Weight Loss Stories


When Crystal Fodi registered for the weight loss seminar hosted by Dr. Zarif, she had had enough. Fortunately, she hadn’t experienced any health problems as a result of her weight, but she knew she was heading down that path. Food ruled her life, and her weight kept her from enjoying it to its fullest.

At 25, she weighed 295 pounds.

She had tried diet and exercise programs over the years, but just wasn’t able to keep off the pounds she lost.

“I want to be able to have children and run with them and have the stamina to keep up.”

After attending the seminar with her parents, she scheduled her first consultation for the very next day. She kept every office visit and nutrition session scheduled, went to psychological counseling, attended every meeting faithfully until the day arrived for her surgery.
Crystal and her dog
She knew she was making a lifelong commitment, and that the gastric band was just a tool – a very helpful tool, but a tool nonetheless – that would help her achieve her goals. It has just as much to do with determination and the support of your bariatric team.

Crystal has lost more than 100 pounds and has some more to lose. She’s ecstatic about her progress.

“I feel like a whole new person,” Crystal says. ““It’s been the best decision I could have ever made. Looking back on it – last year, I never would have guessed I would be here.”

Millsboro, DE resident Crystal with her dog, Freckles


Annette Schoolfield originally signed up to learn more about bariatric surgery because her daughter, who had a heart condition, was considering gastric banding and she didn’t want her to go through it alone.

It turns out that her daughter’s heart condition was too serious to risk surgery; but Annette was a good candidate. As she learned more about the benefits of the procedure and the services she would have access to through the program, she became more interested.

It took a year for her to make up her mind. It is a very big decision, and one that is incredibly personal.

When she made the decision, she gave it her all.
Annette post-surgery
“Once I had the surgery, I knew I had to do it right. I didn’t have a choice,” Annette said.

Through the office visits and classes, she learned about how she needed to eat and that she needed to make a commitment to physical activity. The staff was there to answer all her questions and guide her along the way. Nearly a year later, they are still there for her to lean on.

Annette Schoolfield, of Pocomoke, MD

The experience has changed her entire mindset. She went from exercising occasionally to a daily walking regimen that consists of two four-mile treks – one in the morning and one in the evening.

“If I don’t exercise, my day doesn’t start right,” Annette said.

Annette pre-surgeryA year after surgery, she had lost around 100 pounds and had 40 or 50 to go. But, she looks forward to stepping on that scale at the doctor’s office to see her progress.

Annette Schoolfield, before her weight loss surgery

Call Atlantic General Bariatric Center at for more information and upcoming weight loss seminar dates.