Daniel A. Beltran

Daniel A. Beltran

Age at surgery: 60          
Surgery: Sleeve gastrectomy  
Weight loss: 100 lbs




Recently Daniel’s manager asked him if he would have his photo taken as part of the festivities to celebrate their agency’s 25th year anniversary. And for the first time, Daniel notes, “I said ‘Yes’.”


For years, Daniel Beltran wouldn’t allow anyone to take his photo. “I had to be behind someone if I was in a picture. So that all you could see was my head,” he says. His reticence was more than simply being camera-shy. “I grew up in a household where you were expected to finish everything on your plate,” he explains. “It was cultural. I come from a Cuban family. Meals almost always included rice and meat and the portions were large. So I was the fat kid.”  

Daniel struggled with body image throughout his childhood. By the time he was ready for college, he was significantly overweight and began dieting and paying more attention to nutrition.  That helped him lose 50 pounds and keep it off for the next 20 years.  But by his early 40’s, “I just ballooned,” he recalled.  At 60 and 5’ 7,” Daniel weighed 270 lbs. and suffered shortness of breath, knee pain and sleep apnea.  

That was motivation for Daniel to seek help by attending a seminar about Greenwich Hospital’s bariatric surgery program. “I knew I had to do something.  I researched the surgery and decided it was right for me,” says Daniel, who is the Director of Counseling Services for Hospice of Westchester.  His spouse was concerned about the risks as with any surgery but Daniel was determined.  “I didn’t do this for anyone else. The decision was mine.”

The decision was to have a sleeve gastrectomy, a laparoscopic surgery in which 80 percent of the stomach is removed leaving behind a long “sleeve.” The procedure restricts the amount of food that a patient can eat, which leads to significant weight loss and a change in hormone production related to hunger.

Because of insurance requirements, the surgery was scheduled for early December.  “It had to be done before the end of the year. That was hard, going through the holidays on a restricted diet,” he says. But he notes that the surgery went so well, “I had absolutely no pain.”

The journey was a tough one but Daniel powered through the first weeks of a liquid diet, then pureed foods -- which he found the most challenging. “I didn’t like the consistency of pureed foods and at first the choices were limited.  But then Greenwich Hospital found a chef who prepared foods like chicken tandoori and lamb osso buco in pureed form that tasted good. Being able to eat favorite foods in moderation meant I didn’t feel deprived,” he says.  

Nearly a year out from his surgery, Daniel has lost 100 pounds, no longer has shortness of breath or knee pain and has joined a gym. “I don’t go as often as I should, but I try to keep moving.” He uses the stairs whenever possible “four flights to get to my office,” takes long walks with his dog and finds opportunities to walk daily.

Recently Daniel’s manager asked him if he would have his photo taken as part of the festivities to celebrate their agency’s 25th year anniversary. And for the first time, Daniel notes, “I said ‘Yes’.”

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