Book offers hope to people dealing with obesity issues

9/6/2013, 4:26 p.m.
Lynette Goode’s book “Determined to Live: How I Endured 48 Surgeries Due to Gastric Bypass” is meant to heighten awareness ...

— By Sylvina Poole

Lynette Goode’s book “Determined to Live: How I Endured 48 Surgeries Due to Gastric Bypass” is meant to heighten awareness about obesity through her personal struggle with the issue.

Goode recently said that her goal in writing the book, a memoir of sorts, is to give inspiration to others that they can overcome this big obstacle with God’s help.

Goode speaks candidly about her personal testimony throughout the pages of the book.

“The journey has been rough,” she noted. “Anytime you go through so many surgeries as I have it has been very difficult.

“However I had a very strong support system with God, my husband, my mother and father and my neighbors. It was a 12-year journey. This surgery was supposed to make me better, instead, in a way, it made me worse.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, gastric bypass surgery helps patients lose weight by changing how the stomach and small intestine handle the food eaten.

After the surgery, the stomach becomes smaller, allowing patients to feel full with less food.

Additionally, food eaten will no longer go into some parts of the stomach and small intestine that break down food. Because of this, the body will not absorb all of the calories from the food you eat.

Goode shared that the first three years after her gastric bypass surgery were very challenging because she could barely eat.

“I could only eat through feeding tubes,” she said. “It was one surgery after another. Unfortunately I was dying, and only by the grace of God I am here to tell the story.”

The struggle to maintain a healthy weight began early and was heavy on Goode for years.

She said that she grew up in a rural community with a father who was a farmer.

“We ate whatever our parents put on our plate and we had to eat all of it,” she said. “It was unfortunate because they only wanted to have food in the house, so we had to eat a whole lot of fried and sugary foods.”

She grew up not knowing proper nutrition and healthy life style habits and later, “I did all the things that were necessary to lose weight. I would lose weight and gain much more back.

“The body is complex, and after a while, my body did not know what to do because of all the yo yo diets I had been on. When I got married I weighed 289 pounds. I maxed out before the surgery at close to 400 pounds.

The Richmond resident shared that her primary care physician recommended bypass surgery in June 1996 and said that if Good did not lose the weight and keep it off, her life expectancy would be reduced.

“I cried hysterically because I had already had seven or eight major surgeries,” said Goode.

Still, she had the surgery and ended up enduring many complications described in the book.

“When you have so many obstacles in your life, there are two things you can do,” said Goode. “You can have a positive attitude or a negative attitude. The positive attitude will help you to deal with the obstacles that you are facing. A negative attitude will make people not want to be around you, and it isolates you from family and friends.”

Goode has many words of encouragement.

“God gave all of us a body and it should only have wholesome things in it,” she said. “The goal for me writing this book is to inspire people that are hurting with some challenge.

“They may feel like they cannot overcome. I am here to tell people we make the choices in our life. At the end of the day, just remember there is a divine purpose for everyone that is living. Everyone needs to seek what their purpose is in life.

“I did not want to write this book. It was completely guided by God. If someone would have told me that I would have gone through so many surgeries, my response would have been not me. There is a purpose for everyone that God has created. He used me as a servant for him and to be bold about what he has done for me. If he did it for me he will do the same for anyone else. Someone had to tell about the epidemic of obesity, and God used me to tell that story.”