Her Story: Ladi Amber

Name: Ladi Amber (Amber Middlebrooks)
Age: 27
Type of procedure: Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass

What prompted you to make the decision to go for wls? All my life I was overweight. I always hated the way I look, I was always the big one out of my friends. I always felt uncomfortable, I was suicidal and depressed. Two years ago, I went through a life-changing event, suffering a mild stroke at only 25 years old. Weighing 565 pounds, I  recognized that it was time to make a change, so I  met with Dr. Kevin McGill of Piedmont Bariatrics to start my journey.

Did/do you feel any pressure by a doctor to make this decision? 

No I did not feel any pressure from anyone. This is my own decision. 

Did you try other methods to lose weight and what happened?

I’ve tried every get skinny quick weight loss method under the sun. I did the Jenny Craig, HCG DIET, Weight Watchers and the natural way.

What has the process been like for you psychologically (before and after)? 

Before the process everything felt numb. I’ve tried to get the surgery in the past and it was not successful due to me losing my insurance. Before surgery I hated my existence everything bothered me, from my look down to the way I felt inside. Fast forward 11 months later because I am now 11 months post op. I feel amazing. 

How do you feel emotionally regarding your decision (before and after)?

Before I hated myself, I didn’t love me, and I always wished I would feel pretty. I had the lowest self-esteem ever. I just wanted to die. Now  I feel so wonderful inside and out. I look at life different, my mind is in a better state mentally and emotionally. I am now learning how to love my self. It took me 27 years to love my self and i wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Do you feel any regret for following through on your surgery? (Answer only if applicable) 

THE ONLY REGRET I HAVE IS; I only wish I’d undergone the procedure sooner. “Being morbidly obese, I didn’t live my life to the fullest because I was tired and felt insecure. I truly feel like I owe Dr. McGill my life.

How do you feel when you hear people say “weight loss surgery is the easy way out”?

It pisses me off. WLS is not the easiest way out at all. You have to prepare your self mentally, physically and emotionally to do a life changing event. Of course if it was easy, I would be skinny now don’t you think lol ? We have to go through many clearances in order to get approve. While going through the different clearances such as seeing a cardiologist, psychiatrist, sleep study , etc you have to change your diet asap. You are partner with a nutritionist that teaches you the new way of eating. Because most WLS patients are addicted to food, or food is a major factor in their life; that’s the hardest thing to do is to let food go. So to sum it up it’s not the easy way out. I work as hard if not twice as hard to maintain healthy. I had to learn how to eat the correct way. It’s hard cutting out all the good bad food for you, it affects me mentally, and emotionally. I had a food addiction, I still do but its gotten better. Another thing people don’t know we have to be mindful of everything we eat and how we carry ourselves. So to everyone who says WLS is the easy way out can kiss our apple-bottoms lol!!!

What has been the hardest part of all of this?

 FIGHTING THE FOOD ADDICTION! Constantly reminding family and friends on what i can and can not eat. 

What advice would you give for anyone facing weight loss surgery or who is trying to decide whether surgery is right for them?

Do your research. Do not go into this process blind. Please do intensive research. Join Facebook groups, Follow WLS accounts on Instagram. Ask questions, attend seminars in your local area to get a better understanding. Do your research on your surgeon and their office. Make sure you are doing this for YOU! Not anyone else but Y O U! At the end of the day, you are the one going through this life changing event. Everyone is not going to understand or they may talk you out of it.  If I had a dollar for every-time I told someone I was doing this procedure I would be rich. It tickles me that someone always know somebody that has this surgery and it went bad. Ignore the bad things. Remember this is not a walk in the park.  There will be times you want to give up, there will be times you feel overwhelmed but think about the bigger picture in the end. You well feel amazing inside and out and you will be much healthier than you were before. This was the best D*** decision I ever made in my life and I couldn’t be any more happier. 

If anyone want to reach out to me please feel free to reach me at
Also please check out my WLS documentary following me through the procedure up until the surgery day!
Dr. Kevin McGill Piedmont Hospital

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