About the Provider

My Story - Weight Loss Surgery: David Stroup rnrnrntDavid Stroup is only a shadow of his former self at 220 lbs., down from his highest weight of 630 lbs. His enthusiasm for life and passion for helping others reach their goal after weight loss surgery is evident in his eyes and voice. He knows the weight loss journey well, having traversed it and taken numerous diet detours, which teased with the promise of permanent weight loss. rntOne of four children, David did not start life struggling with weight. He was the smallest of his siblings, weighing at birth just over 7 lbs. However, David soon blossomed into a cute and chubby baby. David\u0027s family was unconcerned about his weight, thinking he would outgrow his "baby fat." By kindergarten David weighed 90-100 lbs. In the late 1960\u0027s there was scant research and knowledge about the health impact of childhood obesity. Research now shows that there is a parallel increase in childhood diabetes, particularly type-2 - non-insulin-dependent diabetes linked to obesity.rntBy the time David was 11 years old he was tall and big boned. He wore "Husky" sized clothes and could wear his father\u0027s pants by the fifth grade. Within a month David had outgrown his father\u0027s pants, which infuriated his father who was thin and unsympathetic. He attributed David\u0027s weight problem to lack of discipline and willpower. David\u0027s mother was empathetic as she had family members who struggled with obesity. She ordered men\u0027s clothes for David through mail order catalogs and spent countless nights cutting off pants and hemming them for him. There were no Big u0026 Tall stores as there are today. David shared that throughout his childhood he longed to be just like the other kids -- able to buy clothes right off the rack!rntDavid and his family lived in Pennsylvania and the cold winters called for hearty meals that stuck to the ribs. His family also ate by the clock. David\u0027s parents routinely called him and his siblings in from play to eat because it was "time." Breakfast, lunch and dinner consisted of carbohydrate-loaded meals and heavy, grease-laden meats. David was refused seconds at mealtime and was reprimanded if he ate too much, but he continued to gain weight throughout junior high school. David\u0027s family had moved to California and he was 6 ft. tall and weighed 300 lbs. by high school. He was outgoing, had lots of friends, and activities. Additionally, he was on the football team which helped to keep his weight stable. David shares that the only thing he missed out on was having a girlfriend. He did go to his high school prom, but only had platonic female relationships. rntFollowing high school David attended college and pursued a career as a Medical Assistant. His weight continued to increase as his activity decreased. He became a "grazer," not eating a lot of food at one time, but eating the wrong kinds of food all day long. He got a rude awakening when he had to have a physical exam. The doctor\u0027s scale could not weigh him - he weighed over 400 lbs.! David was in shock - he did not realize how much weight he had gained. Though his family and friends did not treat him any different, David began to make excuses for not going out with them. He wanted to protect them from the stares and snide remarks aimed at him, which they defended. Besides it had become physically difficult for David to move around. He was constantly short of breath, his knees and back hurt and he had extreme cellulites. rnDavid\u0027s weight continued to spiral upwards and had reached 535 lbs. when he was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 1995. Sleep apnea is associated with obesity and is episodes of not breathing, which last more than 10 seconds, can occur hundreds of times per night, and leads to unbroken sleep and daytime fatigue. The levels of oxygen can drop to dangerously low levels and can result in irregular heart beats, which can be fatal. David\u0027s physician prescribed a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask. The flow of air creates enough pressure when inhaling to keep the airway open. CPAP is considered the most effective non-surgical treatment for the alleviation of sleep apnea.rntWith a family history of heart disease, diabetes and hypertension David\u0027s obesity put him at even greater risk. He developed blood clots in his legs and was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis - DVT. Research shows that obesity makes men and women more likely to develop two blood clotting problems -- DVT and pulmonary embolism. David\u0027s physician put him on blood thinners and water pills and discussed the possibility of a blood clot breaking loose and traveling to his lungs which could be fatal. With his health being compromised, David was motivated to try every fad diet and weight loss plan on the market. It began a yo-yo cycle of losing and then regaining more weight. David knew he was living on borrowed time and was really scared, especially when he reached his maximum weight of 630 lbs.rnDavid was hospitalized due to extensive medical problems and while there had a consultation with Dr. Mal Fobi, creator of the Fobi pouch, who assured David that he could be helped with weight loss surgery. David had heard of gastric bypass surgery and when he got out of the hospital began to research it. He also lost 39 lbs., going down to 591 lbs. David decided to have gastric bypass surgery and when he did three months later in September 1996, he weighed 560 lbs.rnWithin two years David had lost 340 lbs., was off all medications and no longer used a CPAP machine. David said "Weight loss surgery was the best thing I could have done - I was a walking time bomb! It not only improved my health, but gave me a better quality of life. I am now happily married and grateful to be alive!" David developed a new lifestyle of eating, exercises regularly and takes vitamins and supplements daily. He became such an advocate that he is now the Program Manager at the Center for the Surgical Treatment of Obesity at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, California. The Center earned the distinction of being a Bariatric Center of Excellence and provides pre- and post surgery counseling, support groups and education. David said "Weight loss surgery is a team effort between the patient, the physicians and the staff. Our program provides the support necessary for patients to achieve their weight loss goals - I\u0027m living proof that it\u0027s possible!" rnrn# # # rn


San Pedro, CA USA