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Abbott Northwestern Hospital

Small victories

Jack Holmes

For Jack Holmes, the small victories keep adding up.

For most people, having to wear someone else's clothes after getting caught in a rainstorm would be an annoyance. For Jack Holmes, fitting into his younger and always thinner brother's clothes counted as a small victory.

That happened last summer, three years after he had gastric bypass surgery.

When Holmes played high school football more than four decades ago, he weighed 260 pounds. "It just kept going up from there," he says.

By the time he had the surgery at age 61, he weighed 375 pounds, had two artificial hips and was considering knee replacement surgery.

"I had tried every diet in the book. I would lose 60 or 70 pounds and gain it back," he says.

When he lost his sister to a massive heart attack, Holmes decided he needed to consider weight loss surgery.

He began by attending the Introduction to Weight Loss informational session.

"I was so determined that I started losing weight right after the class, partly because of what I learned there. One of the biggest things I learned was to simply put my fork down and enjoy chewing my food," he says.

Holmes was able to have laparoscopic surgery, which means his surgeon used special instruments to do the surgery with several small incisions.

"The surgery was unbelievable. I went in on a Thursday morning for surgery, walked out of the hospital at noon on Friday and was back at work on Monday," Holmes says.

Since the surgery, Holmes has lost 150 pounds, and the small victories keep adding up: hunting, playing 18 holes of golf and crawling around on the floor with his grandchildren.

"The important thing to know about weight loss surgery is that it isn't a quick fix. It's a tool," he adds. "People who learn to use it as a tool will be successful."