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Patient Spotlight: Leo Vegoda

LeoLeo Vegoda had high blood pressure when he first came to Marina Weight Loss Center. Six months later, he chose to have the Sleeve Gastrectomy procedure with Dr. Korman. The Marina Weight Loss Center team helped Leo lose about 80 pounds BEFORE the surgery. He has now lost over 100 pounds and is wearing jeans that would have been too small for him when he was 15 years old!

What has been your biggest success thus far?

I think that the biggest win has been conquering food cravings.

What has been your biggest challenge?

That is where the team was very clever. They set things up so that there weren’t any huge challenges to overcome. It was a series of relatively simple to integrate, incremental changes. Building things into your way of life slowly is far more effective than sudden, radical change.

What is your motivation for continued change?

Better health is good but there are some more mundane drivers, too. It’s great to be able to buy clothes in standard sizes and fit into a coach airline seat with room to spare.

What is your favorite quick, go-to healthy meal?

I like contrasting textures in food as much as or more than flavors. It’s nice to have something very soft and something crunchy is the same bite, so I aim to have raw, crunchy vegetables in about ⅔ of my meals.

What advice would you give to those considering weight loss surgery?

The surgery isn’t a magic wand. Make sure that you can live the lifestyle before you decide to go ahead with any surgery.

What was the craziest diet you tried before your surgery?

I have never really tried following the diets that feature on bestseller lists. I did try cutting out carbs and lost a lot of weight but put it all back. I think the cravings for pots of Cornish Clotted Cream didn’t help.

What was the best/worst advice you ever received about dieting?

I think the best advice is what I got from Colette. Try to keep every meal balanced. I think the worst advice I ever got was from a 1980s fad that suggested eating pasta, rice, and bread to lose weight.

What would you tell your former self now if you could?

Keep a food diary, eat more slowly, and listen to what your body is telling you.