Jennifer Parkerson Pre Op 03312009
Jennifer Before Surgery

 Jennifer’s Story

Hi, my name is Jennifer. I am 37 years old and I feel the best I have felt in my life!  Although I was “overweight” most of my life, I ballooned to an all time high of 298 pounds after high school. Life style changes, adulthood, poor eating habits, and being an emotional eater all contributed to my unhealthy body and subsequent weight gain. I can come up with a million excuses, but in reality, I don’t think I was read to lose weight. I hid behind my wall of fat. When I thought I was ready to make a change in those early years, it was all so overwhelming and results were slow. It became extremely easy to give up. After I married, I had a husband who loved me at any size and had unconditional love from my family. Hearing “you’re not that overweight” and “you’re so pretty” seemed to justify my own self sabotage.



Jennifer after Surgery
Jennifer after Surgery

I had many attempts at medically supervised diets, fad diets, weight loss programs, and of course taking a multitude of diet pills. You name it, I tried it. However, they were only beneficial for a little while. Exercise was something that I thought about, but was happier watching someone else do it. With my attitude and justifications, I knew I would never reach my goal.
Factors that gave me a wakeup call were my doctor was concerned about my health, my cholesterol was high, BMI was off the charts, and he was concerned about diabetes. Not to mention the pain I would wake up with in my knees, feet, and back. My body’s way of telling me it could not sustain my weight any longer.
At the age of 34, with the help of Western Bariatric, my surgeon and above all my family, especially the continual support of my husband, I was finally ready to make the change. I made the decision that has changed my life forever.
I won’t lie. The life after surgery has not been easy. It certainly is not a cure all. I finally figured out I had to change my entire lifestyle and more importantly get honest with myself to accomplish my goals.
Fortunately, weight loss surgery is a tool to remind me daily of my desire to be healthy. I was and still am determined to not fail. Over time, I have had to really look at myself, my emotional dependence on food, my behavior, and to figure out why I always wanted to sabotage my success.
I have since adopted new eating habits, portion control, and accept that I simply cannot overeat anymore. My life no longer revolves around eating or my next meal.
It still amazes me that I cannot finish a plate of food. Of course, I still have issues with portion control; my eyes are always bigger than my stomach, but I eat to live, not live to eat. I crave healthy foods, and shocker… I actually enjoy my gym time.
This entire journey has taught me so much about myself.  I do know that I am happy with myself and overall happier with life. I’m living instead of just “going through the motions.” I am more social and outgoing.
I can squat on my knees and not need help getting back up. I can, and have done many 5K charity events. I am amazed every time I do laundry and see how small my jeans are. (I still have a morphed image of what I think I look like.) Although, I have not yet met my “official goal,” I am no longer obsessed with it. The scale no longer dictates how my day will go.
My body will continue to change and lose weight when it is ready. However, it took me 15+ years to put it on; I don’t mind the slow decline. After all, I am half the size that I was. I started this journey at a weight of 248. I am currently 165. I do have times when I backslide, but then I remember where I was and with the help of weight loss surgery, it is much easier for me to get back on track.
I feel extremely blessed to feel “normal” and living a life that I enjoy. I can’t thank my husband, parents, friends, and Western Bariatric enough for giving me the opportunity to discover who I am “behind the fat” and embrace life as it is meant to be lived.


If you are interested in inquiring about weight loss surgery, watch our online seminar or request a consultation.

See more before and after photos.

Read about our surgeons.

The surgeons at WBI. Dr. Watson, Dr. Kozar and Dr. Ganser
The surgeons at WBI. Dr. Watson, Dr. Kozar and Dr. Ganser