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From as far back as I can remember, I was always overweight, and at 19 years old I tipped the scale at 270 pounds. I knew I had to do something. Furthermore, my passion for the latest and greatest fashions did not make it easy, being an overweight size 20 girl, as they didn’t make high-fashion clothing in plus sizes.

All physical appearances aside, coming from a family with a long medical history of Type-2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and cardio-vascular issues, I knew I needed to be proactive for my long-term well-being.

Being the type A person that I am, and an educator by profession, I knew that I had to do an extensive amount of research before committing myself to the Lap-Band. I researched several different clinics and spoke to dozens of successful “banded” patients until I fully understood that this life-changing weight loss program was right for me.

After years of struggling with dieting and weight loss programs, I finally made the decision to get “banded”. This was the best decision of my life.

But before I continue on with my story and tell you how the Lap-Band changed my life, I wanted to share with you the most important lesson I learned, during my journey.

What makes my story a little different from the rest is that I was initially banded elsewhere before I became a patient at the SmartShape Weight Loss Centre. I originally had my gastric band procedure at a clinic in Toronto when I was 19 years old. Everything went really well. I was losing weight and feeling really good. The first year alone I lost 85 pounds, but like any journey, sometimes you come across challenges and struggles.

I contacted the clinic in Toronto, where I had my procedure, for guidance and support. After all, this was part of their promised banding program. But what I received as post-op care was nothing they had described during my consultation with them. I was surprised by the lack of support I got, especially after I raised my concerns. The lesson I wanted to share with those who are thinking of having the band or any weight loss procedure is to make sure you do your research on the clinic. This is a big decision. Ask questions. Read reviews. Get to know their team and most importantly, make sure you get a consultation with the surgeon who will be performing your procedure because he or she will play a key role in your weight loss journey.

I was referred to SmartShape by a family member to help me find a solution and getting back on track. When I first contacted them, I felt the difference immediately in how they treat their patients. Any questions I had were answered with detail, compassion and care. And did I mention, I actually got to meet my surgeon?

The Lap-Band and the SmartShape team have saved my life in so many ways. I am a positive, healthy and confident person because of the choice I made years ago. After seeing my results, several friends and family members have gotten the Lap-Band as well and have had a successful experience.

As a teacher, it is a priority of mine to keep up with my students by having the energy to teach them with enthusiasm and vitality. I owe my confidence and energy to the Lap-Band for bringing me back to life. I can now keep up with my students’ high energy and teach to the best of my ability with confidence.

Going out in a social setting is absolutely fabulous in regards to the fact that I am making good choices but also have the control to stop when I am satisfied. I have gained confidence, willpower and self-control. I would truly recommend the SmartShape Weight Loss Centre to anyone who is ready to change their life for the better.

Learn more about SmartShape’s 5-year Aftercare Program here