Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Woman has gastric bypass surgery, changes lifestyle and loses 125 pounds

Mt. Vernon, IL
A couple of years ago, Brittny Knight decided once and for all that she wanted to lose weight. Now that she has lost 125 pounds, Knight said she continues to work toward her goal in order to live life to the fullest.

Knight said that when she was younger a childhood disease caused her to gain weight. Although she received leg surgeries, Knight continued to play sports in middle school and high school. About 10 years ago Knight said she lost a substantial amount of weight, but later in her career, it was harder to remain active with her traveling job.

“With the job I wasn’t really able to exercise and I grabbed fast food a lot so I put the weight back on pretty rapidly,” Knight said. “I was tired of being unhappy, depressed and not as outgoing as I once was. I just wanted to get this weight off and be more active in live again – live life again.”

At this point, Knight decided to have gastric bypass surgery at St. Alexius Hospital in St. Louis. Although she said this surgery is not a “cure-all,” it did serve as “a little boost to get me in the right direction.”

“I kind of thought, ‘If I have this surgery it’s going to end it all,’ but that’s not necessarily true,” Knight said. “There are stipulations you have to go by. Exercise, eating right and changing my whole mental outlook on making myself healthy is what got me where I am.

“It’s a complete mental overhaul with yourself and you have to make it work. If you’re not in the right state of mind, you’re not going to be successful.”

To help reach her goal, Knight joined Curves and said she continues to work out four to five times each week. Knight also exercises by walking on weekends and throughout the summer.

Knight also eats healthier now and keeps a mental note of what she eats each week. If she’s having a craving for something like chocolate, Knight said she buys a Reese's candy bar but will only eat half. Knight noted she has also incorporated more protein into her diet, and is careful about dishes covered in cheese or sauces, and salad toppings such as croutons and dressing.

Sometimes when she goes to restaurants, Knight laughingly said she is reminded of Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally” when she is ordering food and takes awhile because she’s very particular about what she wants.

“Everybody says that keeping a journal of what you eat and how much you exercise during the week is a good way to keep track and it helps you in losing weight,” Knight said. “I’ve tried keeping journals and diaries but I get kind of busy and lose track. I do keep a mental thought in my head as to what I’ve eaten and where my calories are for the day.”

Knight said that observing what she eats and how often she exercises each week also helps her when she is having a hard time losing weight. If she skipped a workout or ate something not as healthy, Knight knows how to change the next week in order to stay closer to her plan.

Throughout her journey, Knight has found it’s important to put yourself first at times in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“Losing weight is something that someone must be really serious about,” Knight said. “Sometimes you have to let certain things go and say “no” once in a while to take care of yourself. If you’re not healthy, you’re not going to be able to take care of people around you.”

Eventually Knight would like to participate in a 5K or 10K walk, and she is also aiming to lose 50 more pounds. Along with support from her family, friends and coworkers, Knight said watching TV shows including “The Biggest Loser” has motivated her to reach her goals.

“It’s been an inspiration to see that they were where I was and had some of the same emotions I had about myself,” Knight said. “Watching them get to their goal weight and succeed makes me want to do even more for myself, too. Even though I’m not going to win $250,000, it’s just all about the self-esteem and the energy. I already feel like I’ve won some type of lottery anyway because I feel so much better about myself, and doing this has made me much stronger.”

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