Obesity Surgery: Breaking the 'Quick Fix' Stereotype

"I am OK with who I am right now," she says. "Coming from where I was at 500 pounds, 188 is a perfect place for me. I am not embarrassed by it. I feel sexy."

More important is the fact that she has now maintained the results of her surgery for five years -- a point commonly considered a benchmark of success among medical professionals in the field.

Her success story has led to an appearance on the "Oprah" show, where she became the beneficiary of free plastic surgery to remove 20 pounds of redundant skin left over from her dramatic weight loss.

She has also written a book, titled "Winning After Losing," about her experiences. It in, she outlines the struggles and strategies of keeping the pounds from coming back.

And she says that every facet of her life -- even her romantic life -- has been touched by her weight loss.

"I went through dating late in life," she says. "My whole life has changed. People ask me, 'What are you going to do now?' My reply is, 'What am I not going to do?'"

But she says that her continuing struggle against her weight will likely have no finish line.

"The pain in your life does not disappear with the pounds," she says. "People are in for a huge awakening when they realize that.

"Eventually, you have to face the demons of the things you have to change about yourself."

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