Gastric Bypass Update

It's a weight loss method that enabled a New Harmony woman to lose 50 pounds in three months.

And it's a drastic one. Vicki Woods had gastric bypass surgery. In June, I took you into the operating room for Vicki Woods' gastric bypass surgery. It only took an hour, and then another week or so for Vicki to recover.

But the real story is what's happening in these months following the surgery. Vicki finally has a good relationship with the bathroom scale, but it's one that still takes a lot of work. It's lunchtime at the Woods' residence. It's chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese for little Emma. Four ounces of fish and watermelon for mom. Yeah, sometimes these more sinful foods are tempting for Vicki, so she's made some changes around the house. "They've noticed that there's a total different way of eating around here. Once in a while, my husband will come into the kitchen, 'Is there anything chocolate in the house?' and I'll say, no sorry there's not."

Gastric bypass surgery means a lifestyle change, so the whole family might as well be involved. Vicki gets low calorie-low fat cookbooks from the library and makes healthier meals. And even then, it's five or six bites for her, that's all her new, tiny stomach pouch will hold. "Before I would get full but I would just keep on eating. Now, you have to learn when you're full to stop."

Or else, her body will make her stop. When gastric bypass patients overeat, they tend to have nausea and diarrhea. Vicki overdid it on crab legs when the family went to Florida on vacation and paid the price. It's not that she has to eliminate all fattening foods, she just has to eat in moderation. "Instead of having a big brownie, I cut one in fourths or I have just a little bit."

Something else happened on that trip. Vicki rode the go-carts with her kids, something she couldn't do when she was 50 pounds heavier. People are really starting to notice the difference. The scale is going down along with her dress size. And she's not looking back. "I've gotten rid of the clothes that I've grown out of. Bagged them up and got rid of them. I don't have any qualms. Before whenever I'd go down a size I'd think well maybe I better keep these because you never know. But, get rid of them (laughs)."

What's great is Vicki doesn't have to buy all new clothes. She's organized a clothing exchange with the support group she's formed, the Evansville Surgical Weight Loss support group. Members also give each other advice as they go through all different phases of weight loss.

The Evansville Surgical Weight Loss Support Group meets the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30 P.M., Deaconess Hospital Health Science Building, Edgar Street Room 104A. For more info, call Vicki Woods at (812) 682-3466 or email her at