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How Weight Loss Surgery Can Change Your Life

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Quality of Life After Successful Weight Loss Surgery

Five 'successful losers' tell their story about life after bariatric surgery.

Peggy K., of Pittsburgh: continued...

Because of the weight loss surgery, it's a lot easier to stop eating when she's full, she says. "I knew I needed that physical barrier, because I don't like to deprive myself. When I'm enjoying something, I want to keep eating it. The band is a saving grace."

When she eats out with friends, Peggy says, she simply can't eat an entire entrée. "I take half of it home for the next day -- or I just order an appetizer for dinner."

Peggy's key challenge: She eats too many snack foods, too may sweets, and drinks too many chai lattes, Peggy admits. They go down easily, but don't make her feel full -- and add too many calories to her diet. "I give in to temptation," she says. "It's a struggle."

Working out with a personal trainer three times a week "really helps to maintain the weight loss," Peggy says. "If I wasn't exercising I would have regained the weight." She says it’s helped firm up loose skin, too. "My skin's kind of bounced back, probably from the exercise."

What if she regains all the weight? "I would never let that happen," says Peggy. "If the weight started creeping up, I would cut out the snacks. I know I could lose another 20 pounds if I tried."

Beverly P., Pittsburgh:

Since her gastric bypass surgery five years ago, Beverly has dropped from 334 to 138 -- nearly 200 pounds. "I spent my whole life being obese," she says. "I went back and forth trying different diets. It was a constant battle."

Beverly's key challenge: "I was miserable the first couple of months after surgery," she says. "I had to adapt to eating the small portions. My body was getting used to being rerouted. I felt lousy, tired. I was really getting used to how my body was working. But looking back, it all resolved itself. It was not a big deal -- especially considering how good I feel now."

Today, she says, "I feel perfectly healthy. I don't miss the food. If there's something I'm craving, if I have a little bit of it, I'm fine. That's the truth. I don't think you should deprive yourself of anything, but portion size is a huge factor."

Exercise was "such a chore" before weight loss surgery. "Now I purposefully do things on a daily basis I didn't do before," Beverly says. "I walk instead of taking the shuttle to where I work."

She's taken her weight loss seriously and made the commitment, says Beverly. "The surgery is definitely not the whole saving grace. There still is a lot of work afterwards. I have to pay attention to what I eat, otherwise I will gain weight."

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What will be your biggest challenge after surgery?