Northside Hospital - Weight loss patient readies for her first Peachtree Road Race

Weight loss patient readies for her first Peachtree Road Race

Posted on: May 29, 2019


Nancy Juarez Sanchez began to consider bariatric surgery after the birth of her son in 2015. The Northside Hospital nurse and mother of three was motivated to lose weight to improve her health and be more active with her children.

I got tired of the weight not coming off,” she said. “I was always tired, and life is certainly different when you’re an overweight mom.”

In May 2018, Nancy opted for gastric sleeve surgery with Northside Hospital’s Dr. Gorjala of Bariatric Innovations of Atlanta. Gastric sleeve surgery works by removing a large portion of the stomach, leaving a banana-shaped sleeve that connects the esophagus to the small intestines.

One year after her surgery, Nancy has dropped nearly 70lbs.

While she was nervous heading into her surgery, Nancy said it was reassuring to have her procedure performed by Dr. Gorjala – her boss.

It was comforting knowing that I worked with the surgeon who was going to operate on me,” she said. “Dr. Gorjala was someone I was very familiar with, so that certainly helped with my anxiety.”

Looking back, Nancy says the hardest part of her weight loss journey was the weeks of preparation ahead of surgery. She was put on a 500 to 700 calories-a-day regimen for two weeks, limiting most of her consumption to liquids.

These two weeks were the first real test of the journey because of all of my cravings. I was so hungry and experiencing a roller coaster of emotion.”

While at work nine months after her surgery, Nancy received an email to sign up for the annual Peachtree Road Race and decided to give it a shot. She was ecstatic to receive confirmation of her registration a few weeks later.

When I found out that I was going to be running in this year’s race I started to freak out,” she said. “And it wasn’t just me who was going crazy. My kids were excited because they got to see me lose weight and now cheer me along at a race.”

Since February, Nancy has been waking up at 5:30 a.m. to train for the race. Additionally, she enjoys taking time during her lunch breaks at the Bariatric Center to run a few extra miles.

It feels good to use lunch as an excuse to get out and run,” she said. “Sometimes patients driving to the clinic see me running and give a little honk and wave, which I look at as encouragement for us both.”

For Nancy, the Peachtree Road Race is more than just a race. It represents another celebration along her weight loss journey.

To me, the Peachtree Road Race symbolizes part of the beginning of my new life.”

Filed under: Patient Stories,


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