My Patients


Personal Stories


Yoli Before Weight Loss Surgery
Yoli Before Weight Loss Surgery

There comes a point in your life when you are tired of telling yourself I’m done, you know that moment when you are tired of hearing yourself saying “I’m done”. It’s that moment when you honestly without excuses ask yourself what you truly want out of this life. You feel tired of being tired. A moment in time you quietly, without making any out loud statements, you nod your head and make a decision that you will do whatever you need to do to make it happen. For me it was my health and the way I felt about myself. My father died of a heart attack at a young age, and there was a history of heart problems on his side of our family. That thought used to scare me, I had a strong feeling in my gut, that if I didn’t take control of my health, I would also end up dying of a heart attack at a young age. That “decision day” changed my life! It began with me researching how was I going to change my life and my lifestyle to feel the way I once felt…good, vibrant, healthy and not overweight and in pain!

You see, I was never an overweight child; as a matter of fact I was a thin girl growing up. As a teenager I had a killer body. I was in the drill team, active in sports; I loved sports, competed in junior high school sports. Remembering back I felt alive! I got married young and had children, but I still kept my weight under control, this was due to always working out; I would run 3 miles a day. But as I got older, my struggle went from trying to keep the weight down to stop from gaining a few pounds a year.

Yoli After Weight Loss Surgery

From summer 2014 to the end of the year, due to a new neighborhood, changes at work, and other factors, I rapidly added another 25-30lbs to my already too-heavy frame. The plus sized fashions I had come to love were getting tighter and tighter. Basic activity became more difficult, and I was starting to experience back and knee pain. Eventually, I was so embarrassed and disgusted with myself, I stopped wanting to go out and be my normal social self. The “stay big and be happy” plan was not working.

So somewhere in my journey I went from a healthy, good looking body, to slowly gaining at least 2 to 8 pounds a year. Before I knew it I was overweight, actually obese. I went from an average weight of 135 lbs. to 215 lbs. “How did I get here?!?” I used to ask myself. I normally felt disappointed in myself and always felt uncomfortable in my own skin. It was hard because I remember how it felt to feel light and alive. Now I was just feeling tired, hurting all the time and just unhappy with my body. I hated going shopping, because I never really saw myself fat, I still wanted to buy the same type of clothes as when I was thin, but that was just not going to happen. I now wore sweaters and lose clothes to cover all my big curves. I felt pretty, when I saw myself in the mirror, oh yeah, my mirrors weren’t full mirrors. My husband and my children knew to never take a full body picture of me, it was my rule.

One night as I was researching my options a feeling of determination came over me, I felt that I had the power to change my life. It was the best day of my new journey. I decided that I was worth taking care of myself and why not give myself the gift of feeling good about myself. Why not?!? I always pictured myself growing old gracefully. I work so hard all my life to make others happy, I was reminded that I was worth fighting for me! I hurt for so long that I didn’t realize I was hurting, I’d just learned to live with the knee pain, the back pain, and the body aches from carrying all the excess weight. That night my research began, I had tried and spent so much money throughout the years in every weight program out there and even some meds. I knew I couldn’t do it by myself, I had given it all I had, I truly had. I had friends that had weight loss surgery so I reached out to them and they shared their journey. I envied how good they look and how light on their feet they seemed. They shared that it was a lifetime commitment. Growing old and being able to move seemed like a lifetime commitment to me, so I was determined: I wanted to enjoy the next chapter of my life.

I researched and researched for several months and my mind was made up. Now I needed to find the best to help me with my journey. Bedside manners and experience were very important to me. I found Dr. Ellner; I researched her background and her patients’ testimonials. She was the person that was going to help me on my journey. She has been amazing - guiding me on my journey - I follow her instructions to the tee, I feel so good and empowered when I go see her and her staff, perhaps because I’m reminded of how far I’ve come and how good I feel today and they represent my support team.

Now, a year later I weigh an average of 135 – 138 lbs., I went from a size 16 to size 6….I have never been a size 6! I feel light, healthy, sexy and empowered to accomplish whatever I set my mind to. I didn’t realize how good and full of energy I felt until my husband made a comment as I was meal prepping, cleaning the house, dancing around as I am moving about my house….he said to me “sit down already, I am getting tired just watching you”…we smiled at each other, but then I realized, yes I do feel amazing, I have all this energy, I feel good, I feel comfortable in my skin….oh YES I remember that feeling….I AM ALIVE AGAIN!!!!

How do you explain that feeling to someone? You can’t unless you have experienced it. I was not 100 lbs. overweight, I was tall and my fat was proportioned throughout my body, so when I shared with others about getting surgery, they looked at me like I was crazy. Well, whether you are 100 lbs. or more overweight or 80 lbs. the pain is the same: bad. I would recommend you reach out and get help; the type of surgery is an individual choice. The important choice is the choice to LIVE and enjoy your journey today, enjoy your life!

If you have questions about my weight loss surgery experience, you may email me at