It was disappointing.

Christine Sabb of Maryville applied for a position as a massage therapist but didn’t get the job. She was told it was because she hadn’t had her license long enough. It seemed like a reasonable explanation. But when the job went to a classmate who had been licensed the exact same amount of time, Sabb decided it was time to think some things over.

Christine is enjoying a boost in energy after loosing more than 100 pounds following bariatric surgery at Fort Sanders Regional.

“I did some research and I found a study that said if you have a healthy BMI you can make over a million dollars more in your lifetime,” Sabb says.

Obesity had already affected her life and threatened her future. High blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes ran in Sabb’s family. She suffered from polycystic ovarian syndrome, which caused her to have nine miscarriages before she was finally able to have a full-term pregnancy.

Now Sabb’s weight was also limiting her earning potential. “That was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” she says.

Searching for the answer

Sabb decided if she wanted to succeed in a health-based industry where a healthy appearance seemed to be preferred, she was going to have to lose some weight. The question was, how?

Weighing 247 pounds and having been overweight for most of her life, Sabb wasn’t sure where to start. Losing weight had never been a priority for her. “I didn’t feel bad. I never had anybody treat me horrible for being big,” Sabb says. “But when I sat and thought about it, I thought I could do so much better.”

After asking lots of questions and searching for answers over a period of almost two years, Sabb decided to call the Foothills Weight Loss Specialists office of Mark Colquitt, MD, and was invited to attend a free seminar where she could learn the facts about weight loss procedures. Foothills Weight Loss partners with the Fort Sanders Center for Bariatric Surgery in Knoxville, TN.

It was clear to Sabb that bariatric surgery had already been proven to be a very safe and effective method of controlling weight. When she found out it would be covered by her insurance, Sabb knew bariatric surgery was right for her.

Sabb opted for the gastric sleeve procedure with Dr. Colquitt at the Fort Sanders Center for Bariatric Surgery and lost more than 100 pounds. She calls the experience “life changing.” “I’m looking better, I’m feeling better, I can play with my daughter and I’ve started a new relationship,” Sabb says. “I’m able to do things that I wouldn’t have done when I was 247 pounds.”

A worthwhile investment

Dr. Colquitt says Sabb was successful in part because she understood that her weight loss procedure was a tool to use in achieving a healthy lifestyle, not a quick fix or a cosmetic cure-all.

“Christine is an excellent example of what can happen when you have bariatric surgery,” Dr. Colquitt says. “She took to heart everything we were telling her, she stayed the course, she did the exercises, she was eating properly, she wasn’t cheating, and she came to every single office appointment. That’s the kind of thing that leads to success with weight loss surgery.”

Dr. Colquitt explains that achieving weight loss goals can take a while, but it’s an investment of time that can pay off in a big way. One year of diligence to lose weight and become healthier can overcome 10 years of struggling with failed diet plans and the physical effects of obesity.

Participating in a support group has helped Sabb stay on course and deal with challenges. With healthy eating and moderate exercise, her weight now hovers around 135 to 140 pounds, and the longer she stays with the program, the easier it gets.

She doesn’t crave unhealthy foods like she used to, and she says people treat her differently. Her advice to anyone considering weight loss surgery is to start some research and start asking questions.

“I waited two years to even pick up the phone, and my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner,” Sabb says. “You just have to take that step.”

If you are struggling to lose weight, bariatric surgery may be an option that can also provide benefits to overall health. For more information register for a free bariatric seminar with Foothills Weight Loss Specialists and the Fort Sanders Center for Bariatric Surgery. Call 865-984-3413 or click and REGISTER ONLINE.