“I had a dream of what life would be like when I was a smaller person, and I have to tell you that life is so much better than I ever dreamed it could be.”
The beauty industry is notoriously unforgiving to those who don’t fit the model physical stereotype. So when hairstylist Elizabeth “Beth” Hancock was at her peak weight of more than 270 pounds, she remembers feeling like she was “never good enough, never pretty enough, and never thin enough.”
But it was her worsening diabetes and a deep depression which ultimately were the catalysts for her gastric bypass surgery at Saint Agnes in July 2011. Since then, Beth has lost almost 100 pounds while gaining a lifelong network of friends and a team of care-givers at Saint Agnes whom she describes as “heaven-sent.”
Beth had struggled with her weight since age 13, and had developed into a humorous, outgoing person who liked to dance, cook and travel. As she gained more, however, these activities, like many others, became more difficult.
When her diabetes and depression threatened to take over her life, she decided to get help at Saint Agnes with bariatric surgery. “I knew it would be the hardest thing I have ever done, but it has also turned out to be the best thing that I ever did,” Beth says.
The surgery was easier than she thought, but the emotional transformation was more difficult. She relied on the support she found from the staff at Saint Agnes, as well as the support group both at the hospital and online.
“The friends I’ve met at the support group have helped me every step of the way,” Beth says. “We go to farmer’s markets together, we cook together, we work out together, and just having them in my life has been truly a blessing.”
Now Beth dreams of one day becoming a Zumba instructor, and enjoys all of the activities she ever did before – and more. “I had a dream of what life would be like when I was a smaller person, and I have to tell you that life is so much better than I ever dreamed it could be.”