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Local Mom & Daughter Tackle Weight Goals

By Tracy Kornet, CBS 11 News
Special School Helps Teen Combat Childhood Obesity

CBS DFW (con't)

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Health News & Information: CBSDFW.com/Health

Do you love roller coasters? Some people across North Texas just wish that they were small enough to get inside of the cars. That has been the motivation for a local woman who is losing weight alongside her mom, who has struggled with diabetes, sleep apnea, high cholesterol and blood pressure. Together, they chose gastric bypass surgery to help them get healthy.

Michelle Coleman is happy to show off her shrinking shape and size 20 jeans. “I’m glad to be back in them,” she said. The former theater teacher is already down 75 pounds. And her daughter, Sanshelle Johnson, is down 65 pounds. Coleman said, “People are really amazed when they see me.”

Back in March, the then 300-plus pound Coleman and 400-plus pound Johnson underwent gastric bypass surgery. According to studies, going through the gastric bypass process with a loved one can lead to more successful results.

Dr. Wade Baker and his team have worked with the mother and daughter for several months now. He said that accountability and a built-in support system of family often helps patients better adapt to the dramatic lifestyle changes required to make gastric bypass work, such as diet and exercise. “Family members tend to be more honest, harder on each other, because they can be honest,” said Baker.

Studies show that gastric bypass surgery can reduce the chance of premature death by 92 percent in 10 years, and reduce the chance of breast cancer by 70 percent in five years.

“This is not the quick way out,” explained Johnson. “It is a lot of work and it takes a lot of dedication to make this work.”

“I jog now,” Johnson continued. “Never been able to jog before, and feel good about jogging.”

“She’s the one who gets up and says, ‘Let’s go swim. Let’s go walk,’” Coleman said of her daughter.

Coleman’s ultimate goal is to weigh 150 pounds. But Johnson’s goal is not something that can be found on the scale. “My goal is to be able to fit in a roller coaster ride at Six Flags,” she said.