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Leah Wagner

Leah Wagner
Posted on: 09/19/2022

Leah Wagner has a busy and active life as the single mother of two energetic young children. She is also in a management role in the operating room at LewisGale Medical Center in Salem, Virginia. Her responsibilities require strong focus on work-life balance in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

This wasn’t always the case, as Leah grew up in a rural area of York County, Pennsylvania, where going to town required a 30–45-minute commute. The landscape of the area and family financial constraints meant a relatively sedentary lifestyle. Although she was active in music and choir, she did not have neighborhood children to play with and spent many weekends in front of the television. Her connection to Roanoke, Virginia, was through her grandmother.

“I came from a very large stereotypical southern family,” Leah said. “My grandmother was a genius in the kitchen, and no one ever walked out of her house hungry. Ever.”

Her struggle with obesity began early, weighing over 200 pounds by middle school.

Leah remembered a note being sent home in 4th grade expressing her teacher’s concern about her weight. She had some successes over the years with weight loss until her first pregnancy when she gained 80 pounds, which she was never able to shed. Finally, at the start of the COVID pandemic, weighing 307 pounds with aches and pains beyond normal aging and medications for hypertension, asthma, and acid reflux, Leah decided to make a change for herself and her family.

“I attended Dr. Darren Glass’ weight loss seminar in August of 2020 and was impressed with his kind, yet direct approach,” Leah said. “I also appreciated the thoroughness, understanding, and care of his team.”

Leah had witnessed family and friends achieve success through Dr. Glass’ program and thought, “Why not me too?”

Leah has lost almost 100 pounds since her surgery in March 2021.

“My sleep has improved and I no longer need medication for high blood pressure, stomach acid, or wheezing,” she said.

She has also returned to previously abandoned activities such as yoga, and has taken up hiking and weightlifting. No longer afraid to try new things because of the limits of obesity, she has stretched her boundaries with ziplining and obstacle course racing.

“My confidence and zest have increased exponentially,” she said.

For those considering weight loss surgery, Leah says: “Do it. It will be the best decision you ever make. However, understand it is a lifestyle commitment and not a quick fix. There will be days after your surgery that you struggle. However, the important thing is to keep going.”

Leah Wagner - Bariatric Surgery Patient After Photo
Leah Wagner
Posted on: 09/19/2022

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