Rachel's Story For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be thinner

I tried several diets like Adkins, weight watchers, and slim fast to name a few. I would lose weight while on the diet, but would eventually put the weight back on and then some.

The years went by and I went on with life. I was happy with my family, friends, and career, but never was happy with my weight. I eventually gave up trying to lose weight and accepted I would always be overweight.

When I started my career as a registered nurse, I cared for transplant patients. I saw firsthand what a history of obesity does to the human body. Diabetes, hypertension, and fatty liver were all diagnoses my patients had that led them to needing a transplant.

I watched my patients go through the waiting and the struggles from the surgery and all the stress it placed on the families. Having this experience made me never want to be in that position.

My doctor told me my blood pressure was too high and my blood glucose level was borderline for diabetes. He asked me to start on blood pressure medication and lose weight.

Receiving this news was my wake-up call. Here I was, 32 years old and weighed over 250 pounds. I had a loving husband, 2 children ages 3 and 5 and wanted more than anything to have a long, healthy life with all of them.

It was then I decided I had to do something to make that happen. I called and made an appointment with Dr. Peterson. From the start, Dr Peterson and his staff were very helpful and supportive and truly made the me feel at ease.

I had the gastric sleeve procedure and started my new healthy-living way of life. A year later, I'm down more than 100 lbs and 14 dress sizes and could not be happier with my choice to have weight loss surgery. My only regret... I wish I would have done it sooner.