Walking Away from Obesity

May 29, 2015 Brigham and Women's Hospital

Tim Dineen, before gastric bypass surgery

Everyone is invited to participate in this year’s Walk from Obesity, which starts and finishes at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital on June 13, 2015. Join patients, medical staff, and others in helping to make a difference in the lives of those touched by obesity by either walking or cheering on the walkers. Funds raised through the event will be used to support obesity-related research, education, and awareness programs promoted by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Foundation.

One patient who plans to be there is Tim Dineen, 59, of Somerville, MA, who exemplifies what a committed patient can do once they find the right help.

Like many, his weight struggles began when he was young and continued into adulthood. Despite being active, he continued to be overweight because of excessive eating. He tried a variety of strategies to lose weight, but none led to long-term success.

Tim thought about weight loss surgery, but initially didn’t pursue that option because of his concern about the risks of open surgery. However, when he learned that gastric bypass surgery had become a less-invasive procedure, he came to Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) to see whether he would be an ideal candidate for this new approach.

Tim, after surgery

Following a months-long period of evaluation and preparation, Tim had minimally invasive gastric bypass surgery at BWH on November 18, 2013. Shortly after the procedure, his surgeon, Dr. Scott Shikora, Director of the Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, told Tim that he should be able to get down to his target weight in about two years. Tim, however, says that he needed a mere three months to reach his goal.

That uncommonly short trip to success can be largely attributed to Tim’s affinity for walking – a lot.

“I was doing a lot of walking every day, between 15,000 and 40,000 steps,” says Tim.

That roughly translates into an impressive 6.5 to 20 miles per day. He has since toned down his walking, but still manages to consistently log 15,000 daily steps to help him maintain a healthy weight.

While Tim continues to do his part by exercising and eating healthy foods, the surgery has been instrumental in controlling his appetite, and a diverse team of specialists – who are “like family” – has helped to keep him on track. With this newfound control and consistent support, Tim is confident that he will eventually get his weight below 200 lb. and keep it there.

All he needed was the right help.

If you’d like to join Tim at the Walk or donate, please visit the 2015 Walk from Obesity Registration and Donation page.

- Chris P.

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