FARMER CITY — You name the diet and Stacey Lange tried it.
A 38-year-old nurse at Gibson Area Hospital in Gibson City, Lange had been fighting her weight since her teens, starting a new diet every time her weight hit 200.
But every time she quit dieting, the pounds came right back, and with them a host of medical problems. She couldn’t run around with her two kids. She had back pain, high cholesterol and depression.
“Going to Weight Watchers and seeing 248 on the scale kind of did it for me,” she recalls.
Weary of yo-yo dieting, Lange checked into gastric banding surgery and scheduled a consultation with Clinton weight-loss surgeon Sidney Rohrscheib, eventually undergoing the procedure in September 2006.
Less than two years later, she’s kissed shopping at plus-size stores goodbye.
No more size 24 for her. With her weight now fluctuating from 145 to 150, she can wear a size 8 or 10.
“I didn’t set out to be in this weight range. I just did it, and it felt better,” she says.
Of course her eating habits have changed dramatically. She still eats whatever she cooks for her family — just a lot less of it.
“I eat a half a cup of food and I’ll feel full,” she says. “You feel like you’ve just eaten a Thanksgiving dinner.”
Losing a lot of weight also requires some mental adjustment, Lange says. For a time, she’d look in the mirror and still see that larger person she used to be.
Lange says she knows the band around her stomach is going to require lifelong monitoring.
She could have it removed if she wants, but right now she wants it right where it is.
“I’d never want it removed because I don’t think I’d trust myself to not eat,” she says.
Would she recommend the surgery route to someone else in her situation? You bet, Lange says.
The antidepressants are out of her life. Her husband tells her he’s got a whole new wife, and her 9-year-old daughter gave her the best compliment she’s ever had:
“She said, ‘Mommy, I can hug all of you now,’” Lange said.