For most of her life, Veronica Ramos struggled with her weight.
"There were several years worse than other years. There was back in 2000 when I tipped the scale at 305 pounds," says Ramos.
Although she began exercising and even cut out soft drinks and fast food it simply wasn't enough. On top of that she was also battling sleep apnea.
"I did lose 100 pounds on my own in 2000, but it eventually all came back and I struggled again," says Ramos.
The struggle became all too real when she attended a bariatric surgery seminar.
"I sat there and listened to all the good news they had to say. As I sat there I found out they were talking about me. I had sleep apnea. I had back problems. I had these issues all my life," says Ramos.
It was then she consulted with Dr. Michael Nizzi, director of bariatric surgery at Munson Medical Center. Together they decided weight-loss surgery might be the answer.
"Typically it's someone who had a body mass index of 40, which is typically 100 pounds over their ideal body weight. If their BMI is lower they usually have to have some co-morbidities like diabetes, sleep apnea," says Dr. Nizzi.
Dr. Nizzi says there are different bariatric procedures.
"They're all based on reducing the size of the stomach," says Dr. Nizzi.
It's going to be a year since Ramos had her surgery and she says it's been life-changing.
"My whole life has changed. My eating habits have and again this was the tool that I needed to concur this. I can finally say I am healthy. The sleep apnea went away on it's own within six months after surgery," says Ramos.
Yet, it's not the weight loss, Ramos focuses on.
"It's not a matter of how much I've lost. It's how far I can run.. It's knowing I'm healthy and knowing I'll be here for a long time," says Ramos.
For more information about bariatric surgery click here.