Gaining Energy and Confidence While Losing 100+ Pounds
Following gastric bypass surgery in 2014, Teri Bonfield lost more than 100 pounds and now feels "healthier at 52 than I did at 35. The biggest change is the amount of energy I have. I get up at 6 a.m. and go to bed at midnight," she says.
She spends her time raising six young adults and managing her Harrison, Ohio, household with her partner. Teri also cares for the family's menagerie of dogs, cats, rabbits and chickens, and volunteers multiple hours a week at Harrison High School.
An active athlete in high school and college, Teri didn't have a problem with weight until her mid-20s. As her family grew to six children in less than a decade, she traded her aerobic lifestyle for a life revolving around her children's needs. By her mid-30s, Teri faced the reality of being 100 pounds overweight.
Her father had died at a young age from diabetes and stroke. She hadn't yet seen the signs of high blood pressure or high blood sugar in herself but didn't want to get there.
"I tried fad diets, hypnosis, counting calories and exercising. I'd be good one day and go through a drive-thru the next. Depression kicked in at times and I couldn't get motivated to stick with anything," Teri recalls.
Choosing Weight-Loss Surgery
In 2014, one of her doctors recommended weight-loss surgery, and she started researching online. She identified George Kerlakian, MD, as the "gold standard in doctors," a weight-loss surgeon who had trained a lot of the other bariatric doctors in the Cincinnati area. She called TriHealth Weight Management, met the staff, consulted with the team's psychologist, dietitian and exercise specialist, and scheduled for surgery in May 2014.
"Once I was committed, there was no looking back. I completed everything in eight weeks," she recalls.
Dr. Kerlakian performed a Roux-en-Y procedure, which he described to Teri as the gold standard for sustained weight loss. He stapled off a part of Teri's stomach and repositioned her small intestine to receive food from the smaller stomach pouch.
"The procedure was very non-invasive. No big incisions. No complications. No pain. Recovery was nothing," she says.
Teri adopted a strict eating regimen but found it easy to follow. "It's about portion control. If you overeat, you don't feel well physically. When I feel full, I put the food away. I used to go to Skyline and order a regular 4-Way chili, cheese coney, crackers and a couple of Sierra Mists. Now I get a child's 3-Way chili and it takes me 30 to 40 minutes to eat it."
In addition to boosting her energy, the weight loss has also boosted her confidence. When she shops for clothes, she now looks for size 10 or 12 instead of size 22. She doesn't have to struggle with tight seat belts on planes. She can run a 5K race or walk 18 holes of golf.
Teri comments, "I look at photos over the years, and I was always hiding in the background. Now, I'm not afraid to be front and center. I take selfies with the kids all the time.
"I'm so happy and so much more confident. My only regret is that I didn't do this 10 years ago!"