Posted - October 3, 2022

Lauren’s Journey to a New Life

Lauren struggled with obesity from an early age. She used food to cope with stress, but she had to find a healthier way to live her life.

“I want to do this for me!” That statement was the start of something great for 28 year-old special education teacher, Lauren Hughes. 

Stress Was Her Trigger

Admittedly, Lauren had a terrible relationship with food. A self-confessed stress-eater, she struggled from an early age with weight gain. No matter what Lauren tried – and she tried EVERYTHING – she continued to struggle.

Ready. Set. Quarantine.

It was late in 2019 when Lauren told herself “Ok, this is it. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got and if I still can’t lose the weight, I’m going to look at getting weight loss surgery.” Then as UNluck would have it, COVID hit. Everything shut down. Gyms were closed. She found herself isolated and unable to do the things she needed and wanted to do. Even worse, there was mounting evidence that obesity was a major factor in how serious a COVID infection would be – a scary thought for such a young woman. 

Finding A Way

So, armed with a surplus of time on her hands (we all remember quarantine, right?) and a determined mindset, Lauren started researching bariatric procedures and doctors. She remembers scrolling through Instagram and seeing a post from a woman showing her dramatic results after her bariatric surgery with Dr. Ayoola. Encouraged by this, Lauren scheduled an initial consultation. Of course, due to COVID, it was a telehealth visit, but Lauren had done her homework, so she knew the questions to ask. As she recalls “Dr. A asked me what procedure I was interested in and I replied by asking him what procedure he would recommend.” From her research, Lauren knew she wanted a duodenal switch, but she wanted to see what Dr. A would say. Much to her delight, Dr. A recommended the DS as well. That was all she needed. She didn’t consult with any other doctors, because she felt so comfortable and confident that Dr. A was the right decision. 

Finding Her Peace

From that day, things moved pretty quickly and within a few months, Lauren had her DS procedure. When asked how the first year was, Lauren happily recalls “I had zero complications. No food aversions. I was actually a little ahead of the pace typically seen by DS patients.” What wasn’t quite as easy was dealing with the underlying issues that had plagued her for so much of her life. “I’m a stress-eater. I turn to food for comfort.” Lauren shares that dealing with it was by far the most difficult part of her weight loss journey. She needed to find a positive way to deal with stress in her life. Fortunately for Lauren, working out became her refuge. She started with running – eventually running two 10Ks and lots of 5Ks. More recently, Lauren has really gotten into weight-lifting at the gym. She calls it her “passion”. Well, whatever it is, it’s working for her. She’s now lost 215 pounds!! Almost reluctantly she says “I’m a completely different person after surgery” – reluctant because she knows she’s still the same ‘person’, but now she’s living a much better, healthier life.

Be Prepared to Work

So after experiencing that kind of success, what advice does Lauren have for others facing similar challenges? “Weight loss surgery is just a tool. You still have to put in the work! I make the choice of what I eat. I make the choice to go to the gym.” Such wise words for someone still in their twenties, but if you spend just a few minutes with Lauren, you can’t help but be impressed by her strength and motivation.


If Lauren’s story feels like your story (or perhaps someone you know), we encourage you to do the research and find the path to the BEST version of you. At Weight Loss Specialists of North Texas, we believe in no blame, no shame. Just compassionate care that gets results. Call us today at 940.382.9429 or visit