Karrie is 39 years old, and works for Celebrate Bariatric Supplements. She is very excited to work for Celebrate because every day she gets to talk about her weight loss journey to bariatric patients, and hopes she inspires other weight loss patients to achieve their goals.
It's been over 8 years since her surgery and not a moment goes by that she ever regrets having the surgery. The surgery has given her a new life, a life that she could not even imagine before her surgery. Since Karrie's surgery she has achieved many goals, but the one she is most proud of is running the Akron Road Runner Marathon (26.2 miles) in 2008. She is still running and has several 5K (3.1 miles) and 10K (6.2 miles) races under her belt. Her favorite run is a half marathon (13.1 miles) and to date, she has completed at least 14 races. Karrie says she has run so many half marathons that she has lost count.
"I now live by the motto: Dare to dream, whether big or small, believe in yourself, and you can achieve all." She can't remember a moment of her life when she was not thinking that she needed to lose weight. Karrie reminisces, "I was always an active kid. I twirled baton in a marching band until about the third grade, and from the fourth through the twelfth grade I played basketball and volleyball. I was always the chubby one running up and down the court."
After graduating from high school, Karrie gained 100 pounds between the ages of 18 and 30, eventually reaching 346 pounds. Overeating and a more sedentary lifestyle during those years contributed to her unhealthy weight gain. Karrie had always strived to lose weight, but it wasn't until she heard about Dr. Chlysta from her sister, who was a nurse in Akron General's PICU, that she decided she was going to have gastric bypass surgery, and didn't ask for anyone's approval. "I was only worried about my father's reaction. My weight loss was something that I wanted so badly to accomplish, but just couldn't! I didn't want him to be disappointed in me. He had always told me that I could do anything I set my mind to. It turned out that my father was okay with my decision."
There was a lot of testing that had to be done prior to the surgery. The week before her surgery, Karrie went on what she describes as a "tour of foods"- where she ate some of the things that she was told she may have trouble with after the surgery-including Chinese food and cheesecake.
The day of her surgery, Karrie weighed 330 pounds. The minimally invasive gastric bypass surgery lasted about three hours. She was at Akron General Medical Center for three days, including the day of surgery.
Now weighing 155 lbs., Karrie says "This surgery has given me a wonderful life that I never ever knew existed. The journey has been amazing, and I can't wait to see where it takes me next."