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Kayley Lewis takes back her life after long-term battle with weight

After struggling with her weight since childhood, Kayley Lewis, BSN, RN, turned to Bailey Bariatrics for help taking her life back.  

“My first memory of being ‘fat’ was when I was 5 or 6. I was at a dance competition and my costume ripped when I tried to put it on,” said Lewis. “I ended up seeing a pediatric endocrinologist to try to figure out why I couldn’t lose weight.” 

In her childhood, she was diagnosed with metabolic syndrome and spent her life trying to manage the symptoms. Her weight was a constant struggle through puberty, and she tried a variety of exercises and diets. In adulthood, the 31-year-old weighed more than 353 pounds at her heaviest. 

“I hated myself for letting it get to that point,” said Lewis. “I took pictures of myself in the mirror to remember what I looked like because I wanted to change. I knew I was fat, and everyone else knew I was fat, but no one talked about it. I was that fat friend.” 

After working toward multiple degrees, Lewis became a nurse. She had considered getting weight loss surgery for years, but working in the medical field pushed her toward it even harder. 

“Part of the reason that I initially felt that it was so important for me to lose weight was because I felt like a hypocrite,” said Lewis. “I would tell my patients that it was important to be healthy, to eat a certain way and maintain a healthy weight. And I’m standing there over 350 pounds.” 

The single mother was also motivated to lose weight by her 3-year-old son. 

“I have a baby who I need to be around for,” said Lewis. “He’s my why. I always knew Bailey was where I was going to go. They’re vetted, they’re tried and true. They had positive surgical outcomes, which was important to me as a nurse.” 

After her initial appointments with Bailey Bariatrics in August 2021, Lewis and her provider worked together to prepare for Lewis’ anticipated surgery before the end of that year.

Lewis had various appointments to attend and requirements to meet before she qualified for surgery.  

Her preparations abruptly stopped when Lewis’ mother fell ill in November of 2021. Everything in her life paused as Lewis worked to take care of her mother. 

“She had so many medical issues, was in the ICU and had surgery,” said Lewis. “I took leave from work and lived in the hospital with her for eight weeks. When the gravity of the situation set in, I realized I couldn’t give 100% to the bariatric program, so I put it on hold.” 

After she was discharged in January 2022, Lewis’ mother encouraged Lewis to call Bailey Bariatrics and reschedule her missed appointments. In July 2022, Lewis resumed her appointments and her pre-op journey. 

Lewis lost nearly 80 pounds on a specialized diet before she had a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass on Dec. 7, 2022. The surgery involves dividing the stomach into a small pouch, about the size of an egg. The small intestine is also divided and connected to the small pouch, bypassing the rest of the stomach. 

“Never once did I question their care,” said Lewis. “I felt like they went above and beyond what any other bariatric program does, that’s why I stayed at Bailey. I was nervous about the surgery, but I knew they were 100% sure that I was going to make it out of surgery. So, I was sure, too.” 

Lewis’ post-op care at Bailey Bariatrics included frequent meetings with her provider, her exercise specialist and her dietitian. She developed new eating habits with her limited stomach capacity and has become more consistently active. 

“Surgery is just a tool, just like any other tool,” said Lewis. “If you don’t use it, or you abuse it, it’s not going to work in your favor. I didn’t only have the surgery to lose the weight; I also wanted to be able to maintain it long-term.” 

Down more than 200 pounds in less than a year, Lewis is living the life without limits that she dreamed of and worked hard for since she was just a child. 

“When I got down to 251 pounds, my family and I went to Dallas. I told my sister we had to go to Six Flags; I wanted to see if I could ride the rides,” said Lewis. “I rode every ride twice because I fit! I even ran to catch a ride that was closing. We had so much fun, and that trip inspired me to join a gym and get a personal trainer.” 

The weight loss has also increased her confidence at her job and enabled her to work long hours on her feet without physically suffering.  

“It means the world to me that now, I can preach health and be a living example for my patients,” said Lewis. “A year ago, this seemed literally impossible. I didn’t ever think I’d be one of the people sitting here talking about this. I had resolved myself to the fact that I would live in that body for the rest of my life. I feel literally like I have a second chance to live my life how I should’ve been living it.” 

To learn more about weight-loss surgery options at Bailey Bariatrics, visit or call 918-376-8410.