It was a phone call from Washington State University (WSU) that made Oregon resident and WSU junior, Tess O'Shaughnessy, decide to have weight-loss surgery.
At 311 pounds, Tess had struggled with weight loss her entire life, trying diets, working with a nutritionist and personal trainer, and even fasting. Now, she was in danger of losing her WSU scholarship because of poor class attendance. She skipped her courses because, as a result of her weight, the walk across campus to her classes was nearly physically impossible, and when she did make it to class, was unable to find a seat to accommodate her size. As a result of her physical and emotional exhaustion her excess weight caused, Tess often confined herself to her apartment for weeks at a time.
In 2003, she decided to pursue the LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System, a less-invasive surgical weight loss option compared to gastric bypass. Now, four years and 160 pounds later, Tess, age 24, is an avid runner, and has completed several half-marathons and triathlon sprints.
Besides her physical accomplishments, Tess feels that having the LAP-BAND® System procedure has changed every aspect in her life. She no longer feels constant hunger, dates, travels, and has more self confidence. Just four years ago, Tess was unable to pursue many of her dreams and aspirations because of the discomfort and limitations she experienced as a result of her excess weight.
Now, she finds herself imaging endless possibilities for her career, social life, and physical fitness. In fact, after she lost the majority of her weight and experienced the significant milestone of being at a healthy weight for the first time in her life, Tess even decided to try modeling locally. While she decided not to pursue it seriously, modeling is just another example of something that Tess was able to achieve that at one time she never thought possible.
Tess hopes to share her story with others battling with weight problems to help them understand that life without obesity is a possibility.