From 275 pounds to 141 pounds in just 8 months.
Hecel has been waging a long, hard fight with unwanted weight. It seems she’s born with it: her family has a history of obesity, which is also evident in her mother and brother. Recognizing her potential to be obese, Hecel’s mother enrolled her in a special gym program as a child, but it was soon discontinued and the young Hecel doubled in weight.
In college, Hecel ballooned drastically, so much so that her waistline was pegged at 40-plus inches. Because of her size, she could not buy the clothes she wanted. A self-confessed fashion aficionado, she instead had the hottest clothes and shoes custom-made so she won’t be left behind with current fashion trends.
However, her weight would take its toll from time to time: climbing the stairs became increasingly difficult, bending down to pick up things was a struggle, and walking even became a tedious activity. She has tried everything to lose excess weight, from dieting to taking slimming pills. She almost lost hope when nothing worked, thinking she cannot escape heredity – that is, until six months ago when she decided to take the challenge, conquer her fear and take control of her life.
“My sister’s OB-Gyne recommended that I should try Lap-Band Surgery, but I was afraid of surgery,” Hecel says. “The doctor then asked me to consult Dr. Edward Oliveros of St. Luke’s Medical Center. He said the surgery is the safest weight loss surgery that does not require stomach stapling or cutting of the intestines. The Lap-Band could also be adjusted.”
From Morbidly Obese to Ideal Weight in just 8 months
Hecel’s height of 5′ 8″ and weight of 275 pounds, she had a BMI of 41.8 and was already experiencing the health risks associated with the disease such as diabetes and hypertension. But thanks to surgery, she has now effectively inched herself out not only from the social stigma associated with morbid obesity but more importantly, from the dangers of the disease.
“It’s difficult to bring down a patient’s weight from Obese Type 3,” says Dr. Oliveros, “But with Hecel, her weight reduction was fast. We were able to bring her down from Type 3 Obese to just slightly overweight in only half a year with the Lap-Band, and now she is maintaining an ideal normal weight. Hecel is definitely a champion in her own right.”
Currently weighing only 141 pounds and maintaining it well, Hecel had averaged a weight loss of 6 to 14 pounds regularly per week since her surgery. She is now one of the growing numbers of successful patients in the country since the introduction of the surgery in the Philippines.
“A person needs certain levels of calories everyday to maintain normal body functions,” Dr. Oliveros explains. “For a normal adult, you only need around 2,000 calories a day. If you keep it that way, you will basically maintain a normal healthy weight.
” He adds: “The reason why many of the diet fads are unhealthy is that they tell you to avoid proteins, carbohydrates or fats, but these are also needed by the body to maintain normal body functions. If you withhold proteins, carbohydrates or fats for a long period of time, you can develop serious health problems.”
Exercise likewise plays a key role in maintaining weight after Lap-Band surgery. Two weeks after her operation, Hecel was enrolled in a gym where she did treadmill exercises. After one month, she was allowed to perform more strenuous exercises such as lifting weights, running or jumping.
Hecel was so happy that she made the decision to take the change in her life and control of her weight problem. The then shy, morbidly obese 28-year-old has turned into a physically fit, confident, outgoing woman who no longer worries about her figure and what other people think of her.
Dr. Oliveros himself can likewise attest to the changes that have happened in Hecel’s life after her Lap-Band surgery. “Her rounded face has changed to reveal her cheek-bones and neck visibly slimmer. Her chances of conceiving a child are now better than when she was obese. She’s young and now that she’s regular-sized, she can look forward to a healthy and happy life.”
“I can now fit into any clothes that I like,” Hecel proudly declares. “Before, an extra large t-shirt or an XXL wouldn’t fit me. Now, it’s so easy to shop for clothes. My waistline has shrunk, too, from 55 inches to just 27. I am now more confident to buy clothes in boutiques and nice shops because I know I their clothes can fit me already. What’s more, I’m confident to go out now to meet people and make new friends. The people around me are all very happy with the new “me” and I have never felt better in my whole life!”
Hecel’s advice to people still struggling with obesity: “Don’t surrender to obesity. Take control of your life today. If I can succeed, so can you.”