“I always say I was a ‘fathlete,’ which is a fat athlete,” says Tina Tait, a bariatric surgery patient at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital.
Tait was active, participating in 5Ks and several three-day breast cancer research fundraising walks, but continued to gain weight.
“That was just the most helpless feeling in the world – there’s nothing else I could have done that would have made me more successful,” she says. “There’s just nothing like that frustration.”
After years of struggling to lose weight, Tait finally decided to take the next step and explore bariatric surgery options.
She chose between three types of bariatric surgery:
Because Tait did not have any co-morbidities such as diabetes, and enjoys dining out with friends, her primary care physician recommended the vertical sleeve gastrectomy to best fit her lifestyle. She told Tait the procedure would likely have the easiest recovery.
“After the surgery, I woke up in the hospital bed and felt like I had just had a vigorous Pilates workout,” she says. “My abs were tight – I was almost unconvinced that anything had been done. I felt satisfaction for the first time in my life.”
Less than a year after the surgery, Tait has shed 120 pounds, dropping from 250 to 130. She recently completed her first half marathon.
“I’m just five pounds from my goal and five pounds from a completely normal BMI,” she says.*
A common stereotype of bariatric surgery is that it’s the “easy way out,” but Tait says that notion couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Some people say it’s the easy way out and it’s definitely not,” she says. “[The surgery] doesn’t keep you from eating things you’re not supposed to eat. You still have to control what you put in your body.”
Her only regret? Not having the surgery sooner.
“I wish I hadn’t spent my whole life overweight because it’s traumatic,” she says. “People are mean. People stare. People say things. But I’m really glad to have left that behind and start this new chapter.”
To learn more about weight loss surgery options, visit Piedmont Bariatric Surgery.
*Since her interview and just 11 months after her surgery, Tait has reached her goal weight of 125 pounds.