December 2015 May 2016
With the holidays approaching, many of us are trying to decide how we’re going to shift our diet and workout plans to accommodate that extra piece of pie. Last Thanksgiving, high school math teacher Nicole Faber decided she was done with overeating and that she needed to make a change.
Dr. Dirk performed Nicole’s gastric sleeve surgery the day before Christmas, and since then, she’s lost 137 pounds!
What was your life like before the procedure? Did you have any health issues, and were they resolved by the surgery?
I lead a very busy life. I work two full-time jobs and I used to eat when and where I could — mostly fast food. I would try working out and eating healthy, but nothing seemed to stick. I had no health issues at the time of my surgery, but knew that if I continued down the path I was on, I would.
What motivated you to get surgery?
It was the week of Thanksgiving when I, like everyone else, filled my stomach past capacity. I decided I didn’t want to do that anymore. I knew that I needed help and I couldn’t do it alone.
How did Dr. Dirk help you throughout the process?
In our first meeting, Dallas bariatric surgeon, Dr. Dirk told me that being overweight wasn’t my fault — it was a disease. He explained everything in detail and answered all of my questions leading up to surgery. His staff is so nice — they treat you like a human being rather than a number.
On Christmas Eve, the day after my surgery, Dr. Dirk personally called to check on me. He also called again a week later. He truly is there day or night to answer any questions that you may have.
How has your life changed since surgery?
I no longer have to take pain medication for aches, pains or joints. Honestly, I haven’t had a headache since the surgery. I also have so much more energy and want to constantly be on the go. The best part is that now, I believe in myself.
How have you changed your diet and exercise?
The surgery is not a quick fix. It truly is a lifestyle change. If you never change your diet, you will end up in the same place you started. I have not turned into a total health nut, but I do try to eat healthy. I still drink a protein shake a day. I try to only eat beef one to two days a week. I do have days where I eat a hamburger, but always order it without the bun.
For exercise, I joined a women-only gym that keeps a personal trainer on hand for every workout class. It’s place where I can relieve stress and be around like-minded women. I’ve been working on building muscle to fill in and tone the loose skin after weight loss.
Do you have different outlook on life now? Was there a specific moment after the surgery where you knew your life was going to be different?
My outer appearance has changed drastically, and on the inside, I am much happier with my life now. I am able to give more of myself because I am not as tired, my feet don’t hurt and my muscles don’t ache. That means I am able to spend more time on things I like to do, like hiking, hunting, fishing and working in the garden.
What has been the response from friends and family?
My friends and family have been very supportive throughout the whole journey. My friends love it because I am a cheap date — I either eat off the kid’s menu or eat off their plate. I had my surgery right before Christmas and was only able to consume liquids. My family even offered to not eat in front of me.
What would you tell someone considering weight loss surgery? Would you recommend Dr. Dirk and why?
I’d say, “Why are you waiting?” It is a lifestyle change, but it is the best decision I have ever made in my life. I highly recommend Dr. Dirk not only for his professionalism, but for his lovely staff, from the office to the hospital.
What is your favorite thing to do now that you have lost weight and are living a healthier, happier life?
My favorite thing to do after surgery is simply live life. I live life to the fullest every day and feel great about it. I can’t believe I robbed myself of living my life for so long by being overweight.
Find more inspiring success stories from Dr. Dirk’s patients here.