Tired of Excuses, Mother of Two Takes Action for Better Health and More Energy

January 12, 2022

With a family history of high cholesterol and her own declining health and low energy levels, Mayra Reyes knew she had to make a change. She turned to South Texas Health System Heart for a gastric bypass to help shed the weight and says she now feels better than ever.

Mayra Reyes, before and after her weight-loss surgery
Mayra Reyes, before and after her weight-loss surgery.

Mayra Reyes says she always shied away from doing things she had an interest in – like running a 5K – because of embarrassment and the fear that she would get too tired. At 284 pounds, her energy was so low she couldn’t even take her young children to the park.

But her circumstances have changed for the better since losing 100 pounds. Reyes’ transformation began in March 2021 when she decided to move forward with weight-loss surgery – in her case, a sleeve gastrectomy – at South Texas Health System Heart.

“Since losing the weight, I was able to participate in my first 5K and I felt very comfortable finishing it,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to be more active, now I finally am. I plan to sign up for more.”

Deciding to Make a Change

Having struggled with her weight since her teenage years, Reyes had long considered weight-loss surgery, but put it off because of discouraging comments from people who mistakenly called that option “lazy”.

When high blood pressure began negatively impacting her health, she knew it was time to act. “The doctor told me I needed to do something before it was too late,” Reyes says. “In my family there are issues with high blood pressure. My dad passed away because of it, so that was a big wake-up call for me.”

“It’s good I had the surgery,” she adds. “It was the awakening I needed to continue this new lifestyle and to be able to live many more years with my daughters.”

Looking Forward to New Adventures Ahead

Reyes now looks forward to enjoying lots of adventures with her little girls, currently ages 4 and 8. Thanks to her weight-loss transformation, the now-active mother has gained the energy and confidence to keep up with them.

To stay on track, Reyes visits with her nutritionist once a month to discuss her diet plan and exercise regimen, which includes visiting a park with her daughters at least three times a week.

She is especially glad she decided to have the procedure as a younger adult and is finding herself saying “yes” a lot more.

“I’m at the point where I can join my friends for walks or maybe a vacation because I know I’m not going to be too tired,” she says. “The surgery is one of the best decisions I have made. I feel a lot better knowing I’m no longer considered ‘severely obese’ and I’m now able to look forward and see that I have a lot more life ahead of me.”