery, such as:

  • I became more educated about how my food and exercise choices impact my physical and emotional health.
  • I became more aware of my eating habits, eliminated the “dieting” mindset, and incorporated a "lifestyle" mindset. 
  • I started to prioritize (emotional and physical) self-care and make medical appointments as needed, instead of pushing them off. I also communicate all of my health concerns with my medical providers.
  • I embraced my imperfections, forgave myself often, and recover quickly when I perceive myself as being imbalanced with any facet of my post-op self-care lifestyle. 

By the grace of God, I have had an incredible support system by my side through all of my ups and downs, including my mom, my best friend, other friends and colleagues, as well as my wonderful care team.  

Dr. Goldstein has provided excellent care, from first impression, to surgery, to post-op checkups. I first met him at a bariatric surgery information session. Right off the bat, his professionalism, demeanor, and humanity, comforted and encouraged me. Not only is he a highly skilled surgeon, but he has a heart of gold! He’s knowledgeable, understanding, attentive, and compassionate. He always ensured that my questions were fully answered, and that I was comfortable every step of the way. This was an essential component to building my trust.

If you’re considering surgery, I recommend attending an information session and asking as many questions as possible. Also, it’s important to recognize that bariatric surgery is not a weight loss solution that requires no effort. It will always require effort; surgery is an effective tool, only if used properly.

It’s been a long journey for me, and even though it hasn’t been perfect, it’s all been worth it!

To learn more about Bariatric Surgery at Jefferson Health - New Jersey, click HERE