Jennifer Walters: 230 Pounds Disappear

Jennifer Walters had a weight problem creeping near 400 pounds. After weight loss surgery, her life seemed to improve in every way.

I was always a large child all through school and was constantly picked on and teased. The usual mean things kids say became the reality of my life – and often was the impetus to my eating to feel better. Diet camp at age 12 did not work permanently and a diet program “designed for teens” the next year did not work, so I gave up. By the time I was in high school, I was well over 200 pounds.


It seemed that by the time I was in my mid-twenties, I was more than three hundred pounds. I was depressed and seeking an answer. I heard that answer on an infomercial late at night – it turns out this health star was in my own hometown of Dallas at the time, so I decided to attend her workout facility and I became a member. I was somewhat successful with Susan Powter, losing about 90 pounds and getting healthy, landing myself in the public eye for a while as I was asked to be in her book. Then divorce time came and knocked me off that success train in a hard way, and I reverted to eating instead of maintaining my new lifestyle.

Along comes birthday 35 and I see the scale nearing 400 pounds, telling myself that I WILL NOT go over this mark. Then in my second marriage, while pregnant with my son, I actually lost weight, about 50 pounds. I forgot about weight loss for a while because I (hopefully) thought this loss might keep up once the baby was born. Of course that was an irrational assumption.

I then began to investigate weight loss surgery after the scale crept back up close to the 400 pound mark again. I tried many programs before this decision, such as Weight Watchers, and they just did not seem to work for me. The weight always seemed to come back. I went to seminars, support groups, and studied online for about six months before deciding gastric bypass Roux-en-Y was the right decision. I had my surgery in April of 2006 and initially lost over 230 pounds.


It is a constant program to maintain the success I have been able to achieve. Right now, I am having issues with a small regain of about 15 pounds. To counteract this rebound and to help maintain this loss, I continue to work the tool that was given to me rather than trying to sabotage it most days. That has been the most important part of the success – remembering this is a tool but I have to know how to use it. I am now approaching the desire to reduce my excess skin with plastic surgery. However, that will not likely happen, due to the cost.

Many people think weight-loss surgery is an easy way out; I do not believe it any easier than other weight-loss methods. I have had my share of complications (including surprise surgery to correct a hernia just last summer) and issues with maintaining nutritional balance in my lab work. It is panicky to think I may go back to 400 pounds, but I am determined NOT TO!

Jennifer Walters, age 41
391 pounds down to a current 184 pounds

2 Responses

  1. Jennifer

    Oh! I think I remember you from the book! Are you the one ‘with a face like an irish princess’?? I always wondered about what had happened to you after the book.Anyway-most importantly congratulations on losing the weight. You have done very well.

  2. Chantel McGleno

    Hello jennifer. I am not even sure if you will receive this BUT I hope you don’t mind. Your story was such an inspiration I actually quoted your story in an english paper I am doing involving obesity. I too am a big girl and will be having weight loss surgery and I wanted to write about something that I am truly passionate about it and this was it! 😀 Congratulations on such a wonderful amount of weight loss. And please keep up the great work. Some weight gain is to be expected but just remember it happens. You look wonderful.