Posted - August 4, 2023

A Life Changing Moment

Life has a way of bringing about necessary change. Shelby and Kris were confronted with the harsh reality that if they didn't lose weight, their story would not have a happy ending. Fortunately, they chose to turn a negative into a positive and they couldn't be happier!

“I never really noticed how big I was. For the most part, my weight never bothered me.” 

Not exactly the sentiment you’d expect when reading about someone’s weight loss journey, but for Shelby, it’s an honest look at where her life used to be. But it does beg the question – what motivated her to get weight loss surgery if it didn’t really bother her? 

A Wake-Up Call

Life is funny. It has a way of changing your perspective.

For Shelby, it goes back to the year 2020 and the coronavirus. Her husband, Kris, who was also overweight then, got COVID in December and wound up in the hospital ER for four days! At one point, they weren’t sure if he would pull through. Fortunately, he did. But then on Father’s Day, Kris started experiencing what he thought was a heart attack. Thankfully, it turned out to be esophageal spasms. After follow-up visits with a cardiologist, Kris was told that if he didn’t lose weight, it would kill him. That was the turning point for Shelby, and one that strengthened their resolve to finally win the battle with obesity.

In Search of Help

Shelby’s profession as a licensed pharmacist had given her some knowledge of weight loss and weight loss surgery. Her aunt had struggled with obesity and a thyroid condition which led her to have gastric sleeve surgery, so she knew enough to get started. After initially consulting a surgeon close to their home, they were told that due to Kris’ weight, he’d need to consult with another surgeon and so the doctor recommended a few in the Dallas area. One of them was Dr. Ayoola. After some Google research and reading the vast number of 5-star reviews for Dr. A, Shelby and Kris decided they needed to meet with him.

Let’s Do This!

At their consultation (they decided to do everything together), Dr. A explained the different options and told them the Duodenal Switch would offer the best outcome; however, if they wanted to go with the less complicated sleeve surgery, they could do that – but if they weren’t happy with the results, he’d have to go back for additional surgery. Shelby didn’t want to leave that as an option, “I was like, nope, I want to be one and done!” Kris agreed and so they both decided the DS was the right option.

And Just Like That

Fast forward to January 2022 and both Shelby and Kris are in their first post-Duodenal Switch month. Both are feeling good with no surgery complications, but Shelby has a breakdown moment, “I remember I cried over not being able to eat a cheeseburger!”, but that moment of tears proved to be a real turning point. Shelby points out “You really have to change so much about how you view and consume food.” After that, Shelby and Kris decided the easiest way to not eat foods they shouldn’t be was simply to not have them available in their house, “The biggest thing for us is if you just don’t buy it, then you don’t eat it.” A simple solution and one that’s worked well for them.

Fun (and Feeling Good) Has Entered the Building

When asked how weight loss surgery has affected their lives, Shelby is quick to point out that as a kid she LOVED rollercoasters, but the extra weight she put on as an adult made it impossible. Now that she’s shed those pounds she is once again enjoying the thrill, admitting that “I’m a bit of an adrenaline junky!” Aside from the fun of coasters, Shelby no longer deals with several aches and pains including plantar fasciitis and knee pain. “Being a pharmacist, I spend all day on my feet. Before the surgery, I would get home and my feet would be on fire and I just wouldn’t want to do anything else.” Now those pains are gone. And Kris is feeling better than ever too – resuming playing his bass guitar without the back pain.

Change Your Story

Shelby and Kris are a great example of people creating positive change from a really negative situation. Had they not had the courage and determination, they might be sharing a very different story today. We’re certainly glad they are able to share this story instead. If you or someone you know isn’t living the life they deserve because of obesity, we invite you to reach out to us. Our promise is no blame, no shame, just compassionate care that gets results.