Terri Parry

During the two years Terri Parry was contemplating bariatric surgery, her dad died.

"His weight had everything to do with his death," Parry said. "He developed diabetes due to his weight problem. My family has battled weight issues and I just didn't want to do that anymore."

So she had bariatric surgery and lost 125 pounds in a year, going from a size 28 to an 8. "It was the best decision I ever made," Parry said.

"At my 100-pound loss we went to Hawaii to celebrate and I was able to snorkel and not feel like a whale," Parry said, adding that she still wants to skydive for the first time as well. She was too heavy to skydive when her family did a few years before her surgery.

Besides the weight loss, Parry no longer has hip problems, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

Even though she has incorporated walking and swimming into her life, eats lots of lean meat, shrimp and fish and takes her daily vitamins, her biggest challenge is drinking enough water every day.

"I tell people I get up first thing in the morning to start drinking," Parry said laughing.

Parry adamantly disagrees with the belief that surgery is a simple cure-all.

"Surgery isn't an easy way out," she said. "I worked at it. I swam and walked and jogged and relearned how to eat. You have to try to eat healthy the way the doctors tell you to."

One of the biggest moments since her weight loss came when she was able to wear her wedding rings again after 21 years.

"I cried because it was such a nice feeling," Parry said. "I didn't think it was a huge thing not to wear my wedding rings, but it was. I always thought I was a happy fat person, but I wasn't."