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Lost The Weight And Gained My Life: Stephanie Sosa’s Story


Stephanie Sosa has been overweight since childhood. In high school, she was able to lose some weight, but soon put it back on. At 28 years old, she hit an all-time high of 272 pounds—a considerable amount for a 5-foot-3-inch woman.

“Being big all my life impacted me and kept me from participating in life,” recalled Sosa. “People would stare at me and, sometimes, even completely ignore me like I didn’t exist. I was tired of being stuck and not feeling good about myself. I didn’t want to live like this anymore.”

In October 2018, Sosa decided that weight-loss surgery was the best way for her to lose weight. She had tried everything else to lose and maintain weight, but had been unsuccessful. Working with her bariatric surgeon, Dr. Atif Iqbal, they decided together that the gastric sleeve procedure would be the best method for her.

In a sleeve gastrectomy, the outer margin of the stomach is removed to restrict food intake. During the procedure, the surgeon removes a large portion of the stomach. The new, smaller stomach is about the size of a banana, which means the patient is less hungry and feels full sooner after eating. The surgery also removes the part of the stomach that makes a hormone called ghrelin, which boosts appetite.

Sosa underwent the weight-loss surgery at Foothill Regional Medical Center, which is nationally accredited for bariatric surgery. Sosa has since lost 85 pounds.

“The surgery gave Stephanie the extra boost she needed to get her weight off,” said Dr. Iqbal. “She’s expects to be down to 160 by the end of the summer and get on with her new life.”

To continue to lose weight, Sosa eats a balanced diet and exercises, including yoga and hiking. She is most thrilled, however, with her ability to now ride horses.

“I always wanted to take riding lessons,” Sosa said. “But I worried I was too big for the horse.”

She also has booked a trip to Hawaii and looks forward to wearing a bathing suit.

“Friends and family hardly recognize the new me—both physically and emotionally,” Sosa said. “Now that I feel in control of my life, I am more confident, positive and bubbly. I didn’t know life was this good before, and I didn’t know shopping at Victoria’s Secret could be so fun!”

She continued, “I can’t thank the teams at Foothill Regional Medical Center and Dr. Iqbal’s office enough. They made this journey easy for me; I lost the weight and gained my life.”

To learn more about our weight-loss surgery program, click here.