Friday, December 27, 2013

The Mirror, Not the Scale, Is the Enemy of Many

Losing Weight Tops 2013 New Year’s Resolutions

MELROSE PARK, Ill. – For years Blanca Ramirez, like many Americans, started each new year with a resolution to lose weight. But no more. “I lost 55 pounds this year and the weight is rolling off and will stay off,” said the 42-year-old, married mother of three.  Ramirez underwent bariatric surgery at the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care in August and has lost 55 pounds in four months.

Losing weight and improving health are top New Year’s resolutions expected to challenge  Americans this year, experts say.

According to a study released in December, 2012, more than a quarter (27.8 percent) of Americans are obese. The United Health Foundation also reports that 30.8  percent of American adults have high blood pressure.
 
“Losing weight has a positive effect on diabetes, heart disease, orthopaedic injuries and even cancer,” said Bipan Chand, MD, director, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care,  who performed Ramirez’s gastric sleeve surgery. “Looking good is just one part of the weight- loss equation; adding years to your life is the real benefit.” 

Chand says there are many reasons that spur people to choose weight-loss surgery, from years of trying and failing to lose weight, to experiencing a serious health scare. For Chicago-area resident Blanca Ramirez, it was  her own reflection that spurred a decision to have a gastric-sleeve bariatric procedure. “I have been overweight since I was a teenager and I didn’t like what I saw when I looked in the mirror,” said Ramirez, who is 5 foot 3 inches tall and weighed 225 pounds before her surgery in August. “People would tell me I was pretty and I didn’t need to lose weight, but I knew I was obese and was sick of being fat.”

Diets, exercise programs, prescription pills, Ramirez says she tried everything from Atkins to Weight Watchers. The final straw was when poor health affected her family. “My brother had a heart attack at the age of 35. I already had cholesterol problems and I knew my weight would continue to cause more health problems,” the administrative secretary said.

Ramirez attended a free weight-loss information session offered by Loyola. “I liked what I heard about their program, especially the nutritional counseling, exercise guidance and regular support groups,” Ramirez said. “Loyola confirmed that my insurance would cover the procedure and that was the final green light to decide bariatric surgery was right for me.”

Loyola offers medical as well as surgical weight-loss interventions, including laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy.

And Ramirez’s resolution for 2013? “To help others win the battle of the bulge. People are always asking me my success and I tell them to attend a Loyola information session,” she says. “I like looking at myself in the mirror now. I want others to lose weight and like what they see in the mirror, too.”

To register for a free information session or to learn more about the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care, visit the center's website or call (800) 355-0416.   

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), located on a 61-acre campus in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH), on a 36-acre campus in Melrose Park, and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. At the heart of LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that houses the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, a burn center, a children's hospital, Loyola Outpatient Center, and Loyola Oral Health Center. The campus also is home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. The GMH campus includes a 254-licensed-bed community hospital, a Professional Office Building with 150 private practice clinics, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 22 states from coast to coast with 93 hospitals, and 120 continuing care locations — including home care, hospice, PACE and senior living facilities — that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually.