My Patients


Personal Stories


Cindy And Christine Before Surgery
Cindy with Her Twin, Weight Loss Patient, Christine (left)

I struggled with weight all my life. I have plenty of moments growing up of being teased and humiliated because of my size. As a result, I was broken into believing that my voice and opinion didn't matter, so I bottled my thoughts and feelings. It wore on my psyche. I hated being out in public. I did my best to be invisible. I would rather be home, reading a book and escaping into a majestic story in the hopes that someday I would be able to find the strength to turn my life around and enjoy some of these amazing adventures I discovered in books.

Cindy 6 Days After Surgery
6 Days After Surgery - Hiking Cabrillo!

I did as best I could over the years and tried so many diets off and on. I had some success each time, only to see the weight come back and more. It was frustrating! I had a brief moment in my 20's when I was really successful with weight loss and experienced for the first time what being in a “normal” sized body felt like. I thought I would never experience an obese body again. Boy, was I wrong! A domino effect of circumstances in my life lead me down a path of self-destruction. I felt I had my chance and blew it. I was devastated enough to think it was my one and only chance to experience a happy, healthy body. Frustration got the best of me and I spiraled into depression. I gave up on myself. Reflecting on this time in my life, it was a very frightening path I took. Food became my source of comfort again and I reverted back to old habits. The weight started to pile back on and in a couple years I had added it all back. I got a wake up call as to how much I spiraled out of control when I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes, a disease that runs in my family, and something I prayed I would never get. Yet, here I was. Why, me?! I was so angry with myself. I vowed to lose the weight, but it just felt so much harder this time around. Why should I deserve a second chance at successfully losing the weight? I felt my diagnosis was deserved punishment for putting the weight back on. My primary care physician was so frustrated with me that I wasn't losing the weight. I was frustrated too! I wanted to take the weight off just as much as they did! I just could not find that magic formula that worked for me to get the weight off.

Cindy 2 Months After Gastric Bypass
2 Months After Gastric Bypass - Learning to Surf!

And then this amazing doctor was introduced into my life...Dr. Ellner. I get teary eyed just thinking where my life would be right now if I didn't open up to the thought of meeting this incredible woman and be open to the thought of gastric bypass surgery. I have family and friends to thank for being introduced to Dr. Ellner, but it was my twin sister, Christine, who gave me that final supportive push I needed to go to one of Dr. Ellner's seminars to see if this would be the next chapter in my life. It you haven't read Christine’s story yet, please do! She has been living life to the fullest since losing the weight and I wanted that too!

7 1/2 months after gastric bypass surgery
7 1/2 Months Post-op - Hiked to Potato Chip Rock

At the seminar, I got a thorough understanding of the weight loss surgeries available, but I also got a glimpse of this "amazing" Dr. Ellner I kept hearing about. During the seminar, I could immediately tell there was something different with Dr. Ellner. She was so passionate with her job, explaining the surgeries, and showed so much excitement and pride in her patients’ success stories. Yep, I was immediately convinced. It had to be Dr. Ellner. No question about it.


With Dr. Ellner, I felt like I had found the golden ticket like in the story "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". The program she provides seemed too good to be true. But it was true! The after care and support is top notch. I was given a second chance at a healthy life.

Since having the gastric bypass surgery 8 months ago, plus a required 6 months pre-surgery diet, I have lost 150 lbs. (90 lbs. lost from the surgery and still losing). The appetite suppression I experienced after having the surgery was incredible. For the first time in my life I was full on a small amount of food. I wasn't struggling with that feeling of constant hunger that I always felt when I went on a diet. I couldn't believe it. I still have to eat healthy and follow the guidelines to maintain a healthy me. Every day is a commitment to eat well and exercise and most importantly, find time for ME. The gastric bypass surgery is the tool that made it easier for me to curb the hunger and keep the weight off.

Cindy 8 Months After Surgery
8 Months After Surgery, with the New Mustang!

The best part from this whole experience? I'm LIVING life again! I’m not hiding at home, dreading to be out in public. These days I can’t get enough of the outdoors. I ran a half marathon 7 months after surgery and will be running another one soon. I never thought I would enjoy running. Especially after living in the body I once had. I hike with my sister on weekends. We used to dread hills!! I tried surfing for the first time in my life and loved it. And to enjoy this new body and lease on life, of course I had to buy myself a new sports car. I’ve always loved Ford Mustangs, and lucked out in finding a limited edition 50 year anniversary model that just screamed my name. Life has been so fun these days! The difficult part for me now is trying to find the time to fit in all these fun activities. I wake up each morning and think I'm still in a dream. I jump out of bed and am in disbelief at the reflection I see from the dresser mirror. I feel my face, touch my cheeks. It's really me I see in the mirror. It's really me! There's a smile on my face and a twinkle in my eye. I see happiness. Gone are the days of disappointment and despair. I catch myself sometimes...stifling the cry of amazement...a tear running down my face. The feeling of freedom overcoming me. I'm not trapped anymore. This is real!

If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

Cindy Before Gastric Bypass Surgery
Before My Journey Started