Carpe Diem – Wendy’s Story
In 2009, Wendy Forbes of Marlton, NJ was almost 40 years old and had struggled all her life with her weight. “I weighed in at a high of 286 pounds and after being an overweight child, a morbidly overweight teen and struggling in my 20's and 30's to lose weight, I wasn't going to be 40 and fat,” she says.
Wendy two weeks before
She also had another reason to consider the impact her weight made on her life, her very active, four-year-old son Dylan. “I wanted to live to see him graduate from high school and maybe even college,” she said. Wendy chose to entrust the staff at Abington Health’s Institute for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery with her care and decided to undergo gastric bypass surgery.
Abington Health also offers a lifetime of support to patients including meetings with a registered dietitian and a monthly support group. “What I didn't know back then, and what the dietitian kept trying to drill into my head, was that it’s not about the number on the scale. It's about living a healthy lifestyle and making better choices,” she says. “Ann, I finally got it!” And she also got the ability to live a fuller life.
Now, five years later, Wendy weighs in at 182 and has kept the 104 pounds off. But for her, it's so much more than a number. “It’s how I feel at 45. Not only can I keep up with my now nine-year-old son, but I ride my bike 30 miles three days a week, ride my horse two days a week, go to spin class, swim and now I am starting to run.”
Wendy has also completed several long distant bike races. “My husband is an avid runner and cyclist. When we met a few years ago, I bought a used bike so we could take casual family bike rides together. At first, I struggled to make an eight-mile round trip from the house to the park.”
Last year, she and her husband signed up for the American Cancer Society ride. “I was inspired to do it because I had already lost a good friend to cancer and had three other friends, all under the age of 50, fighting cancer. I signed up for 25 miles and I only had one month to train. Every mile of that ride I was reminded how lucky I was to be healthy and have the opportunity to live. A few weeks after the race, one of my friends passed away from that terrible disease. She was only 44 years old. This year, I have signed up to do 54 miles. Every day I am pushing myself to live healthier, for me and for my friends.”
Wendy inspires others by sharing her story, her hard work and her newfound excitement for life as a motivational speaker. “Now, my motto is Carpe Diem, seize the day! I live every day to the fullest thanks to Abington Health’s Institute for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the great doctors and amazing support staff who inspired me to change my life. You gave me a life!”