Bariatric surgery can solve more than
just weight issues, but lifestyle changes
are the key to sustained success.
BY LESLIE GARISTO PFAFF
PHOTO BY MARC STEINER/AGENCY NEW JERSEY
KIMBERLY BRENNAN’S GOAL WAS to see her youngest
daughter turn 18. And to wear a skirt. And to go on the
rides at Six Flags. At 44, the registered nurse and mother
of two weighed 240 pounds— 100 pounds more than the
ideal weight for a woman standing 5-foot- 5. Her knees
hurt, her hips hurt, she couldn’t cross her legs, apnea interrupted her sleep and she was pre-diabetic.
It was her daughter’s 13th birthday in 2012 that finally convinced Brennan to undergo gastric bypass surgery.
“As mothers, we think, I can’t let anything happen to me till my kids are 18,” she
says. “When Emma turned 13, I thought,
If I don’t do something, I’m not going to be
here when she turns 18.”
At a news conference in May of this year,
Governor Chris Christie described a similar
motivation for the Lap-Band gastrectomy he
underwent in February at Manhattan’s N YU
Langone Medical Center under the care of
Dr. George Fielding. “People in public life
have the same concerns people in private life
have,” Christie told reporters. “Just because I
have a public office and I have some measure
of notoriety doesn’t mean that my feelings
about my family and my concerns about their
future are any different than yours.”
Brennan and the governor are among
the roughly 4,000 New Jersey residents—
and more than 200,000 Americans—who elect to un-
THE NEW KIM: Kimberly Brennan, post-surgery, competed
in her first triathlon this past September. Inset: Brennan, presurgery, with a friend (who was pregnant at the time).