Maria: A Success Story

January 15, 2020

My story began around three years ago, when I realized it was a struggle to keep up with my two energetic boys, who were 2- and 4-years-old. I was tired of being uncomfortable with everything I did and everything I wore.

I spoke with my husband about having weight loss surgery, and he supported me 100 percent! I turned to other people, who have had the surgery, for advice and encouragement. After many lengthy and heartfelt conversations, I finally made the life-changing decision to have the surgery myself.

When I met Dr. Marc Neff and Cheri Leahy, RDN, CSOWM, I knew right away that they were amazing and would be an integral part of my journey and success.

Dr. Neff helped me figure out my goals and next steps every few months after surgery. I have never met someone who takes so much time with a patient! Cheri taught me everything there is to know about eating and drinking the right way. Proper nutrition is the driving force behind the whole surgery, and I couldn’t have succeeded without her. She always answered my questions, and she even helped me make grocery lists!

After my pre-op appointments, it was time to start my two-week pre-op diet. I won’t lie – the first few days were not easy, but I persevered. Luckily, I was not required to do a full liquid diet.

When the morning of my surgery came, I wasn’t even nervous. I was so confident and comfortable with my doctor and the care I was going to receive from my surgery team at Jefferson Health New Jersey.

When I went home the next day, I took it easy, and did what I was told day by day. This is the most important part of the process! I had a great support team at home to help me recover, including my husband, sister, and parents. I took walks often, sipped water, and drank protein drinks. This really helped build my energy and allowed my post-surgery nausea to subside.

Six days later, I visited Dr. Neff and Cheri again, and I had already lost 11 pounds. Game on! I was more than motivated at this point. I moved on to the different stages of eating and felt amazing through it all. Did I exercise? Well, I had two young boys, so, yeah, I never stopped! They were, and still are, my source of exercise 24/7.

My “WOW” moment came when I was about six months out. I was down to a size 6-8 in jeans, and I was actually excited to go shopping for new ones!

I hope my story can inspire others who have struggled with their weight and are considering weight loss surgery. I have sent numerous friends and family members to Dr. Neff in the past couple of years, and they are all enjoying their newfound health.

A great support system is key. You need people who will have your back and help you along the way. Not every day is a walk in the park; you will always come across bumps in the road. Use your new "tool" to your best advantage, follow your instructions, and you will do GREAT!

To read more bariatric success stories like Maria’s, and for more information on bariatric surgery at Jefferson Health New Jersey, click HERE.