I had to do somthing: Surgery helps Selma man shed 100 pounds

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 17, 2003

Editor’s note: Times-Journal Circulation Manager Jimmy Lansdell has lost 100 pounds since having gastric bypass surgery performed last year. Here he shares what it’s like to have a new lease on life.

All of my life I have been overweight. I am still overweight today, but I am 100 pounds lighter than I was six months ago and still losing.

What’s my secret? In September of 2002 I had a gastric bypass done to help me lose weight. It was done in Birmingham by Dr. Andrew Dewitt, and I am happy to say it has been a complete success.

Some people may say that is cheating. But in my case this was a necessary surgery. I had gotten so big that I was beginning to have health problems.

My joints were beginning to hurt. I had trouble breathing. And any kind of exercise just wore me out.

Like many overweight people in this country, I have probably lost over 1,000 pounds in my lifetime on various diets. But each time I came off a diet I not only gained back all the weight I had lost, I gained even more weight.

Finally, I came to a point in my life that I felt I had to do something.

This was not a cosmetic fix. According to my doctor and the insurance company, I was an extremely high risk person for other serious health problems. That is why I decided to have the gastric bypass surgery.

Since the surgery I have felt so much better. I have felt good about myself emotionally as well as physically. I no longer have any pain in my joints. I am able to eat anything I want, with the exception of sugar and citrus. I just can’t eat very much of anything.

For example, before my surgery I could eat a large steak, baked potato, salad and hot wings and still be hungry.

Now, when my wife and I go out to eat, we share a small steak, baked potato and salad and still have plenty to take to lunch the next day. (My wife had gastric bypass surgery in October, as well. She has lost more than 50 pounds already.)

I have to take a complete vitamin each day and a B-12 supplement, because my body is no longer getting the nutrition or energy that it was getting before the surgery.

I am still losing 2 to 3 pounds each week, but I am no longer trying to lose weight at this point. I am completely satisfied with the results of my surgery if I don’t lose anymore weight.

I eat when I’m hungry, which is about every two to three hours. But , thanks to the surgery, I don’t eat that much at one time anymore. I find I no longer get that tired, lazy feeling after lunch now.

I just bought two new shirts, size 2XL. That is the first time in 15 years I have been able to wear a 2XL shirt.

Many people in this country suffer from being overweight. This surgery is not for everyone. I feel like it has been the perfect solution for me, and I hope it has added many years to my life.