After struggles with weight gain, mom finds success with weight loss surgery

Ashley Meredith put on weight after a baby and struggled to lose it. Two years after weight loss surgery, she’s nearly cut her weight in half.

Ashley Meredith began struggling with her weight in her 20s.

“I was an active teenager, so it had never been a problem,” Ashley said.

She remained active through college, but after a torn knee ligament put an end to that and she got pregnant in 2008, her weight crept up.

A startling realization

Through her 20s, Ashley tried a few diets and various workout programs.

“I did a boot camp, and I remember one of the other participants being concerned for me because I struggled so hard,” she said.

She walked outside after that, because group workouts felt embarrassing. Ashley did several popular diets, including keto.

“I would lose a few pounds, maybe 10, and then think, ‘Oh wow, now I can go eat McDonald’s,’” she said.

The yo-yo dieting and intermittent activity continued halfheartedly until 2017, when two events had her making some serious changes.

“I went to Kentucky Kingdom with my daughter. I was too big to get on a ride,” she said. “I had to get off the ride, and I was mortified.”

Later that summer, the scale at the doctor’s office showed her weight as 278 pounds. At 5 feet, 6 inches tall, it put her body mass index (BMI) at over 40.

“I knew I had to do something,” she said.

Norton Weight Management Services

Ready to leave the extra pounds behind?

Call (502) 629‐1234

Bariatric surgery seminar

Sign up now

Choosing weight loss surgery

The first step was a free weight loss seminar.

“I had already committed to doing something, and I knew it had to be permanent,” Ashley said. “Doing it all on my own, relying on willpower, it wasn’t working.”

She met with Benjamin D. Tanner, M.D., bariatric surgeon with Norton Weight Management Services.

“I was leaning toward the gastric sleeve, rather than the lap band, because it was going to be permanent,” Ashley said.

The hard part of gastric sleeve surgery

“Surgery was the easy part,” Ashley said. “There were a lot of tears after, until I got used to how things were. Knowing what might happen and actually experiencing it is different.”

Her procedure was in November, so the holidays were difficult.

“Everyone is eating cookies and turkey, and I’m having a little piece of ham and some green beans and I’m full,” she said.

There have been ups and downs over the last four years. Down times include severe hair loss and gallbladder surgery, both related to weight loss surgery. Her lowest weight was 136 pounds, but it felt unhealthy. Before surgery, Ashley recalls being fat shamed, but her new slim figure led to a different kind of shaming. “People would say, ‘You’re too skinny, you need to eat,’” she said.

Feeling and looking her best

Ashley has gotten back into activity, including running and spin classes. Her relationship with food also drastically improved.

“I don’t eat sugar; I don’t drink soda. I eat as clean and colorful as possible,” she said.

She also doesn’t restrict.

“I eat bread. I eat pasta. I can eat those things in moderation,” she said.

From 278 pounds, Ashley has lost about half of that.

“Women’s bodies fluctuate all the time, but I’m pretty consistently around 150,” she said. “I would recommend weight loss surgery to anyone who’s thinking about it.” These days, she sees her surgery this way: “Bariatric surgery gets you started, and your mindset is what keeps you going. Weight loss surgery is not something you should be ashamed of if it gives you a tool to improve your life.”

Bariatric Surgery Seminar

Led by a board-certified bariatric surgeon, this hourlong educational session includes:

  • An overview of the benefits, risks and expected results of each procedure
  • Detailed information on the types of surgical solutions we offer
  • Details on what to expect, from preoperative preparation through ongoing follow-up care
  • Qualifications for surgery and help to determine if you’re a candidate

Schedule an Appointment

Select an appointment date and time from available spots listed below.