Local mom Mohria Mote grew up slim and active, hiking, exercising and enjoying the outdoors with her family. That changed in 2007, when her energy levels plummeted and she began gaining weight. “I was so exhausted, I’d need to take a nap on the couch just to get through the day,” said the mother of three.
Before long, she’d put on more than 100 pounds. Even after discovering the reason for her weight gain — an underactive thyroid — she couldn’t seem to lose the weight or regain her energy. Mohria struggled to keep up with her energetic military family and her active job in hospitality and event management.
When Mohria’s doctor told her that excess fat around her heart was causing wheezing and shortness of breath, she got serious about weight loss. “I started looking into bariatric surgery when I learned that only five percent of people who try to lose weight on their own are successful,” she said. With her husband and kids supporting her decision, Mohria consulted with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health bariatric surgeon Haroon Anwar, MD, and scheduled her RGB robotic gastric bypass surgery for April 20, 2015.
Mohria’s daughter, Breanna, was also looking for a weight loss solution. “Around the time my mom was looking into the surgery, I started gaining weight, around 40 pounds at first,” she said. Working as a chef, she ate restaurant-size meals between shifts and didn’t have time to exercise.
Breanna had visited Center for Weight Management with Mohria, so she felt comfortable with Dr. Anwar and the procedure. By age 19, her weight reached 317 pounds and she learned she was prediabetic. She and her parents decided it was time to act; her surgery took place September 16, 2016.
Seeing her mom succeed with her weight loss was inspiring, said Breanna. “Because I’d watched my mom do this, I knew I could do it and I knew exactly what to expect.” By Breanna’s one-year surgery anniversary, both had met their weight loss goals.
The pair’s dual surgeries transformed more than their bodies — the entire family’s eating habits have changed, too. Favorite family recipes like breakfast casserole and cranberry-walnut bread have been reinvented with healthier ingredients, and the family no longer relies on fast food for quick meals.
With their energy and fitness restored, Mohria and Breanna are taking on new challenges in life. Mohria was promoted at work and regularly pulls 60-hour workweeks, and Breanna is studying to become a vet assistant. “We have so much energy now, and we’re both so active. We love hiking at Point Defiance and China Lake,” Mohria said. “This has truly been life-changing.”