As a busy human resources professional, Kathy Baisi understands the importance of getting recognized and rewarded for hard work. While she had always exhibited confidence throughout her career, Kathy felt “judged” by others concerning her weight. “My excess weight made me feel like I had limited opportunities. I felt like I was being held back because of other people’s perceptions of me,” Kathy explained.
“Growing up, food was always available, and in large portions – and finishing your meal was a requirement. As a young child I gained weight and dealt with being overweight for most of my life,” reflected Kathy. Over the years Kathy would attempt to lose the excess pounds through various weight-loss plans and fad diets. She tried countless programs, but nothing worked for long and the weight came right back on.
At 216 pounds and wearing a size 16, Kathy realized she needed to do something different to achieve her weight-loss goals and improve her health. Kathy was diagnosed as a borderline diabetic with mild sleep apnea.
Kathy’s full commitment to making a change came when both her mother and sister underwent bariatric procedures a year earlier, and she saw first-hand how the surgeries positively impacted their lives. Both experienced a surge in confidence and improved health.
Kathy researched bariatric surgery centers and discovered Jay Jorge, M.D., from the Chicago Center for Bariatric Surgery and Medical Weight-Loss. “I was really impressed with Dr. Jorge because he was extremely supportive. He broke it down in layman’s terms and spent a lot of time during all of my appointments to make sure I understood every step,” Kathy shared. “The team gave me a handy checklist for each goal I had to achieve, which included seeing a nutritionist and a psychologist to ensure that I was mentally and physically ready.”
“From the start Kathy was really committed to her weight-loss journey. I was really pleased by how motivated she was to meet all of her pre-surgical goals,” said Dr. Jorge. “I was very happy to help her lose the weight for good so that she could live healthier and enjoy a more active lifestyle.”
Now almost a year and a half after surgery, weighing 135 pounds and wearing a size 6, Kathy is most proud of her commitment to seeing the surgery through and her resolution to live healthier. Before her surgery, walking the dog was the most physical exercise she could handle. Since the surgery, running is part of her daily routine.
“Before the surgery I was really concerned about developing diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol—all of which run in my family. Now I’m hopeful I can avoid these diseases down the line.” Another added benefit, Kathy says, is that she is no longer shy in front of the camera. She is wearing tall boots – something her wide calves could never fit in before – and feels confident enough to wear a bikini. With renewed energy and better health, Kathy is feeling empowered. She also got that promotion.
When asked if she had any advice for those considering bariatric surgery, Kathy replied, “Stop thinking about it – just do it! Having the surgery was the best decision I ever made.”