School librarian enjoying life after weight loss surgery

Weight Management

by Baylor Scott & White Health

Jun 16, 2017

When the 46-year-old resident of Irving went back to her work as a librarian after the summer break, some students thought the school hired a new librarian.

It wasn’t a new librarian; it was still Renee Newry, but she had gastric sleeve weight loss surgery to help improve her health and had lost a significant amount of weight.

Before the surgery, Renee would rarely be seen in the school halls. Her weight made it difficult and painful to get around, so she asked students to deliver messages for her. She enjoyed interacting with the students but felt limited in her activities. She says she is now “zooming all over the building.” Renee is now to her goal weight of 150 pounds, losing more than 120 pounds in just over a year.

One first-grader told his teacher, “Ms. Newry lost all of her air,” which made Renee smile. She is enjoying her new life and has seen incredible results.

Far-Reaching Health Benefits

Prior to weight-loss surgery, Renee was diagnosed with high blood pressure, Type II Diabetes, neuropathy and had a lot of trouble walking due to pain in her legs and feet. She was contemplating knee surgery, but knew her weight was taking a toll on her body.

“The benefits of weight loss surgery have been so far-reaching for me,” Renee said. “I was suffering and struggling just to get around.”

Renee’s blood pressure and blood sugars were at war with each other, so she said the surgery helped tremendously. At her follow-up visits, her blood work numbers were much improved, as well as her diabetes. The surgery also helped her blood pressure medicine work more effectively.

Staying the Course Before and After Surgery

She had thought about surgery for about six months before scheduling her gastric sleeve surgery. She was committed to the process, taking the appropriate courses, meeting with a dietician and scheduling the appropriate consultations.

“I found Dr. Matin through a friend,” Renee said. “I hit a gold mine because he is amazing.”

Sina Matin, MD, a surgeon on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Grapevine, performed Renee’s gastric sleeve surgery. Over a year later, she stays committed to the process.

“The education sticks, but it took me awhile to get there,” Renee said. “It’s a lifestyle change. I’ve been able to change the way I eat and the way I think about food.”

She describes herself as a rule-follower, and circled the date on her calendar when she could eat solid foods, exercise and other major markers after surgery. She knew it was vital to her goal to do everything the surgeon and nutritionist recommended.

“I loved fast food, and I hated vegetables,” Renee said. “At the table growing up, I would count the number of green beans I would reluctantly have to eat.”

Renee now tries new recipes and is part of a Facebook group that introduces her to healthy options. She said the meal sharing helps her understand what she needs to do to take care of her body.

“It’s a mind game,” Renee said. “It’s just an adjustment in the way I look at things.”

In addition to healthy eating, Renee also tries to exercise to help improve the amount of excess skin. She says it only took 30 pounds or so for her to see a significant improvement in her mobility. Because she was able to lose the weight, her knee is no longer giving her trouble.

Throughout her journey, Renee’s family has been supportive as well as her coworkers and students. She is an open book and happy to share the benefits of her weight loss surgery with anyone that asks.

“I’m happy in the skin I’m in,” Renee said. “My transformation has just been amazing.”

To see if you could be a candidate for weight loss surgery, find a physician on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Health.  

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