“When we reached our highest weights, we sat down and did the research and we decided to change our lives forever by joining the Surgical Weight Loss Program at Crystal Run Healthcare.”
MEET JUDIT AND KEVIN
At 26 years old, Judit Langa and Kevin Sibilia were both struggling with their weight and health. It was taking a toll on them physically, emotionally, and mentally. Judit finally visited a doctor for her headaches, fatigue and joint pain. She stepped on the scale and what she saw shattered her.
Her fiancé, Kevin Sibilia, had also avoided the doctor for years, out of fear of being judged. He tried numerous diets but nothing he did was sustainable. He would lose confidence and be really hard on himself.
“I didn't realize that it had gotten that bad. I was 310 pounds. I was in a really low place. Even on my days off I wouldn't leave the house. I didn't feel like a 26-year-old.”
“I was 430 pounds. It got in the way of me living my life and doing my job. I love sports but I couldn't play because I'd wake up in the morning with my ankles killing me. I had very high blood pressure as well.”
THE BEGINNING OF A LIFELONG JOURNEY
Judit and Kevin had reached a turning point: “We sat down and decided it was time to make a drastic change.” Judit is a circulating nurse in an Operating Room. She had seen Seth C. Judd, MD, FACS, FASMBS, Bariatric Surgeon at Crystal Run Healthcare perform weight loss surgery and liked his compassionate approach to his patients. In order for Kevin to learn more about the process, they attended a surgical weight loss information seminar, hosted by Dr. Judd. The seminar covered the health effects of obesity, the types of weight loss surgeries and medical management of weight and weight loss, and who were appropriate candidates for the multi-disciplinary program. Later, they looked at all the information they had gathered, and decided that bariatric surgery would be the best choice for them.
MAKING THEIR FIRST APPOINTMENT
Soon after, they both scheduled appointments with Dr. Judd and the Bariatric team at Crystal Run Healthcare. Compared to the sense of shame they normally felt while at the doctor's, Kevin said their experience was far different from their normal interactions:
“Dr. Judd said ‘Here’s where you’re at, here’s where we want you to be, and here is how we are going to get you there.’ It was the first time I went to a doctor's office and felt that I was treated like a person.”
WE FELT LIKE VIPs!
Both Judit and Kevin felt like they weren't alone on their journey; the entire team at the Crystal Run Bariatric Surgery program was in their corner.
“Vicki made us feel like VIPs!”, Judit exclaimed while recalling how Vickie Vandermolen, Bariatrics Program Coordinator, worked to ensure many of their appointments were scheduled together or as close together as possible. Judit and Kevin were able to have all of their appointments and required clearances with Crystal Run providers, ensuring their medical care was coordinated and as convenient as possible.
PRE-SURGICAL NUTRITIONAL GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT
They met several times with Bariatric Nurse Practitioner, Jaimie Gray O’Banks, CBN, FNP-C, who provided them with nutritional guidance and support before and after their surgery. By the time their surgery date came along, they were already practicing the diet and lifestyle changes their program called for.
“We were wheeled into surgery together,” Kevin said, “Every step of the way, we did it together.”
FACING THE CHALLENGES TOGETHER
Judit and Kevin’s weight loss journey did not simply end after their surgery date. “It’s not just a surgery, it’s an entire lifestyle change.” Dr. Judd remarked, “We give patients tools to take back their lives and get healthy and improve their lifestyle.”
Bariatric surgery physically alters the size of the stomach, which means a change in diet, a dramatic increase in water intake, and a long journey of adapting to a new normal. For the first few weeks, Judit remembered that “the mental hunger was crazy.” However, both Judit and Kevin agreed that it got easier to make more progress with every passing week. “It was rewarding to get to the next stage,” Kevin said, “Every step we made was a step forward in our weight loss journey.” They exercised at home and in the gym and began to experience physical and mental changes for the better.
“We’re completely different people than we were a year and a half ago. Now a year later after losing all this weight, I don’t even know where my sleep apnea machine is anymore. I sleep great and I feel wonderful!,” Judit says.
18 MONTHS LATER AND 260 POUNDS LIGHTER
Now, Judit and Kevin are living healthier, more active lives. They discovered a love of hiking and being outdoors, adopted their dog, Lucy, and now make creative dishes every week during meal prep together. They looked so different, they even retook their engagement photos. Their underlying medical issues that limited their quality of life, like sleep apnea, hypertension, prediabetes, and joint pain, have disappeared.
Kevin believes their confidence in themselves and their relationship with each other is stronger than it’s ever been: “Going into this we knew it was a team effort. Throughout the process, we were each other's rock. We were close before but this brought our relationship even closer.”
JUDIT AND KEVIN ARE EMPOWERED FOR LIFELONG WEIGHT LOSS
Dr. Judd and the Crystal Run Healthcare Bariatrics team are motivated to help their patients stay the course and achieve their weight loss goal. Dr. Judd puts it this way: “it motivates me to empower patients to take back ther life. To eat healthy and to exercise and then maintain that weight loss to resolve their diabetes, to resolve their hypertension, to get rid of their CPAP machine.”
Today, Judit and Kevin are unstoppable! They are often asked to offer advice to those who might follow their journey. Kevin says, “It was hard, but it was worth it.”
THE JOURNEY ISN’T OVER YET
Judit has lost 120 pounds and Kevin has lost 140 pounds. Both are resolute that they will lose more and continue to practice the lifestyle changes they have learned along the way.
Judit puts it this way,
“I feel like our life has truly begun and now it’s on to the fun stuff: getting married, having kids and just living our best life, our healthy life, forever, together.
WATCH JUDIT AND KEVIN’S STORY
Witness the dramatic transformation they made together. A transformation empowered by the Surgical Weight Loss Team at Crystal Run Healthcare. Schedule an appointment today to attend a Weight Loss Seminar or to see a member of our bariatric team.