Age: 51 Height: 5-feet-7
Weight Before: 341, Nov. 2013 Weight After: 222, Jan. 2016
Jaime Siegel, overweight his whole life, says he didn’t have a weakness for any one particular food because he loved eating all foods. The 51-year-old Quogue resident tried Weight Watchers among other diets but always regained the weight. After a heart attack in 2011, Siegel’s cardiologist mentioned that if he ever needed a heart transplant, candidacy is based on BMI (body mass index) and he would not qualify. In early 2015, Siegel needed laparoscopic gall bladder surgery and was told by his surgeon that she could do gastric sleeve surgery at the same time. He followed her suggestion and had surgery in May 2015. “Recovery was better than I thought,” Siegel said. He was on protein drinks for a few weeks, then soft foods and now several small meals daily. “I go out to eat and have no restrictions . . . . Before surgery I would have two baby lamb chops for an appetizer, a full entree and a dessert. Now the baby lamb chops are the meal along with a vegetable.” He had to refrain from caffeine, alcohol and soda for a year and eats his meal first and then a beverage, but not together. He says his A1C level (a diabetes indicator) is below its previous diabetic level. Siegel’s father suffered from diabetes and was a double amputee who died at age 60. Siegel is still losing weight. His doctor would like him to reach 180 pounds.
Breakfast can be tuna salad (with celery, cherry peppers, onions and olives and no mayonnaise) and a bagel crisp. A meatball with Banza chick pea pasta is lunch. Dinner can be crockpot chicken fricassee and asparagus. Snacks include apple slices and a spoonful of caramel, a grapefruit or orange, and a pepper jack cheese stick with some pumpkin seeds. He drinks water, Crystal Light or decaffeinated iced tea throughout the day.
Siegel goes to cardiac rehabilitation three days a week and works out on an elliptical, exercise bike and treadmill and does weight training. On non-rehab days, he walks five miles.
“If you haven’t been able to lose weight through conventional methods, gastric sleeve surgery is not as scary as you may think.”