I trained as a ballerina in my youth and through my early adulthood. Dance has always been a passion and a big part of my life until my late 20’s. A difficult pregnancy and childbirth changed my body in ways I never would have predicted, and I have struggled with my weight ever since. The stress of divorce and single parenthood shortly after my child’s birth added to my weight issues—something I have struggled with for the better part of the last 14 years.
Although I got back into dance 6 years ago, my joints were in constant pain thanks to my excess weight. Like many folks, I had tried a variety of diets and solid time at the gym with very disappointing results. The chronic joint pain was signaling the end of my dancing days, which was heartbreaking for me. The incomparable dancer Martha Graham once said, “A dancer dies twice—once when they stop dancing, and this first death is the more painful.” I wasn’t ready to give in to that first death. I knew if I wanted to keep dancing, I needed to take decisive action. My doctor and I decided together that Gastric Bypass surgery was the best solution for me.
At the time I went in for surgery in June of 2021, I weight 293 pounds. By the end of December, 2021, I weighed 185 pounds. My chronic joint pain has disappeared, and I dance every day with no trouble. As a dancer, I have been reborn. Surgery is not an “easy way out,” and requires dedication and work. I have been fortunate that I haven’t experienced any negative issues during my recovery. Although I made this decision for me, it has had a positive ripple effect on those around me—including my child. A human’s worth isn’t determined by a dress size or number on a scale, but being able to continue dancing means everything to me. Without the gastric bypass surgery, I would not be dancing today. It hasn’t been easy in the sense that it requires no effort, but anything worthwhile requires effort. And I’m definitely worth it!
— Kirsten C.
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