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JoAnn Reverses Gastric Bypass Surgery and Makes a Successful Weight Loss Journey From 398 Pounds

Weight Loss Success Stories | JoAnn MooreWelcome to the How They Did It series, where we spotlight one individual and their body transformation. Learn what they did, and how they did it to succeed at their weight loss journey. Today we are featuring JoAnn Lacy Reid.

Tell Us a Little About Yourself

Hi, my name is JoAnn Lacy Reid, and I am a wife and mother of 4. I have been overweight all of my life, with my heaviest being 398 pounds. In my early twenties I had Gastric Bypass surgery. Unfortunately, I had to have the surgery reversed. For over a year I was what they called “the walking dead”. My body wasn’t absorbing protein, and I almost died. I lost 210 pounds but after the reversal, I gain most of it back. March of 2010 I weighed in at 298pounds.

What Made You Decide to Get Fit and Healthy?

At 298 pounds, I decided to get healthy after the premature deaths of my parents. My mother past away at 55 in 2009 from ALS, and my father at 56 in Jan 2010 from high blood pressure and being on dialysis. Losing both parents so soon in life really took its toll on me. Having four kids of my own, I knew that I still needed my parents, and there was no way I was going to let something like my weight take me out sooner than necessary. Being here for my children and growing old with my husband is what sparked me to change my life.

What is Your Nutrition Philosophy?

My Philosophy is TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME. I am not perfect and do not claim to be. If I have a bad moment, I do not see myself as a failure. I just know that I will see the consequences of my decision on the scale and I keep moving forward. People do not get that YOU are in control of what goes into your body. Therefore, if you make a conscience choice to eat junk, just know that you are going to have to put in the extra work to get it off, and then you decide if that piece of cake or whatever is worth it or not. If it is, then just eat it and keep moving, but always in moderation. I also believe in counting and watching your calories. I have been on MFP for over 600 days.

What is Your Exercise Philosophy?

I strength train twice a week, but my love is running. I learned to run using the couch to run program back in November 2011, and ran my first race (a 10k) in March 2012 in 1hr 10 minutes. So far, I have run eight races including a half marathon. In addition, I have already signed up for my second half in January.

What Was the Most Important Thing You Learned During Your Transformation?

My Motto is NO EXCUSES. I truly believe that if you want something bad enough you can do it. I find that with people who want to know so badly how I did it, when I tell them that I would walk at 5 am in the morning or work out 3 times a day, they lose interest. LOL, everyone wants a QUICK FIX. When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off there’s no such thing.

What Mistake(s) Should People Avoid When Trying to Lose Weight?

Do not compare yourself to others. Everyone is different, and what works for me may not work for you. Never give up!

What Advice Do You Have For Others?

Ask yourself why do you want it? I was at 298 pounds, and even though my motivation was my parent’s death and wanting to be there for my family, the Ah Ha moment for me was that I refused to turn 40 still dealing with my weight all my life. I’ve had to deal with it and I am tired! Life is too short and enough is enough.

Be sure to check out the past editions of How They Did It. If you or someone you know would like to be featured in the How They Did It body transformation series, email me at and let me know you’re interested. More details will be provided. Don’t be shy. Your story will inspire others!

  • Crystal Adkisson

    5 months ago I was hospitalized because the gastric bypass I had 16 years ago had literally shut my body down. I was the walking dead too. My body stopped producing red blood cells, I threw up 1-15 times a day for 16 years. I did not remember what it was like to eat an apple or anything good for me due to not being able to eat anything solid for so long. As of 9-20-12 I had the by pass reversed and I too am determined to be healthy and strong. I eat a healthy high protien, high fiber, low fat diet (yes with apples) and loving it! Just started exercising 2 weeks ago and getting stronger every day. I am 151 and WILL BE 130, strong, lean, and healthyier than Ive ever been. Im a far cry from the low self esteem, 315 lb mess I was 16 years ago that made me get that surgery to begin with. Im loving life and enjoy every minute. I also want to start a support group for people who have had severe trouble with their by pass and cant get it reversed yet. GOOD FOR YOU, GIRL!!!!! Stay strong and healthy!!!!! ;-)

  • Idil

    Very motivational story. Thanks for sharing it with us. It is always great to hear other people`s success when it comes to weight loss . What people who are on weight loss journey need to understand is that this is a life long battle. Even once we have reached our target weight, the focus then shifts on maintaining it, and oh boy this is very tricky, but by staying consistent it is achievable. I lost 24kg in 2 years time and manged to gain back 8kg of this. Currently trying my hardest to shift this and have managed to drop 2kg so far.

  • sara

    Well done crystal !!! You go girl !!! Get that group going I’m sure there are many people who need support . My niece has been refused a g b :( which is totally up fair ..

  • Maureen Unasa

    You inspire me. Thank you. Giving up my excuses of once I sort this and that out then I will begin. I only have now. :)

  • Jackie

    You look stunning, and are an excellent advertisement for the benefits of exercise! You will be around for your children because of the work you have put in, but more important is the fact that you are an excellent role model and example for them to follow. You should be very, very satisfied with what you have achieved, and the inspiration you give to others. Fit, healthy, strong and shapely, fantastic result!

  • Jill

    Way to go JoAnn – love those pipes!! Keep up the good work! 7 days without exercise makes one weak!!!!!

  • Leu

    WOW! Is all I can say …. WOW!!! Thank you soooo much for this motivating story … I’ve struggled with my weight, lost & gained & lost again to find that each time I work at losing weight, it gets harder! Reading JoAnne’s story and seeing her picture is very encouraging. This is week 2 for me, weigh-in 2night & DANG! I want my success story up here too … congratulations JoAnne … you’re an inspiration!

  • Luanne

    My gosh so AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. I know a lady at that droped 100 pounds. Your both really inspire me to get off the couch and change. Great story!!