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Nicole's story

Nicole Taub before and after weight loss surgerySticking to a New Year’s resolution can be hard. Two months in to the New Year and most of us have already given up on those promises to eat better and exercise. Without support and expertise, weight loss can be an almost impossible journey. That’s where Nicole Taub found herself over 1 year ago, wanting desperately to change her habits and be healthier. As her determination pushed her to make the next steps to get healthy, she found Tufts Medical Center Weight and Wellness Center. The program offers medical and surgical weight loss options and is a MBSAQIP Accredited Comprehensive Center and a Designated Blue Distinction Center. With their support and the right plan, Nicole was able to overcome those typical New Year’s downfalls and persevere. Here’s her story in her own words:  

It’s a familiar tale 

My story starts in an all too familiar way…I have struggled with my weight as far back as I can remember, but as I look back now, I don’t think I ever truly appreciated just how out of control things were at times. I was always looking for a “quick fix.” As a teenager there was the fad diet in the weeks leading up to prom; then came weight loss meetings in college (where I convinced myself that I could fit the fast food hamburger into my daily allotment); and finally attempts at clean eating and extreme food restrictions as an adult. All for what??? The immediate results inevitably gave way to weight gain well above the total I lost, and the vicious cycle would begin again.

Everything changed for me in the summer of 2018. Getting on the scale was never a pleasant experience, and I never let my weight define me, but that summer the number had gone up - a lot - and I couldn’t account for the weight gain. I’m not even sure I saw it when I looked in the mirror, but the scale doesn’t lie. In that moment I knew it was time to stop the cycle and I made the decision to visit the Tufts MC Weight and Wellness Center.  I had friends who went through the surgical process, some with great success, but it wasn’t until I was ready to make the choice for myself that I was able to fully commit. This was that moment. It wasn’t about vanity or the size of my jeans - I needed to get healthy and I needed help doing it.

I remember my first visit. What really stands out is hearing that I would have to wait six months before we could schedule the surgery. I couldn’t believe it. I finally made the decision to change my life and now I had to wait even longer! In the moment I was angry, but as I write this nearly 19 months to the day from that visit, I can confidently say that the six-month pre-op period was the first step to my success on this journey.

The Weight and Wellness Center at Tufts MC requires that patients go through a medical weight loss program before surgery to promote long term success. The program offers education and support for: behavior, lifestyle, nutrition, physical activity and medication management. Without this time to prepare for the long term, patients may resort back to old habits.   

Change can happen 

I had my surgery on January 14, 2019. The time that followed wasn’t easy. I had spent years (unsuccessfully) telling myself, “don’t eat if you’re not hungry,” and here I was trying to meet my daily goals without much of an appetite or the energy to get up and sit at the table. Luckily, I have an incredible support system in my family, friends and the team at Tufts MC, all of whom keep me motivated. For that, I am eternally grateful. These folks, coupled with my tendency to follow the rules, have been immensely helpful to me on my journey, and the results are better than I ever could have imagined.

I am now a year post-op and have lost over 120 pounds. I have discovered a passion for yoga and am even working out regularly (I have muscles!). When I look back at old photos I struggle to recognize myself, but it’s not just the extra weight I was carrying. This journey has been about more than becoming physically lighter…an emotional weight has been lifted that can’t be reflected in “lbs.” The best compliments I get aren't about how skinny I look (although it never hurts!) but rather the people who see how much lighter and happier I am on the inside. It took me a while to get here, but I am without a doubt the best version of myself the world has ever seen. My only regret…waiting so long to get here!