A Family Affair – Wendy’s Weight Loss Journey

My journey with my weight was a life long struggle, I was always overweight even as a child throughout life. My weight hit all time highs and on occasion I was able to take weight off, but it always came back.

Sixteen months ago I began researching surgery options and after careful consideration I chose to go through BeLiteWeight for their help. From the very beginning they were very helpful. There were a lot of forms and testing I had to get done from my regular doctor to make sure I could physically as well as mentally under go the surgery. So decision made, myself and my family was off to Vegas!!!

During our journey out there we did some vacationing. Little did I know it would truly be my last vacation as the person I knew. We went to Omaha Zoo, Boys Town and Hiking at each of these. I thought I was going to die! I was in pain physically and I was having a hard time with the heat but I kept in sight that, as a family, we were going to get through this. We arrived in Vegas on April 8, 2012 and when we arrived at the hotel we were greeted by Lisa who was a representative with BeLiteWeight. She was amazing and a lot of help. She took us to meet the surgeon, then to the hospital to register and get test done there. Because we flew in she even gave not only myself but my husband and daughter a ride to the hospital on the morning of what I like to call the BIG DAY…

The surgery itself went great and my surgeon, Dr. Bernie Hanna, was great. I was released from the hospital 31 hours after surgery. Two days after surgery I was on my way home for my new beginning. I will not say it has all been a perfect story. I experienced bouts of being sick , unable to eat, ulcers, and had to have my gallbladder removed within this last year. However at the time of surgery I was 347 pounds and wearing a size 28, but more often then not I was wearing stretch clothing. 

It is now 13 months after surgery and I weight 150 pounds. I was able to undergo a back surgery that I have needed for years but unable to undergo because of weight. I am also taking five less medications then before surgery. I will tell you I am able to walk 3 miles at a time with my daughter I enjoy life more, going in public more, and I am much more happier with myself then before surgery.

Thank You BeLiteWeight for helping me and my family, because this surgery is not just an individual experience but a family one.

Procedure: Gastric Bypass Surgery / RNY
Surgeon: Dr. Bernie Hanna

Long Term Weight Loss Success – Markel’s Lap Band Journey

Hi Joanne! First of thank you so much! I would be honored to share my experience with others. 

I had my lap band surgery a little over 3 years ago. Throughout my entire life I always struggled with my weight. As a 23 year old young man I was in really bad shape. I suffered from hypertension high cholesterol and arthritis. My insurance carrier at the time would not allow me to have surgery at all due to the fact that it was considered cosmetic. 

I heard about BeLiteWeight through a family member who had recently had gastric bypass done in Mexico. The cost for the lap band surgery at the time was extremely too expensive to have the procedure done in the United States without insurance. I was completely surprised regarding the difference between cost if I decided to go through your company and have the surgery. Your staff were completely helpful and supportive during this process. The hospital was honestly the most beautiful hospital I have ever seen and the room reminded me of a beautiful hotel room. I had my procedure done in Juarez, Mexico at Star Medica Hospital with Dr. Jose Rodriguez and Dr. Elmo Aramburo.

My life has changed considerably since having the Lap Band procedure done. When I went in to have the surgery I weighed a little over 300 pounds. Yesterday I weighed myself and I weigh 219 pounds! It has taken some time for the weight to come off but with hard work and determination and using the Lap Band as a tool for success, I  am definitely proud of the person that I am becoming. This may sound corny but BeLiteWeight has truly changed my life! I am a better me! I am looking forward to my continued journey! 

Procedure: Lap Band / Gastric Band Surgery
Surgeons: Dr. Jose Rodriguez Villareal & Dr. Elmo Aramburo

Medicare Paid Gastric Bypass Surgery – Brenda’s Weight Loss Story

First I want to thank JoAnne (Program Director at BeLiteWeight) for asking me to write this and allowing me to share the story of my weight loss journey.

A little more than a year ago (Aug. 2012), my family doctor had informed me that my health was on a downward spiral and on top of having depression, high blood pressure, IBS, arthritis and sleep apnea, I was now also borderline diabetic. Hearing this really scared me and got my attention, I knew I had to do something, and soon. I started my search for a way to loose weight that didn't include pills that wouldn't work, diet fads or unsustainable exercise programs. I logged online one afternoon and stumbled upon a link for BeLiteWeight. After reading all the information, I decided to give it a shot and fill out the information they asked for. I was shocked at how quickly Sharon, a BeLiteWeight Patient Facilitator, got back in touch with me. I was once again shocked and happy to learn that there was help for me out there. I was a candidate for the gastric bypass surgery, and my Medicare insurance did indeed cover it.

This was the beginning of a journey that has brought me to where I am today. I was 225 pounds, with a BMI of 35 when I went into visit Dr. Umbach. Lisa, a wonderful and amazing BeLiteWeight patient coordinator had taken me to and from his office. After a thorough visit with this amazing doctor, my Gastric Bypass surgery was set up for Sept. 21, 2012.

My surgery went well, and I was only in the hospital for less than 48 hrs. I am not going to say that it was the easiest surgery, but it wasn't as bad as what I had been afraid of. Dr. Umbach and his staff took really good care of me, and made sure I was as comfortable as I could be. He also made sure I was in good shape before leaving the hospital, and drive back home. (I lived about 3 hours away at the time).

Once home, I really started my weight loss endeavor and slowly as I healed, my outlook on things and life was starting to change. My depression was fading as well as my energy was increasing. Within the next few months, I no longer was considered borderline diabetic, had HBP, had sleep apnea and was on half of the medications I was taking before my surgery.

I also started to notice that my clothes no longer fit me. They were way too big and I was having to either give them away or donate them. They simply hung on me. By the sixth month after my surgery, I was down almost 45 pounds and everyone started to really see the weight just rolling off my medium sized frame. My BMI had come down from 35+ to a low 29.

Today, a year and 1 month later, I am down to my goal weight which fluctuates between 135-140. My BMI is 22.6 and I am so much healthier than I have been in many, many years. I look and feel fantastic, and have to thank everyone, from the folks at BeLiteWeight to Dr. Umbach's office for helping me to achieve this goal.

My journey, well it is a forever one, always changing and getting better.

Thank you Again JoAnne. It meant a lot for me to have shared this with you and everyone else. I hope it helps others to form their own goals around it.

Procedure: Gastric Bypass Surgery
Surgeon: Dr. Thomas Umbach


The Best Weight Loss Surgery Motivation – Video Before and After Photos

BeLiteWeight Presents Three Minutes of the Best Weight Loss Motivation – Weight Loss Surgery Before and After Photo Slideshow.

Thanks to all of our patient who share these photos with us. We LOVE seeing them!

Brian’s Long Term Gastric Sleeve Success Story

Brian's Long Term Before and After Gastric Sleeve Success Story & Photos

Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today. I was really excited that it has almost reached my 2 year mark from my surgery date. Like I told you earlier, I have lost a combined total of 220 lbs. My experience with BeLiteWeight as well as Dr. Jose Rodriguez, Dr. Elmo Aramburo and Star Medica hospital was second to none. It was a great experience.

I was treated excellent at an top notch facility in Juarez, Mexico. I was, as you can imagine, a bit nervous about going to Mexico for my procedure (Gastric Sleeve) but was in fact treated better there than I was when I had back surgery here in Houston, Texas the previous year. The facility was clean, very modern and well taken care of. The staff from housekeeping to the surgical team all treated me as though they were treating a family member. I was thoroughly impressed and recommend it to everyone that asks. I am enclosing a few before and after pictures. I want to thank everyone from your staff for making this possible and a very pleasant experience.

Sincerest gratitude,
Brian R

Procedure: Gastric Sleeve / Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
Surgeon: Dr. Jose Rodriguez & Dr. Elmo Aramburo

Ramon’s Amazing Weight Loss Surgery Before and After Photos

Ramon shared this with us and I just wanted to congratulate him (and thank him for sharing such a wonderful photo montage) of his weight loss journey.

He started at 340 pounds and is now a trim 192 pounds. He looks like an entirely different man!

Ramon's Amazing Weight Loss Surgery Before and After Photos

Ramon wrote when he sent the before and after photos to us:

"Thank you Dr. Rod and you staff and thanks to Belite. I now weigh 190 lbs, down from 340 lbs, it's been one year as of 7/1/12 and I've lost 150 lbs. I went from a 48 in my waist down to a 33 in my waist. I lift weights, I'm boxing, running, & biking… I do everything I haven't done in decades… I feel great"

Ramon's Amazing Weight Loss Surgery Before and After Photos

Weight Loss Recipe: Healthy Chinese Chicken Salad

Maintaining a healthy diet is an important part of weight control. If you are trying to shed a few extra pounds, you do not necessarily have to starve yourself. A diet that is high in protein and fiber while also containing very little unhealthy fat can help you achieve your weight loss goals so you will be on your way to a trimmer and more confident you.

The low fat chicken breast found in this recipe provides plenty of lean protein, which is essential for building muscle. This is important if you are also incorporating exercise into your daily routine, because your metabolism increases as muscle mass increases.

Healthy Chinese Chicken Salad | BeLiteWeight | Weight Loss Services

Other ingredients provide essential nutrients such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C, which contributes to healthy skin, hair and nails. Vitamin C also helps to boost the immune system. These ingredients are also high in fiber, making weight loss easier because you will feel full after eating them. These ingredients include:

• Red cabbage • Napa cabbage • Carrots • Sliced scallions • Water chestnuts

Your body needs Omega 3 fatty acids to maintain heart health, even when you are striving to meet your weight loss goals. You can find plenty of ingredients that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids including:

• Almonds • Sesame oil • Canola oil

This chicken salad is anything but bland. Several ingredients work together to give it an interesting flavor including:

• Garlic • Ginger • Soy sauce • Chili sauce • Brown sugar • Rice wine vinegar

Some ingredients help speed up metabolism in addition to providing other benefits. A few of the ingredients that pull double-duty are:

Garlic (things blood to help prevent heart disease, cardiac arrests and stroke; contain antioxidants to help prevent other kinds of cancer; helps your joints to decrease risk of osteoarthritis; helps reduce risk of catching a cold/the flue; among other health benefits)

Ginger (prevents and treats a cold/flu; relieves migraines; treats morning sickness; helps prevent colon cancer; helps treat ovarian cancer; lessens pain and inflammation; among other health benefits)

Chili sauce (eating chilies, when consumed regularly, has been shown to lower cholesterol; maintain a healthy cholesterol; reduce the risk of stomach and colon cancer; help people fall asleep and sleep longer; prevent inflammation; among others)

Whether you’re enjoying a casual lunch or mid-afternoon snack, this chicken salad is a filling and delicious part of a low-fat meal. Now you can enjoy a tasty sandwich without having to worry about whether you will be able to maintain your weight loss goals.

RECIPE 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 Tablespoon soy sauce ½ Teaspoon sesame oil 6 cups napa cabbage, shredded (about ½ head) 2 cups red cabbage, shredded (about ¼ head) 1 cup carrot, shredded (about 1 large carrot) 3 scallions, thinly sliced 1 8 oz. can water chestnuts, sliced 1 11 oz. can Mandarin oranges in water, drained OPTIONAL: ¼ cup toasted almonds, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. 2. Combine soy sauce and sesame oil and brush the chicken breasts with it. 3. Place chicken in a baking dish and put it into the oven. 4. Bake for approx. 12-15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. 5. Remove from the oven. Once cool, cut the chicken breasts into slices ¼ in. thick. 6. Combine the chicken, napa cabbage, red cabbage, shredded carrot, scallions, water chestnuts and Mandarin oranges.

DRESSING 3 Tablespoons soy sauce 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar 2 Tablespoons canola oil 1 ½ Teaspoons sesame oil 1 Teaspoon garlic, minced 1 Teaspoon ginger, minced 2 Tablespoons brown sugar 1 ½ Teaspoons chili sauce (or chili garlic sauce)

1. Combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, canola oil, sesame oil, minced garlic, minced ginger, brown sugar and chili sauce, and whisk together. 2. Pour over the salad and top with the toasted almonds.


Bon appétit!

Don’t Be Lax About Flax Seeds in Your Diet

Don’t Be Lax About Flax Seeds in Your Diet | BeLiteWeight | Weight Loss ServicesFlax seeds were first cultivated in ancient Egyptian and Ethiopian civilizations, partly because of their tremendous dietary benefits. Nowadays, nutrition experts recommend consuming two to four tablespoons of flax daily for disease prevention, weight loss and overall health.

Extensive studies have shown that if you eat flax daily, you may possibly prevent or lessen the severity of some of today's most common bodily ailments.

• Daily flax consumption coupled with a well-balanced diet and proper exercise helps to lower high cholesterol levels, especially in women.

• Flax seeds are believed to assist in the prevention of diabetes. The high concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids found in flax seeds may help to stabilize sugar levels in the blood.

• Omega-3 fatty acids are also natural anti-inflammatory agents that have been shown to greatly reduce inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

• Lignans are chemicals in flax seeds that function as antioxidants, which play an important role in the prevention of breast, colon and prostate cancers.

• The high fiber in flax seeds aid in weight loss regimens and are necessary for overall colon health. The fiber found in flax seeds readily absorbs water, which necessarily helps to soften stool to facilitate regular elimination.

• Flax seeds contain phytoestrogens, which are estrogen-like compounds that help to naturally relieve menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats and irritability by stabilizing your body's hormone levels.

• Flax seed chemical compounds like lignans and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) work to fortify your body's immunity against common illnesses, such as colds and viral infections.

Flax seeds are typically ground and strained to produce oil, which can be found at your neighborhood health or drug stores. The seeds can also be roasted and then powdered. Since flax seeds possess a natural spicy flavor, adding flax powder to meals gives foods like soups, rice and salads a pleasant but mild aromatic flavor.

Flax seed oil can be added to stews, used in sautés or cooked as a fat. Because flax seeds are grains that are high in dietary fiber, they are an ideal ingredient for nutritious breads. It is recommended that, as with any high-fiber diet, you should drink ample amounts of water regularly.

Lap Band Surgery: The Role of Financing and Insurance

When you're considering lap band surgery, you're likely so focused on the weight loss and potential changes to your body that you might not stop to think about the costs and long-term payments involved. Does insurance cover the surgery? Is financing available to help pay for it? These are questions you'll want to know the answers to before you have the procedure.

The average lap band surgery procedure costs anywhere between $15,000 and $30,000, depending on the surgeon and where the surgery is performed. While your choice in doctor will determine price, this is too important to just think about cost. Make sure it's a doctor you are comfortable with.

Lap Band Surgery

So what are ways to defray those costs?

Loans: There are companies that specialize in health care loans for situations just like this. Make sure you do your homework on these companies before committing and be very clear about the fine print, terms, fees, rates and timeline. You don't want to be locked in before you find out that you're paying too much in interest.

Financing: Often, lap band surgeons have financing programs or work closely with companies that provide it. One such company is CareCredit, and if you qualify they can help cover immediate costs while you pay off the debt, kind of like a credit card. Do some researchof these options and never hesitate to ask us for advice.

Insurance: Believe it or not there are several insurers that will offer partial or full coverage for weight loss surgery. Medicare services cover the surgery, with some restrictions. To find out if your insurance company covers it, refer to their materials or contact them. Some companies will only cover it if the operation is deemed "medically-necessary". Most insurance companies that cover it require authorization beforehand, so don't just assume they will cover it after the fact. Make sure they know about it before you have the surgery.

Out Of Pocket: Of course, if you're able to, you can pay for your own weight loss surgery, or at least a large sum of it before getting a loan.