About Traci

traciknoppe-340I’m a born-again Christian, 50 something homemaker from Missouri. I’m married to my husband and best-friend Mark, and mother to six children, mother-in-law to three and grandmother of four!

I had lap Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RNY) on July 27, 2004. My weight on the day of surgery was 250 pounds and my lowest weight was 152 pounds. Due to some recent health issues (Stage 3 Adrenal Fatigue, hypothyroidism, dysbiosis, leaky gut, extreme estrogen dominance and other hormone imbalances, osteoporosis, several nutrient deficiencies, etc..) I have re-gained 40 pounds.  Very frustrating and certainly not because of how much I eat.

Before surgery I was a Type II diabetic with uncontrolled high blood pressure, GERD, high cholesterol and assorted aches and pains associated with obesity. Post-op: all of that is gone! Praise God! However, staying healthy post-op is not without its struggles, because supplementing and getting the right supplements and in the right amounts is a challenge, or so I’m finding. Thus one reason for this blog – to help others know that yes, WLS can help reverse many pre-op co-morbidities, but it can also bring on a whole new set of health concerns, if you are not diligent in your supplementing!  Take your all of your supplements faithfully!

The fact that I’m a a born again Christian provides me with a unique perspective in relaying my WLS journey, as WLS is controversial enough as it is; but it seems especially so in Christian circles. I believe with God all things are possible. I believe that God can use the tool of WLS to help Christians (and even non-Christians) to overcome obesity. God works in mysterious ways, and I do not believe in putting God in a box! He can certainly use the hands of a surgeon to heal us!

Like most morbidly obese people, I dieted my way to obesity. I happen to be one of those who did not gorge and binge on thousands of calories per day to get obese, I did so by only eating 1600 calories per day!! Yes – you read that right: 1600 calories. That’s it. One reason is because of my years of starvation dieting, where I ate next to nothing, that messed up my already genetically slow metabolism. Shocked? You’d be surprised at how many obese people are so, not because of the large volumes of food they consumed, but of similar situations to mine.

Of course, there are also plenty of folks who did overeat and got obese from doing so. I honestly do not have statistics on how many became obese from gorging and binging and how many from genetically slow/messed up metabolisms who really didn’t eat thousands of calories per day to become obese. In the end: obesity is the result.

I only mention this at all, because why we became obese is important to avoid falling into old habits and regaining weight down the road. Part of the recovery from obesity is knowing how and why you became obese. WLS is only a tool – and you need to learn new and healthy lifestyle habits to truly overcome obesity for good. If you are one who eats for emotional reasons, then you need to know that and deal with those emotions in a more constructive and healthy way. If you are one like me, who just has a really, really slow metabolism, then exercise is essential and never skipping meals and making sure to eat enough is important to keep our bodies from thinking it’s starving (this is true of any post-op, but especially so for folks similar to me).

So this is me in a nutshell – and yes, I can be a bit nutty. I have a goofy sense of humor and love to laugh! I also like to think. I love people and my main spiritual gift is encouragement. I strive to love everyone – just as Jesus said we should do. I normally listen to contemporary Christian music, but happened to catch country artist Toby Keith’s new song “Love Me if You Can”, and I love it, as I felt it summed me up pretty well….

I’m a [wo]man of my convictions
Call me wrong, call me right
But I bring my better angels to every fight
You may not like where I’m goin’
But you sure know where I stand
Hate me if you want to
Love me if you can


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2 thoughts on “About Traci

  1. Stephanie Spence

    You have no idea how elated I am to have found your website! As soon as I started reading your testimony and the comments others have made, I knew God had directed me here! Yes, a lot of people call me a “Jesus Freak.” Whatever! I wear the badge with honor. But, this is the first time I have finally found people who really match what I am going through. I had the surgery in 2002 and was very compliant with following the “rules” for post op. About 6 years ago, I began to experience health issues that no one was able to explain to me why it was happening. The chronic anemia, loss of energy, constant pain, numbness, swelling, nausea, etc., etc., etc. Now I am totally disabled due to a dislocated knee, that needs replacing. I also have an “apron” around my waist that hangs down to my knees! It is horrible. I lost 200 lbs. with the surgery and have since gained back half. Mostly around my waist. It is a lot of skin, but also a lot of extra fat. I need to have it surgically removed. I am 50 years old and my quality of life sucks! I don’t go many places because my knee hurts and the apron around my waist is HEAVY! I have a very overactive bladder and with the apron around me, wearing undergarments is difficult, so Depends and other adult bladder items are difficult to wear. I am at my wits end. I have a daughter who will be graduating college next Spring, and I have not been able to visit her during her entire time at school because of my health issues. I am now doing all I can so I am able to attend her graduation. I am so tired to taking pain medication because it only puts a “band aid” on the problem. So, after reading your information, some of the things you mentioned I am definitely going to try. I just want to be with my family again. I have not attended church in four years. Thank God for live stream! Any suggestions you may have for me I am open to. Thank you for sharing, and more important, thank you for listening.

  2. Traci Post author

    Hi Stephanie! I’ll be praying for you!


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