Janice Rouleau knows that, sometimes, you have to lose something to gain something. In her case, she’s lost a lot and gained a lot.
In March, 2015, the Nashua resident had gastric bypass surgery through CMC’s New England Weight Management Institute (NEWMI) and lost more than half her weight – 140 pounds. It was a dramatic life change, but she is happy with it. “I love the new me, the smaller me. I love it when people don’t recognize me,” she says.
But Janice didn’t make that change to earn those reactions. She had considered having the procedure for a long time before going through with it. “I’d been up and down all my life,” she recalls. “Out of four kids in my family I was the biggest one and as I got older I wasn’t as active.” Then, there was a wakeup call. “In 2012, my brother, who was 51 at the time passed away suddenly of a heart attack and he was overweight. I knew as I turned 51, I had to be there for my son.”
After trying diet after diet, Janice talked to a friend who had success with gastric bypass and decided to seriously explore the option. “I got my head ready first and then got my heart in the same place,” so when she began NEWMI’s pre-operative lifestyle preparation, she was confident. “I got this. I can do this, I know I can.”
Since the surgery, Janice has gone from a size 20-22 to a 4-6, her A1C is in check, and she’s off blood pressure medication. But she knows that the surgery “wasn’t a magic pill. I knew that going into the surgery. I knew, from my friend going through it, that it was a long term commitment.” Now, she takes a healthier approach to her weight and maintaining it. “You have to keep up the diet and exercise because you’re going to regain the weight if you don’t. I don’t deprive myself, I’ll have a fun size Snickers, but not a bag of them. I know my limitations.”
Janice also credits the support of the team at NEWMI and, especially, her family for helping her and motivating her. In turn, she now shares her story to encourage and empower others to make the same life change. “The best feeling in the world was when my son put his arms around me and said, ‘Look mom, I can touch my elbows!’ I wanted to cry.”
For more information on medical and surgical options to help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, call CMC’s New England Weight Management Institute at 603.663.7377