Atlanta, Ga. (June 28, 2013) – Decatur resident Tina Tait considers herself a “fat-thlete.” For years, she strived to live a healthy lifestyle: watching what she ate, incorporating exercise into her routine and even blogging about her ongoing weight loss journey. Despite these efforts, Tait’s body mass index (BMI) remained too high, making her among the 64.8 percent of Georgians who are overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In January 2013, Tait, 43, decided to take control of her weight once and for all by having bariatric surgery – more commonly known as weight loss surgery – at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. Since then, she has lost over 75 pounds. She has also started training for races again, this time ready to take on the Peachtree Road Race on July 4.
“I’ve been overweight as long as I can remember even though I was an active kid and am still active as an adult,” said Tait. “My father lost his battle with weight at a very young age and I vowed to never let weight be my determining factor. I decided to have bariatric surgery in hopes of saving my life.”
Tait underwent the vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure, in which her physician removed a large portion of her stomach, making it 85 percent smaller. Post-surgery, her caloric intake goal is 800 calories with a large portion of protein. According to Tait, she has only experienced a small amount of soreness as if she completed a rigorous workout.
“It hasn’t been easy, especially the liquid diet prior to the surgery,” said Tait. “But, it was worth it. I feel fantastic now and am full of energy, ready to take on life. Dr. Procter and his staff love what they do and have an enthusiasm that is contagious. They armed me with all I need to finally be successful in my journey.”
Studies show bariatric surgery causes significant long-term loss of weight, remission of diabetes, improvement in cardiovascular risk factors and a reduction in mortality rates. The U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends bariatric surgery for people with a BMI of at least 40, and for those with a BMI of 35 along with serious coexisting medical conditions such as diabetes.
“Patients choose bariatric surgery for a number of reasons, but the main goal is always the same – to get healthy and live a better quality of life,” said Charles Procter, M.D., Tait’s bariatric surgeon at Piedmont Atlanta. “The sleeve gastrectomy procedure we used on Tina restricts the amount of food she eats before feeling full. Her meal sizes are now approximately 60mL to 100 mL of food.”
The vertical sleeve gastrectomy is one of three types of bariatric surgery available at Piedmont Atlanta, which is an American College of Surgeons Level 2 Accredited Bariatric Center. The other surgeries available are gastric bypass, which creates a small stomach pouch by reducing the size of the patient’s stomach; and adjustable gastric banding, or lap band, in which a device is placed around the stomach, dividing it into two parts.
Tait continues to blog about her weight loss journey on fatgirldivesin.blogspot.com. Before electing to have surgery, Tait’s blogging helped her to lose 100 pounds the old-fashioned way with traditional diet and exercise. Much to her dismay, she eventually gained it back. One of her 600+ followers inspired her to pursue bariatric surgery and she updates her blog weekly on her weight loss progress.
For more information about weight loss and bariatric surgery or to register for a free educational seminar at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, visit piedmont.org.