Mark: A Success Story

June 5, 2020

If you want to change your life, you have to stick to it.

Last spring, I underwent weight-loss surgery after spending more than a year preparing. At nearly 360 pounds, I had reached the point in my life where my weight impacted how I felt and functioned. The biggest eye-opener was when I couldn’t play with my kids without getting tired.

Now, with a year’s worth of newfound, healthy lifestyle habits under my belt, I’m down to 180 pounds. I went from wearing a size 4X to an XL. I feel so much better than before. I’m eating much less, and I’m staying active — not just for myself, but for my four kids.

One of my greatest non-scale victories so far has been getting back on the ice. By that, I mean the ice hockey rink. I spent nearly 20 years unable to play because of my weight, but I recently joined a men’s league and my kids have been up in the stands cheering me on.

This has truly been a life-changing experience, but it didn’t happen in the blink of an eye. It takes a lot of willpower. You have to follow the advice of your surgeon and dietitian — unless you want to start gaining weight again. You have to say no to the junk food cravings and remember why you wanted to have the surgery in the first place.

Dr. Marc Neff and his team, including my dietitian Cheri, were incredibly informative and great at motivating me. Cheri would always tell me, “live for your kids,” and that’s all she had to say to keep me on track with my diet plan.

It may seem scary at first, but once you get into the right, positive mindset, it’s all about the effort you put in. Having the right medical team by your side makes all the difference. At Jefferson, they’ve stuck with me for more than two years. They’re always following up with me. They weren’t just with me for surgery, but for life.