How I Lost 140 Pounds (The Healthy Way)
Physicians: Jill Gorsuch, DO, MPH
As a child, many things are out of our control. At the age of 12, Lacy Lange found something she could control — food.
“I started overeating as a coping mechanism for emotional support,” said Benton Harbor resident Lacy. “That’s when my love-hate relationship with food began.”
Now as a 49-year-old adult, Lacy found herself in the same endless cycle— using food as a mechanism to make herself feel better. Over the years she tried various diets without success and before she knew it she weighed 301 pounds. In addition to her weight, Lacy was pre-diabetic, had high blood pressure, was easily fatigued, and had swollen legs and ankles.
Her weight wasn’t only affecting her physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
“I knew deep within myself this wasn’t a true representation of who I was,” said Lacy. “I felt like I was in a self-imposed prison. I went in the ‘jail cell’ and I sat in there with my food and ate and felt miserable. I was done feeling that way, I needed to deal with it all.”
Through conversations with family and friends, Lacy began to consider weight loss surgery and decided to attend a free seminar at the Lakeland Comprehensive Weight Loss Center in Niles.
“Dr. Jill Gorsuch was such a delight. She explained all of the procedure options in great detail and stayed after for questions,” said Lacy. “I felt like this could be my answer.”
Shortly after attending the seminar, Lacy made an appointment with Dr. Gorsuch to discuss her options further. Upon arriving to the weight loss center she was overwhelmed by the warm and smiling staff who immediately put her at ease.
“I never met a stranger there, everyone felt like family right away,” said Lacy.
After doing some research and discussing the options with Dr. Gorsuch, Lacy decided a vertical sleeve gastrectomy was the best option for her. This procedure makes your stomach smaller, so that you feel full a lot quicker. Lacy was introduced to a dietitian who shared what she should expect before the surgery and what types of life changes she was going to have to make in order to be successful.
“Changing my eating habits before surgery was absolutely crucial,” said Lacy. “The dietitians were at the center of that.”
Lacy began keeping track of her meals and snacks in a food log and would go over the information with the dietitians and receive feedback on what she was doing well and which areas she could improve in. Because of her dedication to this process Lacy was able to lose 49 pounds before she even had the surgery.
Lacy had surgery on June 6, 2017.
“The care I received at the hospital was absolutely amazing,” said Lacy. “All of the nurses and Dr. Gorsuch were attentive and supportive every step of the way.
Within a week Lacy was no longer feeling the physical pain from the surgery and within a few weeks felt like her energy level was back and better than ever.
“I can’t remember the last time I felt this good,” said Lacy.
Six months’ post-surgery, Lacy has lost a total of 140 pounds and gained back her self-worth. She is excited about finding clothes and shoes that not only fit her new body, but her new self-confidence as well. She has become more active and has even found a new love for running.
“I could barely walk before,” said Lacy. “Now when I run, every step I take is like tearing down a lie that told me that I couldn’t.”
“It has been an amazing journey of self-discovery,” she said.
Lacy has developed tools and strategies to help her stay on track. She came up with a non-negotiable
list — things she will simply not allow herself because they were a struggle before surgery, and she knows they will continue to be a struggle.
“It’s a battle to say no to that piece of cake, but stick a candle in that piece of fruit and sing happy birthday to me instead,” laughed Lacy.
A new found appreciation for food has helped Lacy rediscover a love for cooking — this time, the healthy way. This has shifted not only her eating habits, but her families as well.
“My husband, son, and I have all adapted to a new and healthier way of eating together,” said Lacy.
Lacy hopes her weight loss journey can empower others to take that first step towards a healthier life.
“If you are considering weight loss surgery or visiting the weight loss center and you feel scared, it’s okay,” she said. “But remember, if you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.”
To hear more from Lacy, watch the video below.