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Weight Loss Surgery 'Gave Me My Life Back'

March 15, 2022 Posted in: Weight Loss Surgery  3 minute read time


Teresa Watkins was sitting on the floor playing with her granddaughter when her weight finally got the best of her - she couldn’t get off the floor.

It was December 2019 and Watkins prayed about her decision. “The opportunity just arrived,” she said. “It was boom, boom, boom. Everything fell into place.”

Even the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t slow down the process. She attended a seminar at the Center for Weight Loss Surgery at Saint Joseph East in January 2020 and was told it would be six months before she could have the surgery. But it didn’t take that long. Two months later, on March 9, Watkins had her surgery. Elective surgeries were postponed within days due to an anticipated surge in COVID cases.

Watkins, 53, was always active, but life caught up with her. Her job involves a lot of sitting.With children involved in sports, she spent a lot of time on high school bleachers and eating later at night. 

“I had one knee replacement in 2014 and was going to need another one,” she said. 

She knew she needed to do something and started researching weight loss surgery. Watckins lives in Jackson, Ky., and she knew people from her community who had their procedures at Saint Joseph East. She saw people who had success, but others who struggled after surgery, she said.

“I was determined that if I had it done, I was going to be successful,” she said.

That she has. Watkins lost 140 pounds and reports many nonscale victories.

Teresa Watkins

She attends Pound - cardio drumming - classes twice a week. She walks 20,000 steps a day. “I always loved to walk, but I couldn’t do it; I was just too heavy,” she said. “I had pain everywhere. I  have so much energy now that I didn’t have before. You just can’t explain it.”

Watkins has noticed other things, simple things. Her first noticeable victor was at a restaurant. “We would always need to sit at a table,” she said. “When I was able to sit in a booth, I was overjoyed.” 

When she sees pictures of herself over the years, “I couldn’t believe it was me.”

She and her husband were avid motorcycle riders when they first got married. In February, they bought a new Harley Davidson. She said her relationship with her family has improved “because I feel better about myself. I’m happier. I was miserable before. I’m eating healthier. I have a healthier relationship with food than I did before.”

Next, she’s looking forward to traveling, which she couldn’t do before because she couldn’t sit for that long.

“It gave me my life back,” she said of the surgery.

Teresa Watkins

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