Karen pasacreta: a weight loss story: jan and kelly curtis have lost over 180 pounds


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Karen pasacreta: a weight loss story: jan and kelly curtis have lost over 180 pounds

  1. 1. Share 1 More Next Blog» kpasacreta@gmail.com New Post Design Sign OutKaren Pasacretahome about me magazine features YA fiction, editor contactTUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2012A Weight Loss Story: Jan and Kelly Curtishave lost over 180 poundsThe Power of Two: By leaning on each other, Jan and Kelly Curtis keep onlosing...and losing with great SUCCESS.There were days when Jan Curtis couldn’t walk up her driveway without huffing andpuffing. Her weight was literally bringing her down, affecting her health—both physicallyand mentally. It had become a regular part of her life, though Jan was happy andaccepting of herself. She just thought: I’m a large person, and I will always be large.Then something big was about to happen. Jan, now 51, was becoming a grandmother.She had one of those Aha moments most do when facing a life change. “I wanted to bearound to watch my granddaughter grow up.”That was three years ago before she had lapband surgery, a procedure that restricts thestomach with a “band,” making you eat less and lose weight. Thanks to the Hospital of
  2. 2. Saint Raphael Center for Weight-Loss Surgery, Jan is “exactly 100 pounds lighter than Iwas three years ago.” She now goes for extended walks with her granddaughter, lovesclothes shopping, and is happier with herself than ever. “I went from a size 28 to a 14,”she said. “When I look in the mirror now, I see success.”So does Jan’s husband, Kelly Curtis. The two Derby residents, who have been togethersince they were 14, both looked into the Center for Weight-Loss Surgery at the sametime, but only Jan initially followed through. Kelly, a utility supervisor for the Town ofBethel, was admittedly afraid. He had some more health challenges with Type 2 diabetesand an irregular thyroid. Since he had advanced Diabetes, gastric bypass was a betterfit. It’s designed to induce food absorption and would allow him to lose more weightfaster—something his health greatly needed.“I thought about the surgery, but I was skeptical,” he said. Just like his wife, Kelly had afat-person’s mentality or what professionals call cognitive distortion—he labeled himselfas fat and couldn’t conceive of that changing. But Kelly was witnessing first-hand howJan’s life was dramatically changing, and slowly became open to the idea. “I started to dothe research more. I read it was reversing [diabetes],” he said. With this, Jan became hischange agent, and diabetes his motivator. Two years after Jan, Kelly had surgery.Today, Kelly weighs less than he did when he was a freshman on the Derby High Schoolfootball team when his then-girlfriend, Jan, was a pop-pom girl. “I no longer have aninsulin pump. I went from three vials of insulin a month a to a half of a vial!” said Kelly. “Ilost 100 pounds within a year, and now I am maintaining it.”The fact is couples who plan weight loss together, keep it off longer. Studies have shownthat weight-loss surgery patients lose 30 to 40 percent more weight if they get surgerywith a close family member, and double the improvement in obesity-related healthproblems. That’s why the Hospital of Saint Raphael has launched an outreach effort for
  3. 3. couples and other family members considering weight-loss surgery.Dr. Geoffrey Nadzam, the Curtises’ Bariatric surgeon, says the Curtises’ have hadexcellent success because of their support of each other. “When you do it with aninternal support structure you wouldn’t have otherwise, there is a bit more sympathy andempathy for the other person. Both parties may end up altering their life habits in a waythat is successful.” It’s not easy, though. You have to eliminate your old tendencies to letchange happen. It can be quite daunting.Dr. Nadzam believes that’s what separates The Hospital of Saint Raphael Center forWeight-Loss Surgery from other weight-loss programs is its very tailored andpersonalized approach, from preoperative to postoperative. “We hold their hand and leadthem through all obstacles and barriers before, through, and after surgery,” he explained.“There is a caring touch. Patients who undergo such a big change in their life need toknow we are there for them, that they are not just another number and not just anothersurgery.”Each patient goes through an initial screening with a nutritionist and a psychiatrist to testtheir mental capacity for the difficult journey ahead. It’s important because a patient canenter many phases, from a beginning honeymoon phase when weight loss is great todepression when loss tapers off to a more normal pace. These issues need to beaddressed. The Center offers a variety of services rich with weight-loss surgeryspecialists, nutritionists, psychiatrists, and social workers who run seminars, workshops,and support groups all designed to keep a patient on track and motivated to ensureweight-loss success—for life.Dr. Raymone Shenouda, the Center’s preoperative psychiatrist, says the road to successbegins with the first patient visit. “I tell them that their new diet begins now [beforesurgery], because they have to be able to handle the change.” The first six weeks aftersurgery is a complete liquid diet, something not easy for those who have never done it.Jan and Kelly Curtis are a great success story because they made a huge commitmentto undertake their lifestyle changes together. They now have an entirely new relationshipwith food. Their refrigerator is stocked with healthy options. They no longer host largeItalian Sunday dinners. Jan, who is a hairdresser and a nail technician, now eats yogurt,eggs, toast, and focuses on protein. She rarely deviates and knows her limitations.“Before I could do three cups of macaroni,” she said. “Now, one cup of food on my plateis a lot for me.” “We still love to cook,” said Kelly, “but we just don’t cook as much. Wedon’t thrive on it.”To say the Curtises’ before and after pictures are dramatic is an understatement. “Peopledon’t recognize me [at first] then say I look great,” said Kelly, who admits after a lifetimeof being large, it feels good to hear. “It’s been such a positive experience. [Jan] has been
  4. 4. my motivation.”The Hospital for Saint Raphael Center for Weight-Loss Surgery The Hospital for Saint Raphael Center for Weight-Loss Surgery adopts a holistic multidisciplinary approach to ensure a high success rate for its patients. Every patient interested in the program must go through a screening assessment to determine if he/she is a good candidate. It measures willpower as well as a basic level of mental understanding for how difficult the road ahead will be. Patients meet with Center psychiatrist Dr. Raymone Shenouda, and are screened through a series of questions. “We look at whether or not the surgery will be beneficial to them mentally andassess if there are other psychological problems that will interfere.” Dr. Shenouda testsfor eating disorders and depression, and will work with the patient and the patient’sphysicians to clear them for surgery. Depending the issues, it could take up to six monthsor longer.Gina Kessler, registered dietician with the Center, also does a nutritional assessment tohelp patients understand their new dietary restrictions, especially the initial liquid dietimmediately following surgery. A weight history analysis and current food factors in thehouse are also taken into consideration on whether a person is ready. If others in thehome are in need of a change, this patient can be a real motivator because they are all init together. “Families make changes as a whole,” she said, “even if only one person hassurgery.” Gina also has postoperative follow-up classes and is there as needed to help apatient through any dietary issues.Other postoperative care includes educational workshops designed to help patientsacclimate to their new lifestyle.Elizabeth McMahon, a Psychiatric Utilization Review Coordinator and licensed socialworker for the Center, runs monthly behavior support groups. She also holds six-weekseminars, some in tandem with Dr. Shenouda. Aimed at developing success skills, thegoal is to help patients “think differently so you can change sabotaging behavior you hadin the past,” she said. Some of the Workshop themes include: How Your Thinking CanLead You Astray; Dieter’s thinking versus Think Thinking, Fighting Undermining Ideas,and Learning the Power Of Oh Well. “You have to learn to accept the circumstances asthey are, not focusing on why me, poor me.”Elizabeth also teaches coping mechanisms when each patient inevitably reaches thatplateau and the weight loss slows down. “We are trying to help patients [pinpoint]physical hunger versus emotional hunger,” she said. The goal is for patients to feel incontrol so they can “say no to food pushers” and embrace a lasting new lifestyle where
  5. 5. they are motivated daily.GLOSSARY:Gastric Bypass (Roux-en-Y) — Makes the stomach smaller (size of an egg) andcauses food to bypass part of the small intestine, reducing what can be absorbed. Leadsto greater and quicker weight loss. Recommended for diabetics and obese.Adjustable Gastric Band — Laparoscopic: An adjustable band is placed around thestomach restricting its size. You feel full, eat less, and lose. (Most common of all bariatricprocedures.) Vertical banded gastroplasty: A restrictive band is placed around thestomach and the stomach is stapled above the band. (Least common.)Sleeve Gastrectomy—
The stomach is restricted by dividing it vertically and more than85 percent of it is removed. Also involves stomach stapling. Posted by Karen Pasacreta +1 Recommend this on GoogleNo comments:Post a CommentEnter your comment...Comment as: Karen Pasacreta (Google) Sign out Publish Preview Subscribe by emailNewer Post Home Older PostSubscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
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