Tara Gustin - a success story. It's been 6 months since she changed her life with laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery.
"I'm down about 70 pounds. It's been challenging at times but yet the biggest blessing that has occurred to me in many years," Tara said.
The blessings started when Tara made up her mind to go to the Alegent Creighton Health Weight Management Center at Immanuel Medical Center. Before that, she spent years playing the weight game – you know a few pounds off – a few more on. Now she is moving more and eating less.
"It's an adjustment. It takes time to wrap your head around the fact that life is completely different but you know it's so been worth it. I think the thing that makes it the easiest is that I'm not hungry. I've not had one day, since surgery, where I've been hungry. Before surgery, I was always hungry; I could never get full," Tara said.
Now Tara eats about a half cup of food per meal. She's pushed that a little and her body let her know to back off. Tara's food struggles, immediately after surgery, had a lot to do with old habits and trying to break them.
"It's a struggle in the beginning, not every day, but some days are hard especially when you're not used to eating such small portions. You still have head hunger – you think you need to go eat or you can eat a lot of food and then you realize you can't. The hardest part has been adjusting to life not having it surround food," Tara said.
Tara also had to figure out her protein intake. When she didn't take in enough, she started losing hair. The more protein she eats the less hair she loses. There's another side effect she didn't count on but this one is a bonus…her family is also getting in on the weight loss game.
"My hubby lost 25 pounds. He's done very well. My daughter makes healthier choices. My son goes to the gym more than he did before. We are all working together on it and that makes it easier for me," Tara said.
If you ask Tara she will tell you the last 6 months have been a blessing for she and her family. She doesn't have to take the medication she used to. Her blood sugar is great. Her blood pressure is great. Her cholesterol is great. But even more importantly life is GREAT. Tara is no longer defined by the number on the scale or the tag on the clothes. Now it's all about how she feels and she feels great!
"I think back to how I felt before. My back ached; I was tired all the time and irritable. I was miserable. I didn't want to look in the mirror. I didn't want to get up in the morning. I just wanted to hang out and hide. Now I'm all about let's go, let's do, let's enjoy life, let's enjoy each other," Tara said.
And that's exactly what she's doing.