By Amber Jones

I was larger than I had ever been. Even bigger than I was with both pregnancies. How could I let myself get into this pitiful shape? 

I was constantly struggling to keep up. To keep up with my friends, my busy life as a mom, and as a full-time employee. I was so depressed about my appearance and how I felt. I couldn’t sleep and was so tired all the time.

I finally got up the nerve to talk to Dr. Long. 

I waited to speak with him until after he was done in surgery, caught him in the hall, and just flat out asked him if I was a good candidate for weight loss surgery. His honesty was refreshing. He explained why I was a good candidate. He said it would be a game-changer for me. 

I trusted him. Dr. Long is very straightforward and honest. I’ve seen him interact with his patients, and I have seen him at work in the operating room. He didn’t sugar coat anything for me, but he has a great bedside manner. I needed someone I could trust, respect, and confide in. He was my only choice. 

The mental process was tougher than the diet!

I was an insurance patient, so it was a six-month process for me. It was a tough journey leading up to my surgery, but I made the commitment and got to work. There was a lot of studying to do, and tons to learn about the life-changing path I was about to take. 

I think what surprised me the most was how much harder the mental process was than the physical. I did a ton of research on food and exercise but quickly realized after the surgery that the biggest preparation you should make is mental. It’s about making a lifestyle change, not just a new diet fad. 

I knew it could help so many other people with their weight loss journey if I did open up.

At first, I was going to keep my surgery a secret, but then I felt very conflicted about that decision. I truly believe that when we share our experiences, we can help other people become more comfortable with themselves. We are bashing stereotypes so that others do not feel alienated because of their shortcomings. We all have our stuff to deal with, but when we are transparent about our experiences, we make others feel more normal about their journeys as well.

After surgery, I have never felt so confident. My family is proud of me, and I’m proud of myself. 

I am very active now, and I love it. I enjoy exercising, kayaking, hiking, and keeping up with my active kids! I also love getting dressed up and going out now, whether it be dinner with my husband or going to the movies with my friends. I actually enjoy getting ready and feeling comfortable in my own skin. This summer I had a ball at the beach. I wore a different swimsuit every time we headed to the pool and didn’t spend time trying to cover myself up! 

I have had to learn to pace myself with exercise and new experiences.

It really surprised me that I had to pace myself and go easy on myself. I wanted to meet crazy goals quickly, but I had to learn that it’s a process. 

My biggest non-scale victories are being able to go hiking and kayaking with my boys. And dare I say, I’m even proud of now having a thigh gap!

My only regret is not doing it sooner. 

If you are considering weight loss surgery, do it! Surround yourself with positive people who will support you in the process, such as good friends and family, and the team at Birmingham Minimally Invasive.

Contact Us to Learn More About Gastric Bypass Surgery

Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery is a caring group of professionals who specialize in all types of bariatric surgery.  Our surgeon Dr. Jay Long has highly specialized training in bariatric surgery, having completed a fellowship in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, where he focused on taking care of patients that are morbidly obese.  And we are so proud of our pricing that we publish the costs right on the front page of our website!  Insurance won’t pay?  We have a variety of financing options we can offer you so that you are able to get the healthy body you’ve wanted for years.  Visit us today at or give us a call to set up a consultation at 205-833-6907.