Tim Belloff’s home scale only went as high as 430 pounds, so he wasn’t sure how much weight he had gained through the years. But he remembers the moment he decided to make a change for the better.
He was on a family vacation with his wife, Amy, daughter, Emily, and son, T.J. in the summer of 2017. He and Emily waited two hours in line to board a ride at an Orlando, Fla., theme park. When they got to the front of the line, Tim found out he couldn’t fit on the ride. “To see the disappointment on my daughter’s face when she had to get off the ride was not an OK thing,” Tim says.
Once he returned to his Sellersville home, Belloff began researching options for weight-loss surgery. “I saw they had a strong program at Grand View Health,” he says. “I liked that it was close to home and that they had a structure in place to be successful.”
To learn more, Belloff attended the hospital’s weight-loss surgery support groups, where he heard directly from other people who went through the same journey. Belloff also met with weight-loss surgeon Michael Fishman, MD, with Grand View Health Surgery, who recommended he undergo sleeve gastrectomy, a procedure that reduces the size of the stomach.
“He’s no-nonsense,” Belloff says of Dr. Fishman. “He and his team are friendly, open and honest. He made it clear that you need to seriously consider whether surgery is right for you, and then you have to be committed to make it work.”
In August 2018, Dr. Fishman performed a sleeve gastrectomy procedure on Belloff. After struggling to lose weight his entire life, Belloff began experiencing weight loss success. In a year, he lost 200-plus pounds.
He also experienced many other health improvements: His prediabetes disappeared. His cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure—three key indicators of heart health—went from high to normal. And he no longer needed the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine he had used at night for a dozen years to control his sleep apnea. “It’s fantastic not to have to carry that CPAP with me,” he says.
Even better are the times he gets to spend with his family. He’s coaching 6-year-old T.J.’s baseball team. “I’m an active participant now, running with them and interacting with them,” he says. And last year, he ran alongside 10-year-old Emily in a “Girls on the Run” 5K race conducted through Emily’s school. “It was amazing to do that,” he says. “I feel like I’m a role model for my kids.”
Belloff also serves as a role model for others. He continues to attend Grand View Health’s online weight-loss surgery support groups, sharing his story and offering a helping hand to others who want to follow in his footsteps. “I’m willing to talk to anyone about it,” he says. “Weight-loss surgery is hard work, but it’s worth the effort. I consider it life-changing.”
Sign up for our free weight-loss surgery information webinar on Thursday, Feb. 18.