Lauren La Fluer loves a good game of yatzee. For her playing with her mom is a happy time. But since she was child she's been unhappy about one thing in her life.
"I started gaining weight when I was five or six, and I went from the chubby cute kid to out weight teen," she says."I am just ready to be more comfortable in my body and in the world. The world is really designed for people who are much smaller than I am."
Lauren weighs 495 pounds.
"It's disappointing sometimes when you go into a store," she explains. "You expect little kids to stare, maybe they have never seen anyone as big as me before, but when adults do it, that's really disappointing."
But that's about to change. Lauren is getting gastric bypass surgery.
"I am very anxious and excited. I am looking forward to the changes that it is going to bring in my life," Lauren says.
Dr. Hugh Babineaux performs hundreds of bypass surgeries a month. The surgery takes hours. He staples her stomach, bypasses part of her intestines. In all she will have 8 rows of staples in her stomach making it so small it will only hold about an ounce of food.
Once Lauren's surgery is complete, it will take her weeks to recover -- and more than six weeks before she can eat solid food.
Four months later, Lauren is a different woman. She lost 101 pounds.
Even though losing over one hundred pounds is a great victory it came at a great price.
"I had some side effects after surgery that weren't very pleasant. I had a gagging reflex. That was weird I would just start gagging for no reason," she says.
She can't eat like she used too-- no fried food, no high fat foods, no sugar. If she does she'll get violently ill. But Lauren says the victories outweighing the unpleasant problems.
"My seat belt in my car fits now where it didn't before. The day I buckled it after never wearing it was amazing -- and I have to wear an extension with it but I couldn't get it buckled before."
Lauren says she still has a long way to go, but she hopes for success. And despite the side effects, and never eating certain foods again she says her surgery was worth it.
You can only get gastric bypass if you are considerably overweight. Generally you need to be more than 100 pounds over weight. To learn more about gastric bypass in East Texas click www.tylerbariatric.com.