To truly understand the impact weight loss surgery can have on someone’s life, you need to hear from someone who’s gone through it. Meet Donnie Jeter, a 40-year-old plumber and construction project manager. He received a gastric sleeve from Dr. Dirk in October 2015, and he’s since lost 102 pounds.
“Donnie is a great example of someone who listens to his doctor,” Dr. Dirk Rodriguez says. “He saw his health and his obesity as a threat to his ability to provide for his children and watch them grow up. After surgery, he did everything he needed to do: he ate small, frequent meals, he went high-protein and low-carb, and he committed to daily aerobic exercise. The result is that he has his life back, he can fully enjoy his children and his job and he feels like he is on top of the world. Donnie’s story proves that surgery is not a drastic measure—it’s the solution to the medical condition of obesity.”
We asked Donnie about his experience working with Dr. Dirk and learned more how weight loss surgery changed his life.
What was life for you before the procedure? Did you have any health issues?
Life was rough. I was constantly tired and depressed due to my weight and I had little self-confidence. I was borderline diabetic and struggled with high blood pressure. I worked out daily already, which was extremely hard due to my size.
What motivated you to get surgery?
My kids! I wanted to be there for them when they are older. I am a single dad and I’ve been raising them alone for last five years. Also, single life is hard when you weigh almost 400 pounds and you’ve lost your self-confidence! I’ve tried to lose weight with different diets for years and normally just gained weight. My ex-wife had success with gastric bypass 12 years ago, so I figured I would try!
How did Dr. Dirk help you throughout the process?
I was honestly very skeptical when I first walked in and met Dr. Dirk. His poise, confidence and straightforwardness blew me away and gave me confidence. He didn’t sugarcoat anything. He told me what I had to do and what to expect. He was correct in every way!
How has your life changed since?
First, I can shop in normal clothing stores! That’s a big deal for overweight people! I do an hour of cardio every single day and don’t feel like I’m dying when I’m done. People notice me! I’ve started getting my confidence back and I’m not so shy. I can walk upstairs to my office and not be out of breath or feel my knees hurt.
How have you changed your diet and exercise?
I eat multiple times a day beyond the basic three meals, and instead of 45 minutes a day of weightlifting I now do that along with an hour of cardio each day.
Do you have different outlook on life? Is there a specific moment after the surgery when you knew your life was going to be different?
Yes, I do have a new outlook on life. Now, I live to be healthy and for the first time in my life, I take care of me first. Yes, the first week after surgery was painful, but then I went and bought a scale… I had lost 20 pounds in the first week. I teared up. I promised myself I would exceed any goal, I would put in all the time in the gym, I would follow every instruction from Dr. Dirk and I would be his best patient.
What has been the response from friends and family?
Uplifting and very supportive. They have cheered me every step of the way. My kids voluntarily follow my meal plans (small portions several times a day and no sugar!).
What would you tell someone else considering weight-loss surgery? Would you recommend Dr. Dirk and why?
Don’t think about it, just do it! No one will live forever, and if you are overweight, you definitely won’t live as long as you should! Dr. Dirk and his staff will give you the tools and knowledge to extend your life and make you healthier than ever!
What is your favorite thing to do now that you have lost weight and are living a healthier, happier life?
Play catch with my son. Wrestle around with my kids. Shop for clothes!