Gastric bypass surgery helped Jody Stubler lose 120 pounds.
"Losing this weight has helped me to gain tremendous confidence in myself and my own abilities," she said.
Along with the weight loss, Stubler has no more symptoms of type 2 diabetes, and her blood pressure and cholesterol levels are normal.
In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers studied the ongoing health benefits of a gastric bypass. They looked at more than 1,000 severely obese patients six years after the surgery.
"Almost 80 percent all of those patients who had gastric bypass surgery at six years had been able to maintain a very significant degree of weight loss," said Ted D. Adams of the University of Utah School of Medicine.
Researchers report every cardiovascular risk factor improved significantly –– or remained improved – in gastric bypass patients.
Hypertension, cholesterol levels and type 2 diabetes also decreased or were resolved in those who had the surgery.
Researchers say only 1 out of 1,100 patients in the study regained all the weight they had lost after surgery.
There is also a mental and social aspect to the procedure that should be a part of patient care.
"It's a very challenging and sometimes difficult road," Stubler said. "Mentally, physically and emotionally everything changes."
Stubler is back in school, enjoying quality time with her family. She says there's one other perk that comes with losing 120 pounds.
"I am so happy with the way I look, and I can go into any store and find clothes that fit," she said.