Lorree Thompson made the decision as she was driving to work in Allentown. She immediately picked up the phone and called Mandy Nyce, the Surgical Weight Loss Program Coordinator at Easton Hospital.
"I said to myself I don't want to be tired and fat anymore," Lorree says. "I want to be in my kids' lives, not on the sidelines."
Her struggle with weight began after her son was born. "I used to be thin," she says. "But having a baby slowed my metabolism." A few years later after her daughter was born, she gained even more weight.
With two kids who are active in sports and activities, she often is running from event to event. "When it's baseball season and I'm carting a bunch of kids across the county, it's easy to stop for fast food or get stuck eating at the concession stand," she says.
"And I love to eat healthy," Lorree says. "But it can get time consuming to make and expensive to buy."
It doesn't mean she hasn't tried to eat well. "I've gone on streaks," she says. "But then life happens."
Over the past 13 years Lorree has also tried various weigh lloss systems that involved buying food or using cards and books. Those were streaky as well.
Put fad diets on the list too. "My latest was the military diet," she says. "I remember eating lots of tuna." Those diets helped her lose five to seven pounds a week, but the weight never stayed off.
She's tried prescription diet pills and even was selected by a local radio station to compete in a biggest loser-style competition. "I got a free gym membership and two hours of personal training over eight weeks," she says. "It was fun, and I felt good after workouts."
But she couldn't afford the membership when the competition ended.
Going to Easton Hospital was an easy choice. Lorree's best friend had gastric sleeve surgery there two years ago. It's what inspired Lorree. "My friend has lost 89 pounds and made real lifestyle adjustments," she says.
But when she talked about the possibility with her family, they weren't behind her. "They'd say I was fine the way I am or that surgery was too extreme," she says.
She listened, but after another year of failed weight loss attempts, Lorree went to the surgical weight loss information session at Easton Hospital, the new patient seminar and the support group… all without telling a soul.
When she supplied her family with materials and resources to better understand surgery, they all got on board. She says, "They now are my biggest supporters."
In early December Lorree is scheduled for surgery with Vinay, Singhal, MD, weight loss surgeon and an associate fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
"I didn't shop around," Lorree says. "Knowing my friend used Easton and that the program has earned the Center of Excellence designation took a lot of the stress out of the decision."
"I feel very confident in Dr. Singhal," Lorree says. "Plus I know people in other programs, and they are not getting the information or support I get at Easton."
She is preparing for surgery in the Pathway Classes where she is learning about nutrition, exercise and support. "Some of my friends are just signed up for surgery," she says. "But I am learning how to change my habits which sets me up for lasting success."
Halloween is her favorite holiday. "I love decorating, dressing up and being a kid again," she says. "And next year, I plan to buy, not make, a fabulous costume in regular people's sizes."
She already knows the theme for next year's shindig: Zombie Wedding. Lorree says, "I am going to get a short, sexy dress and look like one hell of a beautiful bride."
Her confidence makes it sound like a real commitment ceremony.
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Easton, PA 18042-3892