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A Decade of Success: 10 Years later and 150 pounds lighter

Imagine a woman who speaks four languages and has traveled the world… also being a woman who was battling obesity for decades in conjunction with self-isolation, self-loathing and extreme dissatisfaction with her appearance. Flash forward to today, ten years later, this same woman now exudes a graceful confidence and has an extensive social circle. Kaththe has come a long way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here is her story.

Starting around the age of six, Kaththe would eat food as a way to self-comfort. Her mom and dad worked full time and were out of the house, and her older brother was mean to her. These realities, in addition to Kaththe being called fat in school, caused her to turn inward and further isolate herself. After school, Kaththe would go home, watch TV, and eat. In high school, Kaththe’s parents sent her to boarding school in Switzerland where she still continued to overeat. However, it was at boarding school where Kaththe made a first attempt to lose weight by taking a sleeping pill before dinner came so she would sleep through it and any night time cravings.

By the time Kaththe was in her 20s, she had a negative self-image as a result of her relationship with food and her weight. Kaththe’s diet would consist of large portions of red meat, dairy, pasta with creamy sauces, and cake. When she would go to an event, eating even a tiny piece of cake would lead to cravings and overindulge in more sweets.

When Kaththe attempted to lose weight, she remembers specifically going on the cabbage soup diet and drastically restricting calories. Eventually, she began to use diet pills and then began self-medicating with other substances. Although Kaththe lost 60 pounds and felt more popular and confident in social settings, this was not a safe way to maintain a healthy weight. Eventually, Kaththe made a commitment to change her lifestyle.

Almost twenty years ago, Kaththe became sober. After her divorce in 2005, Kaththe joined Overeaters Anonymous. Even though she did lose 100 lbs., she eventually gained all the weight back. She traded self-medicating with alcohol once again with food. She would be embarrassed to sit in chairs at social gatherings because when standing up, Kaththe explains that, “the seat goes up with you because your butt is stuck between the arm rests.”

Time for a Change

When Kaththe was 55, she began thinking about weight loss surgery and started going to support groups in Palm Springs, where she was living at the time. Eventually a friend referred Kaththe to Dr. Korman. When she had her initial consultation with Dr. Korman in April 2010, Kaththe describes him as being vigorous, vivacious, youthful. Dr. Korman and his entire staff were warm and welcoming. Although Dr. Korman educated Kaththe on each of the weight loss surgeries, Kaththe knew she wanted to undergo the gastric bypass procedure, or as the famous saying goes, “die trying.”

On the day of Kaththe’s surgery, she was excited and eager. She remembers there was a group of three patients all undergoing the surgery that day. After the surgery, she was walking up and down the hall. Dr. Korman came to check on her. Kaththe said that he was very involved in the after care and told her, “We’re in this together.”

Life After surgery


Kaththe’s surgery forced her to learn new eating habits. The friend that referred her to Dr. Korman took her to the grocery store and showed her which foods to eat. She could no longer tolerate certain foods such as rice or broccoli, which was too hard for her stomach to digest. Over the past decade, there were times when Kaththe’s weight plateaued, however through patience and perseverance, Kaththe was always able to push through. Although her dietary patterns have changed over the years, Kaththe currently follows a vegan based diet.

Breakfast: Smoothie with blueberries, beet powder, protein powder, flax seeds, almond milk, coffee + almond milk or flax milk

Lunch: BROL: a combination of barley, rye berry, oats, lentils

Dinner: BROL + spinach / spaghetti squash, cilantro

Snacks: SkinnyPop popcorn, wasabi peas, roasted almonds, UNJURY medical protein powder (for shakes)

Exercise: Kaththe has a FitBit which she uses to track her steps. Although she averages 10,000 steps per day, Kaththe has walked up to 20,000 steps in a day and also lives in an apartment building with stairs.

Words of Wisdom

Kaththe encourages those who feel as hopeless as she did, are embarrassed about the stigma and limitations of obesity, or have the misconception that weight loss surgery is taking the easy way out, to contact Dr. Korman’s office for a consultation. Although she did not have any medical conditions at the time of her surgery, Kaththe knows she was on the path to developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Kaththe also no longer experiences joint pain, while people her age are getting replacements. She also recognizes the physical limitations of obesity: “Forget about getting on a plane seat.” Like many patients, her only regret is not having the surgery sooner. “Do it now!”

She recommends Dr. Korman for those considering weight loss surgeries not just because of his capable hands and stellar reputation, but also because he addressed all of Kaththe’s individual concerns instead of being dismissive.

Kaththe remembers walking into a room full of people she knew, however a stranger was staring at her. Initially, she thought he was staring because she was fat, even though she was at her goal weight. Then she realized he was staring because of “how good I look!” Kaththe says. You could hear her smile over the phone.

Today, Kaththe focuses on the following:

  • Her sense of self-approval instead of seeking validation from others.

  • Maintaining sobriety: She attends Zoom meetings which has contributed to her clean lifestyle.

  • Connection with others via Facebook, where she is happy to post before / after photos and establish new contacts.

  • Maintenance: Kaththe even maintained her weight during quarantine.

Most importantly, she wants people to recognize:

Food is the most overused form of treatment for anxiety, and exercise is the most underused form of treatment for depression.

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