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Regina Perkins works as a nurse in the Martha Jefferson Emergency Department.
It's a high stress job in itself, but when combined with the responsibilities of raising two children and taking care of her household, it can be downright chaotic.
To relax and have fun, Regina and her family love to hike and be outdoors. But she wasn't always able to enjoy that playtime. She recalled hiking Humpback Rock when "I nearly passed out. I was sweating, shaking and feeling nauseated."
She often experienced shortness of breath, had high cholesterol and blood sugar and was pre-diabetic. When she learned about the gastric banding procedure, she was ready to make a big change.
As a nurse, Regina knew that the surgery alone wasn't going to guarantee her success. Focusing on the dietitian's advice about how to eat better, two years later she has made major changes to her diet.
"Before surgery, I rated a restaurant on two things: One, if they had good sweet tea, and two, if grease came through the bag," Regina reminisced. "Now I rate a restaurant on what kind of salads they have and if they have good variety. Sweet tea doesn't appeal to me, and I haven't had a soft drink in two years. It's all about water all the time. I've really changed my life."
Regina still loves to hike with her family and now is able to take the lead rather than hold them back. She said she hasn't been back to Humpback Rock, but she plans to go back soon. And this time, she plans to conquer.