Skip to Content

My Weight Loss Surgery Experience — Was It Worth It?

My honest opinion of my weight loss surgery experience: the ups, the downs, and how it changed my life. Find out if it’s right for you.

A Childhood Of Turning To Food For Comfort

I have struggled with weight issues my entire life. There is a picture of me at 2 years old on a swing and my bottom took up the whole swing seat. I asked my mother about it, and she said that whenever I cried, she would give me a cookie...and I cried a lot.

This pattern continued throughout my school years. I felt ostracized in school, as all my friends were smaller than me. By third grade, I was already 50 pounds overweight and the biggest one in my class.

I grew up knowing there was a God and knowing the Holy Trinity, but not really relying on and personally knowing Jesus. I knew the Bible and did 12 years of Catechism, but without a personal relationship with Jesus, I was trapped in this large, unforgiving body.

Overeating During Pregnancy & Stress

Adulthood brought a different kind of weight struggle. I lost weight very unhealthily, graduating high school at a size 12 and 143 pounds by barely eating. It felt like people finally liked me.

Eager to maintain this acceptance, I made some poor choices. When I became pregnant with my first son, I was so happy that the elation translated into the belief that I could now eat anything, because that’s what you can do when you are pregnant, right? 

I still hadn’t learned to turn to Jesus. I turned to food. I went from 143 pounds to 208 pounds and delivered a 5-pound baby boy. 

After marrying my son’s father, we moved across the country for his first Army base assignment. While I made friends and lost weight through walking, my son had surgery after surgery, and I would eat as a way to cope with the fear and anxiety. I started to gain the weight back, and of course, the pounds brought friends

Recognizing Food Obsession

My husband never ate sweets. He didn’t have any problems with food. He bought himself a Snickers bar, which I don’t like. 

He kept the Snickers bar in the house for over a month, and finally one day I needed chocolate and didn’t have any of my own. I ate his Snickers. 

He was furious and couldn’t understand why all I did was eat. Well, I couldn’t understand it either. There was something wrong with me.

A year later, my son and I lived in the States for a year while my husband went to Germany. I packed on the pounds. When he left, I was about 170 pounds. A year later, when we joined him in Germany, I weighed 210 pounds. 

Shortly after arriving in Germany, I got pregnant, only to lose our twins 3 months into the pregnancy. The doctors said they couldn’t give us a reason why, but that my weight probably contributed to the loss. 

I had no one to turn to. I couldn’t turn to my husband; he didn’t understand and blamed me. I couldn’t turn to my family, as I had none in Germany. I couldn’t turn to Jesus, because I didn’t know Him yet. 

So, I turned to my best friend, food. 

Binge Eating During My Divorce

Three months before I left Germany, we found out I was pregnant again, and I was heavier than ever. 

I had to get home. I had caught my husband cheating with a woman who had been to our home a month earlier, and so my husband agreed that I needed to go home, and that would give him time to end it with her. I was naive and believed him.

I boarded a plane in April 1990, 3 months pregnant and 220 pounds. I delivered a son in October, who was 290 pounds. 

Food was my only comfort.

We ended up on state assistance for low-income housing. At the end of September, my husband announced he was divorcing me from overseas. 

I would sit in front of the TV, eating chocolate and chips non-stop. Binging became a habit and a need. I had such a hole that needed filling, and I couldn’t fill it.

As my baby celebrated his first birthday, I met a man at my college. I was going to school to help get my family and I out of our financial situation. He was kind and gentle, and he invited me to his church. 

Doctors performing surgery with a text overlay that reads as 'My Weight Loss Surgery Experience Was it worth it?'.

Meeting Jesus

I went to this church and met Jesus. I met Him face-to-face through His people in His church.

This man was not who I thought him to be. 

We ended up having a daughter and going our separate ways. He was violent and angry often, and if it weren’t for my new relationship with Jesus, I don’t know that I would be here today to share this story with you all.

Meeting Jesus started my journey.

I hope you meet Jesus through my story if you do not already know Him.

Surrender

There I was in 1992, 3 small children, single, and a baby Christian. I had lost weight, but with each angry outburst from my daughter’s father, I would turn to food. 

It wasn’t until years later that I began to turn to God first. 

I had so much in my life that needed to be healed.

God doesn’t always heal us the way we want. I wanted Him to make me thin, and then He could work on the other stuff. 

Well, God started making me whole within myself first. It took years, but He helped me work through all my insecurities and fears.

My pivotal moment was when I was on my knees, tears cascading down my cheeks, praying alone for God to make my life better. 

I surrendered that day, I surrendered to anything He wanted to do. Anything to make this all stop.

I stood up with a feeling of peace I didn’t know existed. God began a good work in me.

“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1:6

Together, we worked for many years for me to put back together pieces of my life. I still turned to food, but I turned to food and God. Not really what He wanted, but a start.

Each small step leads to bigger changes.

Listening to God

Finally, my life was starting to feel like one worth living. My children were 18, 20, and 25. I was 250 pounds but felt good. 

I raised my children with God as their father and with God as my husband. 

I now felt the desire for a physical husband. I prayed for God to deliver a man to me who was like my dad. I so loved my father, but he was not perfect. 

God delivered just what I had asked. My husband is very loving and supportive, but not perfect. 

I was getting a little lazy about my relationship with God and understanding what Paul said about only taking a husband/wife if you need to. 

“Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

1 Corinthians 7: 8-9

As my focus was on my husband and food, God was there, but in the background.

More Health Issues Because Of My Weight

In 2019, I reached 290 pounds and needed to undergo a total hysterectomy. I had to see a special surgeon as my BMI was so large, they were worried about complications. 

I prayed so hard for God to just take away the weight, but He didn’t. Not yet. I still had more to learn.

I underwent the hysterectomy, and God saw me through without any complications. I recovered easily. But in my recovery, I atethe one thing I could do well

I weighed 310 pounds a year later. I couldn’t walk up my three stairs to get into the house without being in tears. My husband would wait on me hand and foot. He would put on my socks and tie my shoes. 

I had been diagnosed with high blood pressure and had been put on Metformin for pre-diabetes. 

The First Suggestion Of Weight Loss Surgery

I joined a weight and wellness program with my local hospital and they asked about weight loss surgery. 

No way. That would not be trusting God. God will do this. I just knew He was going to take my weight away.

I lost 20 pounds after a year and a half of trying. During this time, I also joined Faithful Finish Lines, a Christian-based weight loss program. I thought this was my answer, as God was first in this program.

In a way, Faithful Finish Lines was my answer, it opened my mind and heart to correct guidelines in eating and correct relationships with God and food. 

I used the Holy Mess affirmations from Sara and Becky’s Christian weight loss devotional and started to hear from God.

God led me to a joke in a magazine. This joke/story is often shared verbally and, at times, in sermons. 

“During a flood, a devout man prayed for God to save him. As the waters rose, a neighbor offered him a ride in their boat. “No, thank you,” he replied, “God will rescue me.” As the waters continued to rise, a rescue helicopter appeared, offering assistance. Again, he declined, saying, “God will provide.” Eventually, the floodwaters overwhelmed him, and he drowned. In heaven, he asked God, “Why didn’t you save me?” God chuckled and replied, “I sent you a boat and a helicopter! What more were you expecting?” 

This story/joke tells us that God will meet our needs sometimes through people or other ways than we expect. We need to be open.

Right after I read this story, I started to get bombarded with messages about weight loss surgery. I sounded like that person in the story: “No, no, I am waiting on God.

This was God telling me, and this is how He wished to help me.

I cried so much as I told my medical team that I was going to do weight loss surgery. I felt like a failure. Why couldn’t I do this the “right” way? 

Taking The First Steps Toward Bariatric Surgery

I went through all the pre-op appointments, seeing a dietician for 3 months, seeing a weight loss psychiatrist, and having blood work. Every surgeon has different steps to follow; these were mine.

The blood work revealed an anomaly, and I was referred to a hematologist for more tests. I was diagnosed with hemolytic anemia; my body kills its red blood cells. 

Maybe this was God telling me not to have surgery. 

I went through treatment for hemolytic anemia—another story for me to tell later.

I made up every excuse to not have the surgery. 

I asked my hematologist if I really should get this surgery, and he was a huge proponent of it. The anemia was not related to weight, but being at a healthy weight would help my overall health.

My hematologist even spoke with my bariatric surgeon, and together, they came up with a plan for me to have the surgery. 

I had to wait for 4-6 months after treating the anemia. I had been scheduled to do surgery on October 14, 2022, but that had to be canceled. 

Surgery was now on March 13, 2023. I just knew I wouldn’t make it through this surgery

If anything happened, it would be all my fault; this was elective. No one said I had to have this surgery.

I prayed daily, multiple times a day. I needed God’s strength.

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:13

I wrote letters to each of my family members so that if I didn’t survive the surgery, they would be able to keep my last words. And I prayed.

The Day I Had Peace About Having The Surgery

March 13 came, and God gave me peace. Total peace. 

I am very needle-phobic, but I had the IV, team and they gave me a local anesthetic, used ultra,sound and placed an IV in my arm without me being anxious or having any pain. 

This was a miracle for me. 

God said, “I am right here. Thank you for getting in the boat”. 

The surgery went well. I went home the next day. 

Recovering From Weight Loss Surgery

I experienced no pain in recovery, just some soreness from having 5 probes in my gut and having my stomach and small intestines re-routed. I had gastric bypass surgery. 

My incisions healed very quickly. 

I followed all the guidelines I had learned in Faithful Finish Lines that I could, but I found my life was very different now. 

I wasn’t thinking of food all day. In fact, food would almost never even come up in my mind anymore. The “food noise” was gone. 

I was eating 500–800 calories a day (mostly protein) because my stomach was healing, and that was all I could ingest. I wasn’t hungry at all. 

I concentrated so much time on God; there was no food noise pulling me from Him. It was a wonderful honeymoon period. 

Every week, I would lose weight.

My high weight was 349

Lessons After Surgery

I could now focus on food as nourishment for my physical body. I couldn’t and still can’t eat sugar, but I didn’t want it either.

I grew closer to God, who became my main focus. I thanked Him daily for leading me to this solution.

Four months after surgery, the hemolytic anemia returned. This was very scary, as the treatment involves steroids, which are dangerous after gastric bypass. 

God was still with me.

There was an experimental procedure that my hematologist was doing to treat and hopefully cure hemolytic anemia. I went through this treatment. 

There were steroids, but they were very small, and my hematologist worked with me to have them through IV as much as possible so that they would bypass my new stomach area.

The treatments were not pleasant, much like cancer treatments, but I made it through and stayed on my eating program. I never even thought of eating differently during this stressful time

I didn’t want to run to chocolate, which was my typical response before surgery. 

I wanted God. I hungered for God. 

The anemia has been gone now for almost a year, and I am praying God has healed me through this experimental procedure, but He has shown me that He is with me through everything, and no matter what happens, He will help me through it. 

God has you, just like He has me. 

“…God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.

Hebrews 13:5

Weight Loss & Health Results After Gastric Bypass Surgery

One of the biggest issues with gastric bypass is that your body does not absorb nutrients and vitamins correctly. 

Through my bariatric team, I had blood tests at months 4, 8, and 12 to check on my nutrient levels. My levels are all normal, and I am doing great. I take vitamins and supplements daily.

Before surgery, I had high blood pressure and was on medication for it. I was borderline diabetic and on Metformin. I couldn’t walk without pain, and I almost hoped I would end up in a wheelchair so that I wouldn’t be forced to walk anymore. 

By month 8, I was off all medications except vitamins and supplements. I no longer have high blood pressure. I am no longer anywhere near being diabetic, and I walk for enjoyment and exercise. 

I worship God and sometimes even giggle as I walk now. A year ago, I went to Storyland with my granddaughter and had to ride an ECV (like a motorized wheelchair). 

I couldn’t go on any rides, as I didn’t fit and didn’t have the physical strength to pull myself up onto rides. Halfway through our day, I had to have us leave because I was so worn down.

Recently, one year later, we went to Storyland again. I walked through the entire park. I rode so many rides and never even thought about not fitting on one.  I swung my leg over the horse of the carousel and giggled out loud, praising God for my accomplishment. 

After we were done at the park, we went to the aquarium next door, and I walked through it, participated, and laughed. 

We then went to dinner at Applebees, where I had a burger without a bun and four or five French fries. 

After dinner, I felt like I needed a walk, so I walked to a local store to get sugar-free hot cocoa for later that night. 

I praise God for all He has done, and all He will do. God is great

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

Psalm 23:4

“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.”

Psalm 145:3

Is Weight Loss Surgery for Everyone?

No. This was the boat God provided for me. He may have a different boat for you or maybe a helicopter. 

The tool of weight loss surgery has completed its work in my life. I lost 72% of my excess weight. The Mayo Clinic and other programs state that with gastric bypass, you could lose up to 70% of your excess weight. 

I now weigh 208 pounds. 

I feel like I have more weight to lose, and I am so grateful that God led me to join Faithful Finish Lines when He did. 

Now, I rest on their guidelines for nutrition and habits to maintain and continue to lose.

I can now eat almost anything. I can eat 3 ounces of meat at one meal, veggies cooked well, about ¼ cup of pasta, or ½ a sweet potato. 

I have treats; they are homemade treats with sugar substitutes. I can eat protein bars and protein shakes as long as the sugar is below 5 grams per serving. 

I have had poor eating days, where I have eaten over 1500 calories daily. This was eye-opening—that this surgery is a tool and not a “quick fix.”

After a year post-op, the food noise has returned, and I battle it with prayer and praise every day. 

I still get frustrated when I don’t see the scale going down. 

I’ve maintained my weight for close to 2 months now. I have to remind myself that I have lost about 145 pounds and give myself grace. 

God will help me to maintain and lose, He will show me the way. 

I do not doubt that I will be where He wants me to be, which may not be exactly where I want, weight-wise, but His plan is better.

I praise God for sending me my boat and this surgery and never leaving my side during any step of this journey. He is amazing!

Believe and rely on God.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3: 5-6

Weight Loss Surgery FAQs

Yes. For me, it was the tool God used to save my life. To give me back life. To help me live. 

People think you cheated with weight loss surgery. People proudly state they lost their weight “naturally”. Well, so did I. I used a tool, but it was all natural. I had to eat well and move my body. I can understand that some would say I altered my body, and that is not natural, but it is still my natural body, nothing artificial. 

There are also bad times for eating. For me, it was the times that I ate too quickly, my stomach couldn’t handle the food I ate yet, and I had to vomit. Vomiting after weight loss surgery is very different; it is like expelling your stomach—not painful, just very different. 

I was a binge eater, and there are times I would love to binge but can’t. I thank God I can’t, but in that second, I get mad. 

Yes, I have quite a lot of loose skin, but I look at that as my trophy, my proof that I did it, and it reminds me to never forget what was, but many see this as a bad side.

I can’t indulge in a small brownie. I have to have a sugar-free brownie. If I eat sugar, I experience dumping syndrome, which happens to many with gastric bypass. 

Dumping syndrome is where your body wants to get rid of what is basically attacking it (sugar, high fat…). It can be vomiting, diarrhea, shaking, a fast heart rate, or sweating, and can last for hours. I am so scared of this, that I do not even try sugar.

There are also some healthy foods that my body just does not tolerate anymore. I can’t have lettuce or rice, for some reason, they make me sick now. 

There is no “quick fix.”

Surgery takes time to be ready, takes time to do, and still takes time to lose weight. Sure, the first few months for most are quicker, steadier weight loss than typical if you follow all the surgeon guidelines. 

Then, as you can eat more, you need to use all the same nutrition and health tools and movements that anyone else uses to lose weight.

This is a question that I refer you to in the story/joke in my article. Please go back and read the short story in the Listening to God section.

Prayer is a critical piece to any journey…or should be. You need to be aware when God sends you His boat or helicopter and you board it (you will understand this reference when you read the short story in the article).

I would encourage you to join the Free Christian Weight Loss support group and to sign up for the Faithful Finish Lines Membership program

You can also inquire at your church about any programs they may offer. 

Here are some Bible verses I relied on.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 

1 Corinthians 10:31.

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5: 22-23.

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7.

Doctors performing surgery with a text overlay that reads as 'My Weight Loss Surgery Experience Was it worth it?'.

Grow Your Faith, Lose the Weight Free 5-Day Challenge

Weight Loss To Wellness – God’s Design For Your Health

A Prayer for Weight Loss