LESLIE CRISS: New adventure takes hard work, is worth every cent spent

“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.”


“The groundwork of all happiness is good health.”

Leigh Hunt




Just after last Thanksgiving, I began considering something that had the power to change my life as I’ve known it since I was in third grade.

Believe me when I tell you, third grade was a very long time ago.

As the cold winter finally began to move toward a new spring this year, I paid one visit, then more, to the North Mississippi Medical Center’s Bariatric Center.

Once I’d made the decision to go through with weight loss surgery, the staff at the Bariatric Center had to make sure I was a good candidate.

I was examined physically, emotionally and mentally before given the green light to move forward.

Here are a few of my truths which I believe to be important: I have struggled with my weight since I was in early elementary school. I have tried multiple ways to lose weight, and while I have successfully lost weight in the past, I would always reach a point where I’d take my eyes off the next day and see how far I had to go. Frustration would overwhelm me and ultimately, I would give up.

And I was once one of those folks who believed people who opted for weight loss surgery were somehow taking the easy way out.

That last truth is nothing if not one monumental lie.

There is no easy way. Anything worthwhile takes some sweat and struggle, some daring and discipline. And certainly a whole lot of support.

The support I’ve found in family, friends, co-workers, and the folks at the Bariatric Center has been and continues to be invaluable.

Bariatric surgery is a tool. It is a tool I needed. It is a tool that works, but I have to work too.

It’s not my intent for these words to be a commercial for the Bariatric Center or its staff members.

But the truth is, I can’t say enough positive things about the place or the people.

A friend attended a pre-surgery support group meeting with me and mumbled something about the “skinny” women leading the program. Both work, of course, for Dr. Terry Pinson.

We learned within moments of their self-introductions, the two nurses don’t just talk the talk; they also walk the walk – both have undergone bariatric surgery and have successfully kept their weight off.

From the receptionists to the nutritionist to the person who took my money to the nurses at the hospital after surgery, there is kindness, encouragement and patience aplenty.

They are all – especially Dr. Pinson – helping to change the lives of people like me.

And I cannot adequately express my gratitude.

Or the joy I am experiencing on this new journey.


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  • Chip Ingram

    If something makes you smile more, it’s probably not bad for you. I hope this helps you keep your head up and your weight down.