It’s no secret. Losing weight is hard, especially if you are severely overweight or obese. If you have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight, you are not alone. Many Americans share your struggle.

Fortunately, there are also many weight loss success stories that can inspire you and show you that’s it’s not impossible. The internet is full of examples of people who have made healthy lifestyle changes and chose weight loss surgery as a medical procedure to combat the disease of obesity.

While gastric surgery is not for everyone, it is an effective and common option to overcome obesity. If you struggle with severe excess weight or obesity, check out these success stories for inspiration and consider if you may be a good candidate for surgery as these folks were.

Gastric Surgery Helped These People Get a Fresh Start


Melissa Carter

At age 29, Melissa Carter went from being prediabetic and unable to buckle her seat belt on an airline flight, to a healthy woman more than 100 pounds lighter. She is now living her dream life as a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach. After her sleeve gastrectomy in 2009, which removed about 80% of her stomach, she quickly began to shed pounds as she relearned how to eat. More importantly, she learned how to work through the emotional issues that initially led to her eating addiction.


Tonia Harper-Grobes

Tonia Harper-Grobes had already been in and out of the hospital for complications related to congestive heart failure and asthma at the age of 46 when she weighed 439 pounds. After careful evaluation of the options, she decided on a sleeve gastrectomy in May 2013, which has helped her lose a total of 130 pounds. She no longer takes the majority of medications she once needed. She also spends time at her local gym and has inspired her daughter and husband to improve their own health through her example.


Michelle (“Shelly”)

On her blog, Michelle or “Shelly” tells the story that led to her personal decision to self-pay for her Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery more than eight years ago. After a few “wake-up call moments” and having amassed a number of weight related health issues, Michelle decided to undergo surgery despite the fact that the costs were not covered by her insurance. Today she has resolved all of her health issues, is no longer taking medications, and has lost a total of 158 pounds.



Julia calls the date of her gastric bypass surgery on Easter Monday of 2006 her “personal resurrection day.” After having lost 160 of the 300 pounds she weighed before her “resurrection,” she is now off many of the medications she used to take for a multitude of obesity-related health conditions. Now she only takes medication for her thyroid and sleep apnea. These days she is able to help others with her certification as a Bariatric Coach, as well as through her personal blog.


Nicole Bullock

Nicole Bullock, who now lives in Detroit, Michigan, underwent a laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass on February 7, 2012 and lost over 120 pounds in the first year. Nicole has achieved numerous milestones regarding improvements in her health and recently completed the Detroit Free Press international half-marathon! You can read more about her story on her blog, Beauty and the Bypass.


“Shrinking Susy”

The story of “Shrinking Susy” is the perfect example of a successful mini-gastric bypass surgery, which she underwent in February of 2007. She has currently lost 147 pounds and says that maintaining her weight is not that difficult. Susy lives in Oregon with her family and has shared numerous pictures and blog posts about her inspiring story.


Jacky Lambert

Jacky Lambert’s gastric sleeve surgery on September 2010 has helped her to lose a total of 137 pounds. On her blog, she describes the story of how she once felt sadness from being so large that she could not play with her four year old niece. Now she’s able to run up and roll down hills with that same little girl (who Jacky now calls a “young lady”). Jacky believes her surgery has saved her from being in a wheelchair and has helped her achieve a life full of fun and energy.


Robyn Irving

Robyn Irving received her wake up call when she could not fit into a regular seat at her granddaughter’s junior high graduation. She was also borderline diabetic with dangerously high blood pressure readings. January 2012 was the month of her gastric bypass, which has helped her to lose more than 150 pounds and regain healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Her lighter body and energy levels now allow her to work out at the gym with her daughter and spend her free time line dancing and Zumba dancing.

A Personal Choice With Lifelong Effects

The decision to undergo gastric bypass surgery is a significant, personal choice that can only be made by you with the help of your doctor. If you determine it’s the right choice for you, it can have tremendously positive lifelong effects for those who are committed to adopting a healthy lifestyle. If you’re feeling inspired by these success stories, take the first step and contact a health professional for a free consultation.