MEQUON -- A diet can be nothing short of a dreadful thing. Just ask Susan Boyd. She tried everything until she found the one thing. Now, there's no more diet in her vocabulary. But Boyd did have to make some lifestyle changes.
Boyd was always energetic and outgoing. She never had a problem with her weight -- that is until a traumatic event.
"My mother passed away and I think physiologically, I just started down a path of gaining weight and trying to loose it and gaining more back when I lost it," Boyd said.
It wasn't just psychological.
"I never knew when I was full. I never felt full. So I would just keep eating," Boyd said.
Boyd tried every diet out there -- every weight loss plan.
"I did the Nutrisystem, the Jenny Craig, I did Fen-Phen when it was out. I've done it all," Boyd said.
At 5'7" tall, Boyd weighed 375 pounds. She says it was hard to look in the mirror, but there were constant reminders.
"Like, I was in a restaurant once and they replaced my chair because they thought I was too heavy for the one plastic chair they had. So they brought me another chair," Boyd said.
Finally, it was a trip to the doctor’s office when Boyd said enough was enough.
"I had high blood pressure. I was having horrible pain in my back when I was walking," Boyd said.
Now, that pain has all but gone away. These days, Boyd weighs 140 pounds and is more energetic than she can remember. How did she do it? She started with Gastric Bypass Surgery.
"It was the best thing I ever did," Boyd said. "Anyone who chooses Bariatric surgery is making a very brave decision about their health and their life because it's a big change."
Dr. James Rydlewicz from Aurora Medical Center said essentially, "the surgery makes the stomach smaller so a person can't really take in as much calories to eat."
"We make her stomach small by creating a small gastric pouch and then we re-route her small bowels so she can`t absorb the calories that she eats," said Dr. Rydlewicz. "All the medical problems that Susan had before, that she doesn't have to worry about anymore."
Most people are back on their feet within days of the surgery. They typically lose between 60 and 80 pounds a year.
"This is not a panacea, it doesn’t fix everything," Boyd said. "It’s a tool that says, 'You’re full.' When I first felt that way after surgery, I was shocked. I hadn't ever had that feeling before."
"I hiked more miles than anybody, even my grandkids," Boyd said.
The success rate for Bariatric surgery is about 75 percent.