NewsOn6.com

OWASSO, Oklahoma -- Bariatric weight loss patients got together Saturday to recommit to their lifestyle changes and celebrate weight loss. The gathering took place at the Center for Bariatrics at Bailey Medical Center in Owasso.

Patients who have had a gastric bypass or banding procedure in 2010 got together for the "bariatric graduation."

Heila Newman, who has lost 108 pounds since her procedure in May, 2010, discussed her journey to improved health. Newman is an Operation Desert Storm veteran who is 80 percent disabled after injuring her back during service, she said.

"I came back from the war and gained a lot of weight," Newman said. Unable to exercise, she turned to bariatric surgery.

"I would recommend it to anyone who's struggling," she said. "It's the best thing I've ever done for myself."

Dr. Brandon D. Varnell, Bariatric Surgical Chair for the Center, said the get-together helped further "the long-term involvement in lifestyle change that everyone's committed to."

"They command a huge amount of our respect for the commitment they've made," Varnell said.

For more information about the Center for Bariatrics, go to www.baileybariatrics.com.