Margarita Martin was tired of excess weight wreaking havoc on her health and underwent a gastric bypass procedure through Memorial's Bariatric Services Program. Now she participates in 5K fun runs, biathlons and even completed a half marathon.
Margarita Martin, 44, was tired of excess weight wreaking havoc on her health. High cholesterol, diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea had become commonplace for the 5-foot-10, 330-pound woman. “My overall health was getting bad,” she said. “I was depressed and tired all the time. I had diabetes. I wore a CPAP to bed every night. I was nowhere near healthy.” Margarita wanted to beat diabetes and hypertension, lose 100 pounds, run like she used to and feel comfortable in her own skin. Plus she really wanted to ditch the CPAP machine she used every night. Following a gastric bypass procedure through Memorial’s Bariatric Services Program, Margarita lost 135 pounds. Surgery was just the beginning. She continued with multidisciplinary care, including physical therapy, nutrition counseling, social work and support groups. Her social worker helped her work through her insecurities and concerns. The dietitians helped her plan meals and learn new ways to prepare and enjoy food. The physical therapists determined when she was ready and customized an exercise program. Following a slow introduction to regular exercise, Margarita is now an avid runner. Her advice for others who want to achieve similar success? “Be patient,” she said. “Follow all the instructions from the Memorial Bariatric staff—they want you to succeed. Take your vitamins and drink that protein. Eat what you’re supposed to and in the appropriate portions. Surgery isn’t the cure-all; it’s a tool.” Today, Margarita has lost more than 135 pounds. She participates in 5K fun runs, biathlons and even completed a half marathon at Disney. She cross-trains six times a week and maintains an active lifestyle. “My life is so different,” she said. “This tool has helped me discover that I’m worth it. You have the surgery, you lose the weight. But, then what? The surgery is just a tool. I’m successful because I’ve done everything. And you only get one shot at life.”