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Woman battles comfort food and mind games to gain new life

Woman battles comfort food and mind games to gain new life through bariatric surgery

For Shelby Grimes, a 30-year-old single mom in Lufkin, her dependency on food for comfort started in her teens.

“I used to dance and was very active in high school,” she recalled. “But eventually I got into different extracurricular activities, started working a job and my activity level changed a lot. I even lost a lot of the friends I had, so I started turning to food to feel good about myself.”

At the start of high school, Shelby weighed around 135 but doubled her weight by graduation to a total of 280 pounds.

Gastric bypass surgery helps ‘Miss Von’ dance with granddaughter

Bariatric surgery by Dr. Hugh Babineau

Yvonda Gilliam, a 62-year-old resident of Troup, didn’t grow up overweight.

As a youngster, she played all kinds of sports and enjoyed lots of different activities. Even as an adult, she was an avid walker and weighed an average weight.

But that all changed in her 30s when she dealt with the dual issues of depression and relationship problems, which together caused both issues to get worse. To comfort herself and forget her troubles, she turned to food.

Father-to-be prepares for twins with bariatric surgery

William Sanchez competing in the local Spartan 5K Sprint.

When expecting parents prepare for the arrival of a new baby, especially their first, they usually have a long list of things to do: paint the nursery, decorate the walls and put the baby bed together.

For Hidai and William Sanchez, their list included all of the above items plus one more: William’s bariatric surgery.

A 32-year-old welder for Trane Technologies in Tyler, William had suffered through a number of health issues due to his excessive weight.

Gastric bypass surgery produces a new wardrobe for patient

Patient after her gastric bypass surgery

While spending years on the road hauling freight as a team truck driver with her husband, Marie Graham kept trying to lose weight, but without much success.

“We tried all kinds of stuff,” said the retired 59-year-old Tyler resident. “Medications, exercise, dieting – nothing would take the weight off. Since I also had a fatty liver, I needed to lose weight because I didn’t want to go through a liver transplant. That’s when I looked into bariatric surgery.”

Tips for Healthy Eating Through the Holidays

The holidays bring both excitement and stress in our lives. Managing health and weight goals can be especially challenging this time of year. Here are some tips to help reduce anxiety and keep you on track.

Don’t show up too hungry.
It can be tempting to skip meals earlier in the day if you have an event planned, but this can lead to making poor choices and overeating later in the day. Stay on track with balanced meals throughout the day.

New Bariatric Procedures

What’s old is new!

You may have noticed that we’ve added two new procedures to our website, Lap-Band® and duodenal switch. Neither of these procedures are new operations, but we are now presenting them as options for patients for whom they may be a good fit. In this blog, we’ll give an overview of both procedures.


Bariatric Surgery for diabetes? Yes, bariatric surgery is far more than weight loss!

When most people think about bariatric surgery, weight loss is what comes to mind. However, the benefits of bariatric surgery extend much further than seeing lower numbers on the scale. Over the course of several future blog posts, we will discuss other reasons to have bariatric surgery.

Bariatric Surgery for Type 2 Diabetes

Main points:

Preparing for Bariatric Surgery

Considering weight loss surgery but don’t know where to start? Ian from the UT Health Tyler Bariatric Center gives an overview of the preparation process.

Bariatric surgery can help you regain your freedom and live a longer, healthier life. These procedures also can improve and in some cases resolve health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, joint pain and more.

What is BMI and how is it used?

BMI is a term that gets used quite a bit in discussions about weight, obesity and bariatric surgery. The term has been the source of a lot of confusion.

BMI is short for “Body Mass Index.” It is simply a number calculated from a person’s height and weight. The more a person weighs in relation to their height, the higher their BMl. The formula used to calculate BMI is weight divided by height squared, and it is usually calculated in kg/meter2. Most times the units are not listed but assumed. For example when you say, “BMI of 35,” it is assumed that you mean “35 kg/meter2.”

Our goal is to help individuals achieve better health through surgical management of obesity. We specialize in Gastric Bypass Surgery and Sleeve Gastrectomy. We are located in Tyler and treat patients from Longview, Athens, Jacksonville, Palestine, Kilgore, Marshall, Gilmer and many other locations in East Texas.


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UT Health Tyler Bariatric Center

1100 E. Lake St., Suite 150 Tyler, TX 75701 903-593-0230

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