Growing up, Molly never gave much thought to the number on the scale. She had been overweight since she was a child, and it was something she had come to accept as part of who she was. Her infectious confidence and positive personality kept her spirits high, despite her struggles with obesity.
However, as the years went by, Molly’s weight continued to rise, and by the time she was 30 years old, she found herself weighing more than 300 pounds. “I was always happy and an outgoing, confident person,” she explains. “But I had so many barriers at the size that I was at.” The weight had started to take a toll on her health and quality of life. Molly was experiencing chronic joint pain, and it was not long before she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in her knees.
After Molly gave birth to her fifth child, she decided it was time for a change. She realized if she wanted to be around to witness her grandchildren grow up, she needed to take back control of her health. The constant physical pain and the burden of carrying excess weight had become an ever-present concern. Molly decided without delay to pursue a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Finding Her Team
Prior to joining Southern New Hampshire Weight Management, Molly wondered if weight loss surgery was the right path for her. She questioned whether it was even possible for her to lose weight. Her concerns led her to seek guidance, and a friend recommended meeting with Dr. Catania at Southern New Hampshire Weight Management.
From the moment she walked through the doors, Molly felt embraced and valued. She says everyone in the office, from the friendly faces at the front desk to the dedicated medical professionals, treated her with empathy and respect. They understood her journey and supported her without judgment. Molly reflects on her experience saying, “I met them, and their team and they reassured me that we 100% can do this together.” She felt she was no longer seen as an inconvenience but as a person on a journey towards better health.
In 2021, Molly underwent a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, a minimally invasive bariatric surgery that involves removing a substantial portion of the patient’s stomach to create a narrow “sleeve.” This procedure reduces the stomach’s capacity, leading to less food consumption and a decrease in hunger-causing hormones.
The surgery, typically lasting about an hour, allows most patients to return home the following day. Patients can often return to work within two weeks and are fully recovered by six weeks. This procedure improves or even resolves co-morbid conditions associated with obesity, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obstructive sleep apnea. For Molly, surgery was a success and marked the beginning of her transformative journey to a healthier self.
Two years since her surgery, Molly had successfully shed more than 120 pounds. She looks back at “before” pictures of herself and is amazed by the notable change. “It’s amazing how far in just two years you can come just by choosing the right doctor and the right practice,” she shares.
Dr. Catania says Molly’s transformation is a testament to the power of bariatric surgery when combined with healthy lifestyle changes and a positive attitude. “Our patients frequently tell us how thankful they are for our care,” he explains. “But in my opinion, it is the hard work and commitment of our patients that allows them to realize these dramatic improvements in their health and lives.” Molly regularly checks in with Dr. Catania and his team at Southern New Hampshire Weight Management to ensure her health remains on track.
Exercise and Lifestyle
While in maintenance, Molly has committed to a balanced diet and an active lifestyle. She frequently visits the local YMCA with her fiancé and likes to go swimming with her kids. Molly also enjoys walking to stay fit and often starts her days with a visit to the track. In the early morning hours, while her daughter runs, Molly takes her walks. This not only helps her maintain her health but also sets an inspiring example for her children, showing them the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle.
Molly loves that she now has the energy to keep up with her children, playing with them without the burden of joint pain, crouching down to their level, and fully participating in their lives. While her children served as a major motivator, she acknowledges that her primary reason for maintaining her weight is herself. “I have to put myself at the very top because a happy, healthy me is a happy, healthy mom, and it’s a happy, healthy fiancé.”
New Life, New Hope
Molly’s decision to undergo weight loss surgery, coupled with the unwavering support she received from the compassionate team at Southern New Hampshire Weight Management, has ushered her into a life filled with newfound health and happiness. “I have absolutely elevated myself,” she explains. “I feel even more full of life, if that was even possible.”
In June 2024, Molly is set to marry her fiancé and together join their blended family of six children. She says her weight loss journey has been transformative in every way possible. “It has made the world of a difference for me, and I am very confident that it would make the world of a difference for anybody.” Her journey is a powerful reminder that with determination, the right support, and a positive attitude, we can overcome obstacles and embrace our healthiest selves. Her story is not just about shedding pounds but about gaining strength, hope, and the ability to live life to the fullest.
Molly found her healthy – and so can you! Hear more about how she transformed her life with Southern NH Health Weight Management and take our FREE assessment to discover if surgical weight loss is your path to a healthier, happier life. https://go.snhhealth.org/findyourhealthy/