At 47, Andrew Henderson was frustrated by decades of struggling with weight loss and tired of ever-increasing doses of medication for his diabetes. So he enrolled in one of AAMC’s weight loss seminars and—with careful guidance from Alex Gandsas, MD—determined that surgery was the right option for him. Just weeks after his gastric sleeve procedure, Andrew was well on his way to a healthier life.
When I first went to the seminar I was 402 pounds and that’s the biggest I’ve ever been. I had tried different diets. I work out. I exercise. I did everything my doctors asked since 2000, but I hadn’t lost any weight. I would come down to 380 and then I’d put the weight on again.
I was compliant with my sugar, but my system gets used to the medication and then my doctor would have to put me on more medication. I said to myself ‘I’m getting tired of this.
I had the surgery December 6, 2013, and now, a month later, I have lost nearly 50 pounds. When I came home, I was on a liquid diet. After about two weeks, my diabetes doctor said he wanted to take me off the insulin and I’ve been doing well with that.
The surgery made a great difference. I have more energy, but I need to keep my protein level up. I know I have to eat smaller meals. You have to make your mind up to change things that you like. I don’t do fried foods. I’ve been eating fish and chicken. My meal plans have really changed, but then the nutritionist in the program helps with that. You have to be compliant and it grows on you.
I just started working out a little more. I’m getting ready to start the hospital’s exercise plan that is part of the program for this kind of surgery.
My twin brother is going to go through the procedure as well. We’re getting ready to retire in a few years and we want to be healthy. We have been carrying this weight for a long time and we need to make a change.