2600 pounds lost amongst 25 patients at Walk this Weigh 2023

Making a lifestyle change is often means to celebrate, and celebrate is what some Wiregrass natives did as their new look, feel, and life was honored.
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 2:12 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - In this case, being a big loser is a great thing!

2600 pounds, one and one-third tons of weight has been shed from the 2023 Walk this Weigh class.

25 patients at Flowers Hospital, composed of 23 women and 2 men, underwent bariatric surgery and have successfully lost a significant amount of weight.

“I was faking it until I made it,” said Jaxon Hess, who has lost 140 pounds since surgery. “I was the big guy and the fun guy, but it wasn’t that fun for me personally, so I decided to have the surgery.”

Pictures and bios were displayed for a crowd of doctors and loved ones before the patients turned the corner and showed off their full transformation.

While some were ready for the spotlight, some were still a little nervous from their previous lifestyle choices.

“Even this morning, I called and I said, ‘I’m not doing it. I can’t walk out in front of all those people.’” said Melissa Whitman, who has lost 84 pounds since her surgery. “It has been such an inspiration for me when I saw other people were able to do it. It made me realize it wasn’t an impossible reach. So, I am doing this for myself.”

All 25 patients had obvious physical changes, but the changes go deeper than what is on the outside.

“All the blood pressure medications they are able to come off of, the diabetes medications they no longer need because they are so healthy. That’s what speaks to me,” said Lori Lewis, who has lost 82 pounds along her journey. “To see that not only are they feeling more confident but to me, it’s also the health side of things.”

After making these lifestyle changes, all these patients strutted their stuff and celebrated their new lease on life.

“That will never hold me back again,” said Whitman. “Whatever I want to do, I want to be able to do it and not be held back by my age or my weight.”

Flowers Hospital is excited to see the changes coming from the upcoming classes as well.

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