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Healthy Weight Management & Bariatric Surgery





Shannon's Story

Do you remember the first time you ever did something new? Do you recall how excited you were? For instance: your first kiss or your first day in a new home? The point I'm trying to make is people tend to get excited at first, but then gradually the excitement fades. I've experienced this regarding my weight-loss journey.

As I thought about my motivation for surgery, I realized that I had to look inside of me instead of outside influences to find the inspiration and motivation. My journey was intensely personal. I often reminded myself that this journey is not just about weight-loss numbers. It's a life changing experience!

Prior to the surgery, there were days when I was depressed, unmotivated, and just too exhausted to move. Sometimes I thought I should just accept that I was going to be fat. It seemed to be a vicious cycle. There were times where I would lose weight, and other times where I had completely messed up for weeks. The truth is I was looking for people to notice and complement me to validate me. I would be discouraged if I no one noticed the weight I had lost. When I would get discouraged, I would fill the void with food. I wasn't just dealing with a food addiction—I was also dealing with the need for the approval of others. I've learned that a lot of people who overeat are doing it on behalf of their "old self:" a discouraged child, unpopular teenager, a self-conscience young adult who no longer exists.

When depression would come back, I remember those things that inspired me to begin this journey: my children and close friends. It’s important to surround yourself with positive influences. There will always be people who will try to steal your dreams with laughter or criticism. They just don't understand what drives you. 

Making the decision to have weight-loss surgery was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever contemplated. It was also the best decision I could possibly have made.

From the moment I committed to having bariatric surgery, both Dr. McPhee and his highly competent staff at Lancaster General Health were very supportive and helpful every step of the way. It’s been 18 months since I had my procedure and I am more pleased now than ever with my life-changing decision. I have boundless energy, amazing motivation, and tremendous optimism over my improved health and lifestyle choices. No longer am I plagued by out-of-control eating patterns, remorseful feelings about food, nor shame over my escalating weight gain/health issues.

Losing the weight and associated health issues has allowed me to discover a life I never knew was possible. I have learned how to eat properly, exercise successfully, and remain free from the baggage that was a result of poor eating habits secondary to ineffective coping. The surgery was not the solution, but rather a highly effective tool that enabled me to implement and maintain a healthy lifestyle with both food and exercise. Thank you Dr. McPhee (and staff) for giving me an opportunity to truly experience health, confidence, and inner peace.

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