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Tom Clark

My name is Tom. I'm from New Braunfels, Texas. I'm 48 years old. I had a gastric sleeve about four years ago, January of 13. I believe when I came into the office under Dr. Ganta's care my heaviest weight under his care was about 255 pounds. After the surgery I have been able to maintain a weight of about 150 pounds give or take five pounds. Over the course of the procedure I lost about 110 pounds and it's been a great experience.

Maybe sometime in my early 30's I began to gain excessive weight and couldn't seem to lose it. It was a lifestyle change and that I'd graduate from college and law school and then I became -- I was working in an environment where I was sedentary and then I didn't have the energy to go out and do anything. I tried numerous different diets over the years, couldn't seem to lose the weight and maintain that loss and so I did a lot of research and a lot of thought and I came to the conclusion that I wanted to look into a gastric sleeve possibly.

I think one of my biggest fears was going under surgery. That's something that anybody should consider is having to going through surgery but the biggest fear was that I would never enjoy food again. Food was a big part of my life still is. you have to eat to live and I like to enjoy food and so I thought one of the considerations that I had was if I have a bariatric surgery that I would likely never enjoy a meal again in my life and that was far from the truth. Working with Dr. Ganta and his staff what I found was there are different facets that are considered and in his office I met with on different occasions someone that would focus on nutrition. In another occasion I would meet and talk about the psychological changes that may come about. Losing that kind of weight. It's a change of lifestyle there are many things that come about. I was encouraged by the fact that Dr. Ganta's staff offered so many different areas of expertise so it wasn't just isolated to okay you've chosen a bariatric sleeve and this is what's going to happen and you just see Dr. Ganta and maybe they take your heart rate, your blood pressure and then he sees you and you're in and out. Not at all. It was a very thought-out process and I think that the staff did a great job from start to finish and they've been supportive throughout. Always been able to answer questions about whether it was the financial side of things or concerns that I may have with some side effect down the road. So that encouraged me.

I was basically in a position before surgery where I was sedentary. If my kids and wife were going to go out camping for the weekend I was less likely to join in that process. I would stay home. Nowadays I'm the one that's encouraging everybody to get up and go. I have the energy. I see myself differently. I think emotionally. From that standpoint I've always been confident but now I certainly wear myself differently. I have changed my wardrobe and now that I can wear clothes that I feel more comfortable in or tight to my skin. I'm more healthy looking. People treat you differently. It's just the nature of things. So those things all play into it emotionally, physically it can take you by surprise. So that's one of the things you should consider when having this surgery that if you really are serious about it it is a total lifestyle change. It can change everything from the way you dress, the way you feel about yourself, the way that other people perceive you and so sometimes that's it'll take you by surprise and so that's certainly one of the things to consider.

This type of procedure is a good choice for some because you can kind of take back your life and in my case I had so many successes and then failures with diets over the years where I just couldn't maintain the control. I couldn't sense when I was full. I didn't have a sensation of being full. After surgery I could immediately sense when I was becoming full and then understood my body and knew to kind of slow my pace and then do things differently and so I think that for me it was a change that helped me refocus my efforts instead of always worrying about exercise and diet and things of that nature. I could focus on the diet, allow myself to lose the weight and then once I lost the weight I had the energy and the ability to go out and exercise whereas before I was carrying all this weight. I would typically do one or the other as most people do. They'll either treat themselves to good food while they go out and work out or they'll do just the opposite. They'll go – they'll eat right and take on a diet but choose not to exercise. So with this I found that it allows me the combination of both and so it's a great. It's a great thing.