Weight Loss Surgery Removed Layers of Shame for Kristin Petolino-Szilagyi

Weight loss surgery removed layers of timidity and shame for Kristin Petolino-Szilagyi. She had the surgery in late 2002, and has maintained her 175-pound weight loss for several years.

Hello, my name is Kristin. I am 37, separated with two children. I had weight loss surgery on December 6, 2002. As of July 2009, I have maintained a weight loss of 175 lbs! And I feel incredible!

Life just couldn’t be any better!

Before my surgery, I felt there was no hope for me. I was 5′ 5″ and weighed 314 pounds. I had tried everything, then felt like a failure. I gave up on myself. I almost never left my house. I just went through the motions of the day, waiting for the day to end.


Then I began to research weight loss surgery and after two years and many discussions and support group meetings, I decided it was my way and hope to living a happier, healthier life.

My surgeon, Dr. Mehta, was everything I expected and more. He made me feel welcome, and he gave a very good presentation and answered all my questions. My surgery experience was great, with no complications.

Weight loss surgery has changed my life in so many ways. The energy level is just amazing. I have rediscovered parts of my personality that were forgotten. The layers of timidity and shame have been removed and replaced with a level of confidence and self-assuredness that I thought I could never posses again. Weight loss surgery has not only given me my life back, but I am experiencing life all over again!

Today, because of weight loss surgery I feel like I am a better mom, a better friend and also a better person all together. I thank God everyday for weight loss surgery, Dr. Mehta, and all the wonderful friends from the MBC support group I have made through my weight loss surgery journey! I am so honored to be associated with such a strong and courageous group of people. People who care enough about themselves and their families to take whatever steps necessary to get healthy. I am so proud of our folks and I want to thank each weight loss surgery patient and their friends and families who are involved in our group. Your continued encouragement makes all the difference in the world.


My heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who supported my decision and encouraged me. Mostly, though, I would love to find the words adequate enough to thank my family. As a morbidly obese person, I often questioned why anyone would love me at all. My family not only loved me but nurtured me, supported me, spoiled me and stood beside me. I never had to take one step of this journey alone. we took it together, hand in hand. Thank you all – from the depths of my soul, and the far corners of my heart, for loving me and not being afraid to show it.

If you are reading this and feeling like there is no hope, please don’t give up on yourself just yet. Talk to (a weight loss surgeon) and see if he can help you change your life. I did, and I would do it again, over and over. I haven’t regretted my surgery for one second!

Life just couldn’t be any better!

Kristin Petolino-Szilagyi

4 Responses

  1. Sharon Hinshillwood

    Your story brought me to tears. You are a great success story.I do understand what you said about getting your life back. I also had the surgery but regained some back. I admire you for keeping your wight off. You look beautiful. Thankyou for sharing your story with everyone. Take Care Sharon from N.J.

  2. kristin

    Sharon, thank you so much.. i didnt even know this story was published! thank you sooo much for your kind words! Its normal for us to regain some weight back! I could not have been as succsusful without the hel and suport from my WLS family!!

  3. Rene Schultz, RN

    Kristin, you are the poster girl for successful weight loss surgery! You have taken accountability for your life and your surgery. As you know, maintaining weight loss takes dedication and a committment to lifestyle changes. Continue to encourage those around you that may have some weight regain. There’s hope folks- “back on track” support groups should be a key piece of any weight loss surgery program you are involved in. If this is not in place- question the quality and experience of where you are having surgery. Bariatric surgery is just a tool- not a fix. You just need to learn how to use the “tool”. Good Luck.

  4. Kristin


    I realize this is years later but thank you. I have been maintaining my weight loss and at almost 9 years post-op not an easy task!