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Bellport man drops 181 lbs. in 1 year with gastric sleeve surgery

Michael Salvi, 33, of Bellport, is pictured in

Michael Salvi, 33, of Bellport, is pictured in December 2016, when he weighed 375 pounds, and in a more recent photo, showing off his more than 180-pound weight loss. Photo Credit: Anglea Lanza; Chris Ware

Michael Salvi

33, Bellport

Occupation Facilities manager

Height 5-foot-9

Before 375 pounds, December, 2016

After 194 pounds, November 2017

“Weight issues are in my family, and, unfortunately, I’m an emotional eater. Happy or sad, I would turn to food,” says Michael Salvi, 33, of Bellport. He says he tried Weight Watchers, Atkins, exercise, and many fad diets.

“I’ve lost a lot of weight but gained it all back and then some.”

Salvi says that, in addition to being overweight, he had a lot of negatives going on in his life in 2016. He and his wife were looking to start a family but he was in a dead-end job, was on medication for blood pressure, acid reflux, and asthma, and had a snoring problem (for which he used a breathing machine).

At the recommendation of a family member who had gastric sleeve surgery, he saw a surgeon to explore having the same procedure.

“Initially I was scared; there are some risks. After the seminar, I said I could lose weight on my own, but that didn’t pan out,” Salvi says.

He had the surgery in January. “The recovery was painful. I had the sleeve surgery and a hernia treated at the same time.”

He was home from his physically intense job for a month and had to re-learn how to eat. The first month was liquids only.

A January surgery date means recovering during the country’s increasingly popular holiday — Super Bowl Sunday. “I couldn’t eat any of the food. Old Mike would’ve eaten everything. I had to go to another room with my soup,” says Salvi.

The first month he lost between 20 and 30 pounds. Salvi say he is no longer on any medication and his sleep apnea is gone.

“It’s a pleasure to go to a clothing store now and buy whatever I want. I used to be a 4XL. Now, I’m a medium to large,” Salvi says.

Salvi has a protein shake in the morning and snacks on a protein granola bar mid-morning. Lunch is a half-sandwich of low-sodium turkey, Swiss cheese and lettuce on multi-grain bread and water. He snacks mid-afternoon on low-fat string cheese. Dinner can be a piece of grilled chicken, broccoli, and a half-cup of whole grain pasta.

“Whatever I don’t eat I save for lunch the next day. I never feel deprived. I just have small portions.”

Three times a week, Salvi hits the gym, where he uses the treadmill for 35 minutes, the ab machine and then free weights for his arms.

“Weight loss opens doors for you. When I was heavy I would go on multiple job interviews and not get any of the jobs. Since losing weight, I’ve gotten a new job with a great salary and staff. People look at me differently.”

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