Inspiring Success Stories Todd Israel: Morbid Obesity Was Killing Me Weighing for the first time in 30 years, Todd Israel was at 535 pounds. “I had a vision of my children growing up and I wasn’t going to be there,” said Israel. “Talk about an eye-opening experience.” Israel was a good candidate for bariatric surgery. He had surgery on Tuesday, came home on Thursday and was back at work after a week. There was no doubt at all that Israel was happy with his decision. Now, he weighs 245 pounds and wears an XL instead of a 7X shirt. “I’d shout it from the rooftops,” Israel said. “Don’t hesitate to claim your life back. This is not the easy way out, it’s not taking a shortcut, it’s not something to be ashamed about. I found I put myself in a box and put limits on my life and my lifestyle without knowing it.” Debbie Brown: 85 pounds lighter and full of excitement I didn’t get heavy in one day, but one day I woke up and realized I was really overweight. I had high blood pressure, sleep apnea, high cholesterol and diabetes. It even hurt my back to walk around. That’s when I decided it was time to get serious, so I scheduled an appointment with Mission Weight Management. Their team reviewed all the options with me and, after careful consideration, I chose to have a minimally invasive procedure called a sleeve gastrectomy. It’s been 10 months since my surgery and I’ve lost 85 pounds. Now, I wake up excited to start my day. James Washburn: 80 pounds lighter and a whole lot healthier At 64, I weighed 275 pounds, was sleeping 10 to 12 hours a night and taking medication for high cholesterol and hypertension. I’d even begun showing the early signs of diabetes. I felt like my life had come to a halt. That’s when I called Mission Weight Management. Within five months of entering their medical weight-loss program, I lost 80 pounds. I’ve maintained my weight ever since. I am completely off all of my medications; no hypertension, no high cholesterol, no signs of diabetes. My self-esteem has improved and I feel more in control of what I eat, when I eat and why I eat. Now I’m working out with a private trainer and recently completed a 55-mile bike ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Leslie Eller: 70 pounds lighter and living my life again Before I decided to go to Mission Weight Management, I was just surviving. I had always viewed weight-loss programs as a type of diet, not as a way of life. But all of that changed for me at Mission. My doctor and a team including a nutritionist and exercise specialist all helped me focus on the emotional and behavioral elements behind my eating. They helped me see my body as a machine and taught me that I could not only care for it, but could maintain it too. For me, that’s when I knew that the years of struggling to take my extra weight off had finally come to an end. Today, I’m 70 pounds lighter and have completely reinvented myself. I can’t begin to tell you how great that feels. Carmela Cajacob: 30 pounds lighter and back in control As I got older, I knew my metabolism was slowing down and it was getting harder to lose my extra weight. I had tried various diets over the years, but nothing had worked. That’s when Mission Weight Management caught my attention. It was a structured program with a serious medical approach and I just knew I could make it work for me. When I entered the waiting room, I realized I wasn’t alone – everyone there had the same goals and faced the same challenges. Within five months, I lost 30 pounds, and now I am finally in control of my weight. *Results of patients receiving services through Mission Weight Management may vary by individual and are not guaranteed.