SEVERN, Md. (WJLA) - For as long as she can remember, Jaime McCormick struggled with her weight. The 33-year-old mother tried dieting and exercise, but never managed to keep the weight offuntil now.
After giving birth to her son, Parker, McCormick weighed 242 pounds; with a body mass index of 41, she was extremely obese.
"I was struggling my whole life trying to diet and exercise, yo-yo of losing and gaining, and losing and gaining," she said. "I didn't have high blood pressure yet, or high cholesterol, or diabetes yet, but I was heading in that direction."
As a mother and post-partum nurse, McCormick decided it was time to make a change for herselfand for her son. To date, she has lost a total of 120 pounds, and has traded in her size 22 jeans for a size 4.
"Some days I'll walk by a storefront and I'll see somebody and I'll be like, 'Who is that? Oh, it was me!'" McCormick said, laughing.
Though she had gastric bypass surgery in April 2013, McCormick also exercises regularly; she walks, does Zumba and yoga, and has drastically cut her portion sizes. She doesn't drink her calories anymore, either.
Dr. Brian Long, the medical director of the Sibley Center for Weight Loss Surgery in Washington, D.C., says McCormick's success is remarkable. He believes as long as she keeps up the hard work, she has completely reshaped her future.
"Her risk for developing diabetes, high blood pressure, a lot of those other weight-related medical problems is extremely low," Dr. Long said. "So, she's really done a great thing for herself, for her long-term health, for her family."
Now, McCormick wants others to know not to be afraid of looking into surgery if they need extra help losing weight; she says it has allowed her to be the type of mother she wants to be, and doesn't regret her choice one bit.
"I wanted to be a good example for [Parker], and be healthy for him and for myself," she said.
McCormick has maintained her weight at about 125 pounds since January, and says her goal this year is to run her first-ever 5K.