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A Hug for Mom

A hug from her daughter is all Sherry Schock needs to remember the days before her weight loss surgery.

At over 250 pounds, every day was a struggle for this 33-year-old mom. She didn’t have the energy she needed to play or even read bedtime stories many nights. And many days, depression made it hard for her to even get out of bed.

“I knew I wanted to do better for my kids, but I had a hard time caring about anything,” said the busy mother. “Life needed to get better.”

As nine-year-old Breanna gives her mom a squeeze in the hallway outside her elementary school classroom, Sherry says that her life and her health have improved in ways she never dreamed of since her sleeve gastrectomy two summers ago.

“It’s fun to give mom hugs,” says the girl, looking up at Sherry with a smile. “My fingers reach all the way around now.”

Fighting the weight

When Sherry was about the same age as her oldest daughter she began her battle with obesity. Beginning in elementary school she put on extra pounds, struggling to lose weight with “every diet humanly possible.”

As she reached adulthood, her weight led to a variety of health issues: high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and gastric reflux. She was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), an endocrine disorder that interferes with ovulation.

“It took us three years to get pregnant with our first child,” Sherry said. “I knew that the weight contributed to the PCOS, but I didn’t know what to do.”

She fought severe post-partum depression after her second pregnancy. As her now seven-year-old twins grew, depression continued to bring her down, increasingly getting in the way of enjoying her time with family. Sherry felt bad about the way she looked and felt, preferring to just stay in the house where no one would see her.

“I knew that I was being crabby all the time,” she says. “Fat isn’t a word we use in our house, but my kids knew. They would say, ‘Mom, you’re just fluffy.’”

Time for change

Two years ago, Sherry decided it was time to take charge of her weight. She consulted with Dr. Curtis Peery, a weight loss surgery specialist.

The physician with Sanford Weight Loss Surgery told Sherry about sleeve gastrectomy, a procedure that removes the majority of the stomach, leaving a narrow tube of stomach where food can pass through the system. In July 2010, she underwent the surgery, which is designed to make patients feel full with only a small amount of food.

Almost immediately Sherry began to drop weight. Within the first eight months she had lost about 80 pounds. The depression that had immobilized her for years went away with the weight.

“Once I started getting into smaller sizes, life was better,” Sherry says. “I felt better almost right away.”

A healthier lifestyle

The surgery changed the way she ate. She no longer craves unhealthy food and is satisfied with just a small portion size at every meal. Some days she even has to be reminded to eat.

After losing more than 100 pounds, Sherry no longer has to take medication for hypertension, reflux or high cholesterol and her PCOS is gone.

She has the energy she needs to play in the park with her own kids and even took on a job caring for other children in a part-time daycare in her home. She and her husband also operate a karaoke business. Before losing the weight, Sherry preferred to stay in the background, but now she happily gets out front to sing and even dance.

“I get up in the morning and just keep going and going,” Sherry says. “It’s fun to be out there.”

The best moments for this active mom are the times that her children reach their arms around her newly slim waist. She needed to make changes for herself, but she knows that her healthier lifestyle has benefited her whole family.

“When you feel good, you feel more confident,” Sherry says. “I’m a better person, a better wife and a better mom. I’ve got so much to be confident about.”

To learn more about weight loss surgery options with Sanford, attend one of our free seminars.

Posted Date: January 2012