Nurse and Mother of Two Takes New Approach to Finally Losing the Weight

Nurse and Mother of Two Takes New Approach to Finally Losing the Weight

Bayyinah Guerrant grew up slim. It wasn’t until her early 20s, after having her two daughters, that she started gaining weight. She could track her weight gain by the size scrubs she had to ask for at the dispenser machine in the hospital in New York, N.Y., where she is a nurse in the pain management department.

“I was always so busy balancing taking care of my kids and work that I didn’t eat as healthy and couldn’t find time to exercise,” said the now 44-year-old Bayyinah. “It got to the point where I was asking for XXL scrubs, which was embarrassing.”

She did what anyone would do after gaining some weight; she started dieting. Fad diet after fad diet, and she would always gain the weight back. Despite the setbacks, there were periods of success. In 2000, she joined a popular weight loss nutrition program and lost 70 pounds and kept that weight off for almost three years. Then Bayyinah’s schedule changed to 12-hour shifts and making lifestyle changes proved challenging. She gained all the weight back, plus some. Still persistent, she turned back to dieting.

“You name the diet and I’ve done it,” she said. “Literally.”

But for Bayyinah, losing the weight was never all about fitting back into clothes she had outgrown; it was about health. She was born with a congenital heart condition. A hole in her heart caused her to develop Ventricular Tachycardia, and she has had three open-heart surgeries to correct the issue. Still today, her condition limits the level of exertion she can undertake. For her, it was about making sure she’s around for her daughters, now 19 and 20, as long as possible.

“For me, my daughters are my number one priority – but I had to get my weight under control first in order to ensure that I can be here for them when they need me most”

When weighing in at 209 pounds, her heaviest ever, she knew she needed to take action. She wasn’t heavy enough to qualify for the gastric sleeve, but her friend told her about the ReShape® Dual Balloon for Weight Loss. Designed for patients with a BMI of 30-40, ReShape is an intragastric balloon inserted into the stomach for six months to curb appetite. The patient receives a year of nutritional counseling to assist with developing a long-term plan for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, while they have the balloons in place and after removal. Bayyinah looked into it and made an appointment with Dr. Shawn Garber at New York Bariatric Group, one of the first surgeons to begin performing the non-surgical procedure and has performed more than anyone in the world.

“Every day, I see patients who are looking to break the fad-diet cycle, but need a jumpstart,” said Dr. Garber, who performed Bayyinah’s procedure. “Bayyinah was the ideal candidate. She was motivated and ready to do the work to lose the weight and keep it off.”

Since the procedure, Bayyinah has lost 50 pounds. She is taking Zumba classes, watching what she eats and has started traveling again. And while her main goal wasn’t to fit into old clothes, Bayyinah admits that it has been a nice added benefit. Now, when she shows up for a 12-hour shift, she heads to the scrub dispenser machine, pauses, and makes her selection: Medium.

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