The Athlete Returns

"Weight loss surgery builds confidence in everything you do. As the weight falls off, it’s easier to breathe, and you can freely walk around. Even the smallest things get you going."

 

Johnny Edwards, 35, has always been athletic. He started to gain a little weight in high school but was extremely active so it really wasn’t an issue. In college, he played linebacker and fullback on the football team. When his coach moved him to defensive lineman – a position where it’s good to be big – Johnny thought it was okay to put on some weight. He gained 20 pounds, going from 245 to 265 on his 5’ 8 ½” frame.

Johnny admits his eating habits were not the best. “This went on for years. I started dating my wife, and we went out to eat all the time. Pizza, hamburgers, you name it. Fast food is the hardest habit to break.” At his heaviest, Johnny weighed 348 pounds.

The extra weight caused a host of health problems. Johnny developed high blood pressure and severe sleep apnea, which caused extreme fatigue. When his kidneys failed, he had to go on dialysis. “I need a kidney transplant, but you can’t have a transplant at 300 pounds,” he says. At 32, Johnny had a heart attack.

After trying to lose weight on his own, Johnny came to My New Beginning, a department of City Hospital at White Rock. At first, the bariatric surgeon would not clear him because a stress test showed Johnny’s heart was not healthy enough for weight loss surgery.

“I really felt that I needed the surgery, so I told him I’d come back in six months.” Johnny says. “I was more focused than I’d ever been. My destiny was in my hands. I knew that sitting around doing nothing would never get me cleared for surgery, so I made it a point to become more active.”

Johnny started walking a mile at 27 minutes per mile. Then it was 19 minutes per mile. In the end, he was walking/jogging three or four miles at a time. He also worked to change his eating habits. “I had to learn that food is a fuel, and you need quality food for your body to run right.” In six months, he went from a size 5X to 3X, and he was ready to return to My New Beginning.

His second stress test showed that his heart function had improved, and he was cleared for gastric sleeve surgery on Nov. 11, 2015. He weighed 320 pounds. To date, he has lost 100 pounds, weighing in at 220. His sleep apnea is gone.

“The New Beginning team is awesome. They have a personal touch. They genuinely care and are concerned about their patients. They understood that weight loss surgery was the tool I needed to give me a little help, a boost. Because some of the team members have had weight loss surgery, they understand what you’re going through and that helps a lot,” Johnny says.

After surgery, Johnny couldn’t wait to get back to the gym for cardio work and weight training. He also ran a 5K with his sister, who also struggles with her weight.

“Weight loss surgery builds confidence in everything you do. As the weight falls off, it’s easier to breathe, and you can freely walk around. Even the smallest things get you going.”

*This testimonial reflects actual results achieved by this patient. Naturally, each case is different and must be independently evaluated and managed. Weight loss surgery is generally designed for those with a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 40, or equal to or greater than 35 with serious co-morbidities. Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding with the Lap Band® is also FDA-approved for weight loss surgery in people with a BMI of 30 to 35 who have at least one obesity-related condition. Weight loss surgery is considered safe, but like many types of surgery, it does have risks. Consult with your physician about the risks and benefits of weight loss surgery.

*Patient testimonials reflect results achieved by these patients. As each case must be independently evaluated and managed, actual weight loss will vary.