WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — 28 year old Aimi Glasgow has been considered obese ever since she was a kid, and had gotten to a point where she said, ‘I hated myself.’
Nine months ago, Aimi weighed close to 300 pounds and was only in her 20’s. Now as of this month, Aimi is 157 pounds lighter with a new outlook on life. However, getting to this point was anything but easy.
“I had tried everything,” said Aimi. “I tried just dieting and exercise which obviously is terrible…I had been on phentermine for a long time and I lost a lot of weight doing that but immediately gained it all back once I got off…It actually cause me to have seizures.”
Help soon found Aimi, in the form of a phone call.
“My mom called me one day and she was like ‘hey I ran into your old friend and she looks amazing!’ So I just creeped her Facebook page and was like yeah she looks awesome, I can do that too!”
Her friend referred her to United Regional’s bariatric surgeon, Dr. Chris Finnell, who saw Aimi as a promising candidate for a gastric sleeve procedure.
“Gastric sleeve is the go-to surgery in the United States right now for weight loss,” says Dr. Finnell. “A lot of the time people think we’re wrapping some type of material around the stomach or something like that but really all we’re doing is removing part of the stomach.”
In Aimi’s case, Dr. Finnell removed 80% of her stomach. The remaining portions of were stitched together to make a new banana-sized stomach or sleeve in this case, drastically reducing the amount of food she eats.
But in order to be in compliance with her insurance company and to ensure the success of the surgery, Aimi had a lot of work to do.
“I needed to take a nutrition class, and then also do a….I met with a counselor basically just to make sure that mentally I was ready and understood the changes that were going to happen…We did a two week pre-op diet, it shrunk my liver to where Finnell could get in there and do what he needed to do, once I realized ok this is more mental than just physical, it’s not the easy way out, I’m glad that they made me talk to someone about it.”
Aimi was also quick to address the common stereotype that weight surgery is the “easy way out”.
“It is not the easy way out! Like everyone thinks it’s cheating and it’s not, it is hard physically, mentally, emotionally. It’s a good kickstart, but it’s not going to like wake you up in the morning to work out and it’s not going to prep your meals or tell you ‘no, I’m not going to eat these chips’…it’s hard and you have to be dedicated…”
Today Aimi shares her incredible journey with others through her Instagram (@decreasingaimi), and is celebrating a milestone she didn’t think was possible.
“I’ve got my BMI low enough that I’m clinically no longer considered overweight at all, I’m in the normal BMI range.”
Aimi’s BMI used to be over 46. It’s is now under 25.
“She is an above average patient,” says Dr. Finnell, “she is down to a completely normal weight now, she looks great, she feels great, and so she’s a complete success.“
Aimi’s story also inspired her uncle to fly all the way down from Washington to get the gastric sleeve with Dr. Finnell, and Aimi’s wife also got the surgery.
“I’m making healthier choices, I make more money because I’m in sales…Everything’s better.”
For a link to United Regional’s bariatric department, click here.