It’s been five and a half years since she underwent a surgical weightloss
procedure at CVMC, and Cheryl Cook is not only excited about shedding
more than 135 pounds, but she is also proud to be maintaining that healthy
weight by enjoying a super active lifestyle that includes running, practicing
yoga, going on amusement park rides with her grandchildren and encouraging
others who are considering surgical weightloss too.
Cheryl's transformation was set into high gear as she approached the
milestone birthday of turning 50 while also grieving the loss of her late
father. “I started to think about my own mortality and began contemplating
what I could do to break the family cycle,” she recalls. “The
impact of having so many obese family members was impossible to ignore.
My parents and numerous close relatives had weight-related health issues
like diabetes and hypertension. My mother had suffered a stroke and my
father endured his first heart attack in his 50’s.”
With her own weight issues dating back to middle school, Cheryl remembers
the pangs of discouragement after failed attempts at dieting and fitness
throughout her young adult life. She also remembers the humiliation of
not fitting into a restaurant booth and being turned away at amusement
parks because her weight restricted her from riding some of the rides.
“My weight was affecting the relationship I had with my children,
but it was learning that I was going to be a grandmother that motivated
me the most to make a change,” Cheryl says.
Frustrations about weight inpacting her quality of life extended beyond
Cherly's personal life too - she had started struggling at work too.
As an Administrative Statistical Specialist in CVMC's department of
Health Information Services, Cheryl's back throbbed and she perspired
profusely after walking around the hospital carrying out the routine duty
to pick up charts.
“I just couldn’t do it anymore,” Cheryl exclaimed. She
decided to attend a surgical weight management seminar hosted by CVMC.
Shortly thereafter, she began preparing mentally and physically for gastric
bypass surgery. She credits her husband, John, a network of family members
and multiple friends that she made along the journey as playing a key
role in her success.
“Today, I have more energy than ever,” Cheryl says. “I
keep challenging myself so I don’t backslide. For example, last
year I competed in an obstacle course rope challenge and I've completed
five different 5k running events within the last 2 years.”
Her health has improved tremendously and she relies on an expanded support
system that includes members of the CVMC Weightloss Support Group and
its private Facebook group. She says that she discovered along the way
that the challenge is not just physical, but also mental. “It took
some time for me to see myself as the new person I am,” she says.
“I had a hard time learning to take compliments.”
ENCOURAGED BY CHERYL’S STORY?
Cherly concludes by saying, "My goal is to continue on this path
that is my new life and hopefully help others along the way who may need
some encouragement. If you are considering surgical weightloss, I wish
you all the best and hope you realize, that with CVMC, you will be in
If you are interested in finding out if bariatric surgery is right for
you, consider attending a free information seminar to learn more about the
Catawba Valley Medical Center Surgical Weight Management Program. To speak to the program coordinator, call 828.326.2082.