Gaining self-confidence after losing more than 100 pounds
Meggin Billmeier was having a large, painful ovarian cyst removed when she learned that her body mass index (BMI) was over 40—what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls "severe" obesity. People diagnosed with obesity are at increased risk for serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, COVID-19 and even reduced life expectancy. Meggin had experienced sleep apnea, fatigue and allergies so severe that they landed her in the hospital. She had tried many weight-loss techniques over the years without success. Life-changing decision When Lauren Buck, MD, a general and bariatric surgeon at Medical City Lewisville, removed Meggin's cyst in December 2019, it was around the time that Meggin's 14-year-old daughter was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that is linked to genetics and obesity. "I decided to have weight-loss surgery to show my daughter that it's OK to get outside help," Meggin says. "I wanted to set a good example that taking care of yourself must be a priority."
Treated with kindness
Meggin turned to Dr. Buck for weight-loss surgery in May 2020. "Dr. Buck is amazing," says Meggin. "Her kindness is what sets her apart from other surgeons. She's gentle and explanatory and takes extra time to talk through your concerns. When she's explaining things, it's like you're talking to a friend, which allows you to build trust with that person because she's invested in you."
Meggin's hard work and amazing transformation are inspirational. Just five months after surgery, Meggin had lost 107 pounds. With help from the team at Medical City Lewisville's Bariatric & Metabolic Institute, she's been able to make the lifestyle changes that will help her keep the weight off for good. "Bariatric dietitian Nora, wellness coach and physician assistant Nives, and the rest of the team are so easily accessible, compassionate in all situations, never judgmental even if you mess up, always positive and encouraging for your continued progress," Meggin says. "For the first time in my life, how I look on the outside finally matches how I view myself on the inside: confident, strong and lovely. Before surgery, my appearance felt like a costume. I felt like I was constantly fighting to convince others, and myself, that I was good enough. Since having surgery and becoming so much healthier, I can focus on my heart and soul without worrying about my health or appearance. My kids finally get to have their mom."