A touching Love Story with a double bariatric twist!

I have struggled with serious weight issues my entire life. I was 33 years old, weighed 410 pounds, with severe knee pain and the beginnings of high blood pressure. I wanted to stop the rollercoaster before it flew off the tracks. On January 11th, 2008 I took back my life. I slapped down the hard earned cash taken from my retirement account and underwent gastric bypass surgery.

Pre-operatively, my surgeon suggested I join a support group so that I had people to reach out to as I went along my journey. The group was amazing and since I had already discovered Before & After and I handed out copies of the Susan Maria Leach book to everyone there. That book was a lifesaver and inspiration for me and I always made sure everyone in my group had a copy. My surgery had gone well and I was proud of not only my results but how I emerged as a group leader of sorts in the months that followed.

At our August support group meeting a young woman named Rebecca walked into the room. She had not yet had bariatric surgery and was looking for support in her decision to have a gastric bypass procedure.

I provided her with a copy of Before & After and told her I would help her and answer any questions she might have. She was beautiful and hilarious – I wanted to ask her out for coffee but I didn’t think that was the type of support that the surgeon and group were promoting, so I didn’t.

I saw Rebecca at our next few meetings but in November she happily shared with the group that she was scheduled for surgery later in the month. She asked for everyone’s email addresses in case she had any questions. I was quick to jump up and give her mine and at the same time ask for hers. This was my opening!

I sent her an email both before her surgery to wish her luck and after surgery to make sure she was okay. A couple weeks later we met for coffee and talked for a while. Wow, I was already falling for this wonderful girl.

The December bariatric support group meeting was our holiday party. We sat together and I even made her a dish of SML’s sugar free Pumpkin Whip from a recipe in the book. I think I won her over right then and there as we had our first date three days later and have been together ever since. Although she could never be more beautiful than the moment when I first saw her, during our first year together over 125 pounds had melted away. While we had not changed on the inside, neither one of us was recognizable as our former selves from the outside.

At our holiday support group gathering, it is well known that we all exchange grab bag gifts, so one year later I took advantage of this in order to bring ‘an extra gift bag’ to the party. I told Rebecca that the extra bag was in case someone had been left out. When we arrived we made the rounds and said hello to all our friends. Someone made a joke that they thought we’d be engaged by now and we all shared a laugh.

After about fifteen minutes, I could no longer stand it and pulled her aside to give her the extra gift, saying it was a little something for her to open. It was a photo album I had filled with pictures of us over our past year together. She thumbed through the memories until she reached the page that had the message “Stop and look at me!”.  As she turned to look, I was down on one knee holding her ring. It took her a few moments to get over the shock and say yes!

Becca and I were made for each other. It is rare to find someone that you share not only a similar life history, but also as life altering experience as weight loss surgery. Our meeting is the definition of fate and it’s been an amazing journey for us both. I know that our lives were not only brought together but made longer through bariatric surgery and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with her.

Susan Maria’s note: Jason and Rebecca were finalists in a Dream Wedding Contest sponsored by a local morning TV show in Connecticut. Jason had contacted me on a whim to see if we could help him by rallying the ‘bariatric vote’ to help him win the contest for Rebecca. He was unbelievably selfless, humble and excited by the premise of having a platform to put a warm positive face on bariatric weight loss surgery. He wanted to give those who are morbidly obese hope that life can change as his had – I have never met anyone so in awe of his new life as Jason! We put out the word to over one hundred thousand Bariatric Eating customers and members of our online Support Group and helped them to secure the victory in the contest. He now had his dream wedding for Rebecca. The wedding was breathtaking, the bride, groom and entire party fitted for designer gowns and tuxedos, every detail down to the food and honeymoon were voted on and were perfect. We were all a part of this wonderful bariatric love story! The truth was that Rebecca took Jason’s breath away from the moment he first saw her and he was her handsome prince when she walked into that bariatric support meeting looking for help with her surgery. The media and cameras loved these two people and America fell in love with them and were blown away by their story. We are happy they are part of our BE Family. 

Jason Whiting at 400 pounds


Bariatric surgery day for Jason


Rebeccas ‘Before’ photo at the surgeons office


Engagement photo at the Bariatric Surgery Support Group Christmas party

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