It turns out that May 12, 2006, marked one of the most important days in Carol Jacob's life.
She attended her first Weight Watchers meeting and decided to visit a Turning Point Surgical Weight Loss Solutions doctor.
"Those two things were my 55th birthday gifts to myself," Jacob said. "I wanted a change of life."
Soon after she attended the information seminar about bariatric surgery facilitated by surgeons at Tallgrass General, Vascular and Bariatric Surgery in Topeka.
Hearing other people's surgery stories demonstrated that success was possible. "I stepped out on faith that it, too, would work for me," Jacob said.
Two months after her December 2006 surgery she had lost 55 pounds. Two years later she is maintaining a 170- to 180-pound weight loss.
Jacob has been big her whole life. "The bigger you get, the more you hurt physically," she said. "You lose a lot of dignity when you're morbidly obese."
One of her first changes two months after the surgery was getting in and out of the bathtub without help. "It felt marvelous to be able to sit down in the bathtub and have extra room," she said.
Jacob credits her strong faith in God for her tremendous success and is also thankful for the support from her church family and co-workers.
She spent five years contemplating surgery and says being successful at weight loss is a "mental thing."
"If you want to be successful after the surgery, you have to have a change of mind and the determination to stick with it," Jacob said. "Have your mind made up that you want to change your habits. You have the power of choice to be slimmer and to stick with it."