Weight-loss surgery changed her life, now she helps others change theirs
Finding a new life with the help of weight-loss surgery
“That night, I knew I had to make a change – a major change.” TaKesha Anderson came to that realization at a party she’d organized at Austin Peay State University. “The whole evening I felt so uncomfortable and ashamed. I knew there had to be a better way.”
Dealing with high blood pressure and a weak heart, she had already started the path toward bariatric surgery at Ascension Saint Thomas. Now she was certain she wanted to move forward.
Surgeon George Lynch, MD talked her through the procedure options. “I knew when I met him that he was the guy,” she remembers. “He talked to me like a person, explaining gastric bypass surgery and why it could be right for me.”
Positive outlook for life. TaKesha knew it would be life-changing, and after her surgery in December 2012, she embraced that commitment every day. Because her procedure re-directed her digestive tract to her small intestine — bypassing her stomach — eating big meals and high-carbohydrate foods was not possible anymore. She learned a new way of thinking about food — and herself.
“I had to put myself first. That meant getting up early to go work out or skipping meeting friends for lunch. I found confidence I didn’t know I had.”
How has she maintained a weight loss of over 125 pounds? “When I crush a goal, I set a new one. I run 2-4 miles most days, and my second-oldest son is my running partner now.”
Offering personal support. That newfound confidence led her back to Saint Thomas — as part of the bariatric center staff. As a patient advocate, she works with people choosing bariatric surgery, helping them navigate the entire journey.
From setting up their appointments to meeting with them one-on-one to arranging peer support groups, she is there for them at every step, even beyond surgery. She delights in helping them shop for new clothes as they transition to smaller sizes and helping them adjust to their new lives.
“It’s not just about the weight,” TaKesha says. “There are so many things to work through…family, friends, relationship with food, self-esteem.”
She loves knowing her own experience is making a difference. “I get emotional when people come back and I see a whole new person. I’m humbled to be part of changing someone’s life.”
Wondering if weight-loss surgery is right for you?
Learn more about the Saint Thomas Center for Surgical and Medical Weight Loss at Ascension.org/nashvilleweightloss
Note: Weight loss results may vary depending on the individual. There is no guarantee of specific results.