Patient Story - Charlene Patterson

Charlene PattersonTwo years after having gastric bypass surgery at Palomar Health , 47-year-old, Charlene Patterson has found renewed energy and self-esteem.

“Although my family and friends were supportive of me before my surgery, internally I felt like I had no self-worth,” says Patterson. “Society views overweight people as invisible; after a while you begin to believe that you are.”

“Since my surgery, I have lost about 100 pounds and found that ‘skinny’ person that I always knew I could be,” says Patterson. “I have hope, regained my confidence and am embracing life.” In May 2006, Patterson completed her first triathlon, the Xterra Spring Sprint Triathlon, even though she claims she is not an athlete. This event involved a 1/4-mile swim, 9-mile bike ride and 3-mile run, which Patterson completed in less than two hours.

“To keep the weight off, I knew I needed a goal and training for the triathlon has been that goal,” says Patterson. “I also followed exactly the instructions given to me by the staff and I still attend the support groups and watch what I eat. Maintaining my weight is a lifelong commitment.”

Now, she’s training for the October Jamba Juice Mission Bay Triathlon. “I’ve gathered about 20 friends to train with me and to participate in this one,” she says. “I’ve got to keep the weight off and exercise is the key.”


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