Diet or die, one teenager's fight


Publié le 17 janvier 2017

JennyRegnier-Groleau is radiant. The teenager is proud of her journey which she says is not over.

©TC Media Steve Sauvé

Jenny Regnier-Groleau is only 17 years old and she has already had to fight for her life. Her battle was not with cancer or a disability but her weight. Meet a teenager facing the greatest struggle of her short life.

My weight loss allows me to live. Jenny Regnier-Groleau

Jenny Regnier-Groleau's life changed as the result of a health issue. During a visit to her doctor, she found herself corned. "The doctor was direct," explained Jenny. "She told me that if I didn't lose weight, I wouldn't make it past 40. I was going to die."

The days that followed were difficult for the adolescent, who was 16 at the time. After tears and black thoughts, she expressed the desire to take control. She quickly obtained an appointment with Dr. Olivier Court, a surgeon at the Montreal General Hospital. "He transferred me to a clinic for adolescents," said Jenny. "You have to understand that I was going to be the first teenager in Quebec to undergo bariatric surgery."

Because Jenny's liver was severally swollen, the surgeon insisted that she lose 20 pounds before the operation. She accomplished this hands down since she lost more than twice that amount. "I lost 50 pounds before the operation. I found out how much I had lost on the day of the operation. I couldn't use my scales at home because my weight went higher than the scales."

July 17, 2016 is a watershed date for Jenny Regnier-Groleau. That was the day she underwent a surgical intervention which consisted of reducing her gastric capacity, which means the useable capacity of her stomach. "Yes, I was in pain when I woke up, but I will never regret it. I was given back my life and the results are there. Up to now, in just a year, I have lost 102 pounds. I hope to lose at least 50 more. I know it's possible." said the secondary 5 student from école Arthur-Pigeon.

"My weight loss allows me to live. I couldn't move before. It was painful for me just to walk. Now, for the first time in 4 years, I'm able to put on my shirt for gym class. It didn't fit me before. Besides, I didn't go to gym because I was too ashamed."

In spite of her significant weight loss, the teenager knows she must be careful not to fall back into her unhealthy eating habits. "Believe me, I eat tons of carrots. I remember a time when I used to hide food in my bedroom so I could eat in private. Now, to stay motivated, I look at my old clothes and I tell myself, I'm never going back." concluded the girl who will be going to college next August.  

Translated by Cathleen Johnston    

Before she lost weight, Jenny Regnier-Groleau did not participate in any physical activity. She weighed 362 pounds.

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