Search & Replace S02E15: Chandra Metz

Weight Loss Surgery was the last resort for Chandra Metz. She was nearly 400 pounds when she realized she wanted to be around for her children and needed to make a desperate change. Her doctors recommended Bariatric Surgery in her situation as a long-term solution. Now ten years postoperative, Chandra maintains a weight loss of 160 pounds. Learn more about Chandra’s incredible transformation on Search and Replace. 

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[00:00:00] Announcer: Support for the following podcast is provided by the user experience specialist at Johns and Taylor. More information follows this episode. 

[00:00:09] Joe Taylor Jr.: What if there’s something in your life you know isn’t right, but your last option to change things is also the riskiest. I’m Joe Taylor, Jr. This is Search and Replace.

Imagine it’s Christmas morning. You’re sitting with your kids on the floor opening presents and your limbs go numb. You need help getting up from the floor and you start to wonder, what are your kids going to do if you are not around anymore? That’s what happened to Chandra Mets and while she says this experience was a wake-up call for her, it wasn’t a surprise.

[00:00:52] Chandra Metz: I was, at that point in time, pushing 400 pounds. And even at six foot, that’s not a healthy BMI. And so I was extremely obese. My doctor basically told me that she would not put me on any type of diet pill because that would be going against her goal as a wellness provider, because that wasn’t going to provide the long-term success that I had not had thus far.

She referred me to the bariatric surgery consult place here. I basically was rolling my eyes and going through these appointments, just checking the boxes, because that was what I was told I needed to do. And I kept in the back of my head thinking, well, I can just do this on my own. I’m not gonna need this surgery, blah, blah, blah.

[00:01:46] Joe Taylor Jr.: And that’s a pretty typical reaction to the suggestion, according to experts at the Mayo Clinic. Bariatric surgery isn’t considered a cosmetic procedure. It’s a significant medical response to a life-threatening condition. For patients like Chandra, it’s often a last resort. 

[00:02:03] Chandra Metz: I was mentally against weight loss surgery. Me looking at weight loss surgery as an option was not even on the table. I need to do something for my long-term health, and so I went and spoke with my doctor and was basically just wanting to go back on diet pills, which had gotten me, you know, 20 to 40 pounds weight loss when I had, quote unquote, needed it, but I had regained that. 

But they were so good about gently walking me through the steps. Never did I feel pushed. They just wanted to talk to me about, like, what all of my options were. Make sure I understood what all of the insurance requirements were. 

[00:02:51] Joe Taylor Jr.: Many insurance providers in the United States that help pay for this procedure want to assure themselves, and their patients, that bariatric surgery won’t lead to additional complications like bowel obstructions, malnutrition, or the need for future corrective procedures. 

No doctor can promise you’ll keep the weight off after you’ve lost it. Leading to even more psychological pressure for patients like Chandra.

[00:03:15] Chandra Metz: To be the long-term weight loss surgery success. I just, something clicked in my brain and I was not going to be a failure. It was extremely overwhelming. I had obviously people who had done things before me in my doctor’s office to support and encouraged me along the way. But those early days are so rough, because you’re basically, you have entered starvation mode. Because your body, which was used to possibly thousands of calories a day, is now down to minimal amount of food and things like that. 

But I just, I refused to let myself think that I wouldn’t succeed at this because I had undergone the surgery. I had undergone the six months of nutrition appointments prior to. I had undergone all of the medical procedures to clear me. I had underwent, like, the waiting game with my insurance to approve things. Twice. I just was not going to have all of that be for not. And so I have never thought to not do good in this endeavor. 

So this coming June, I’ll be celebrating 10 years post weight loss surgery. And like I mentioned previously, I was close to 400 pounds at the kind of turning point. And within 14 months, I had lost 180 pounds. I was down to, like, 210 within 14 months, and that’s like an extreme amount of weight loss. 

[00:04:48] Joe Taylor Jr.: With that extreme amount of weight loss came some new realizations for Chandra. 

[00:04:52] Chandra Metz: All of a sudden, everything has changed. The way people look at you has changed. The amount of attention that you’ve gotten has changed. The type of attention that you’ve gotten has changed. You’re feeling better physically because you’re able to move and do all these things. 

And, I mean, some people that go through weight loss surgery have these beautiful transformative stories about how they’re able to get off of, you know, however many medications, or they no longer need a CPAP machine to sleep at night and things like that. And that just, like, it gives me goosebumps because it’s so positively life changing. 

[00:05:28] Joe Taylor Jr.: Chandra says the process changed the course of her life. So much so that she’s now spending time on TikTok sharing her experiences and growing a community of people sharing their own weight loss journeys. 

[00:05:40] Chandra Metz: Everybody says you are capable of whatever you set your mind to. And sure you believe that, but then you don’t set your mind to things, you know. And so I am now able to set my mind to things and achieve them. It’s a blessing and a surprise. 

[00:05:57] Joe Taylor Jr.: Chandra’s, using her experience to help educate people that bariatric surgery isn’t the easy way out. And, even 10 years on, she says she still faces emotional and physical struggles related to what her body has endure.

Still, she advocates for patients with severe obesity to start asking some crucial questions. 

[00:06:17] Chandra Metz: If you are struggling, like no weight loss surgery is not the answer for everybody. But, have the conversation with your doctor about, would I be a good candidate. Do you think this would be a long-term success for me?

And then really research what the postoperative steps to long term success needs to be. That way you can make a very educated and wise decision instead of blindly walking into it. 

[00:06:47] Joe Taylor Jr.: That’s Wellness Advocate and TikTok’er Chandra Metz. We’ve got links to more of her story in our show notes and on our website

Today’s episode was produced by Nicole Hubbard with help from the entire Podcast Taxi team. I’m Joe Taylor, Jr. 

[00:07:02] Announcer: This has been a Podcast Taxi radio production.

Support for Search and Replace is provided by Johns and Taylor, user experience specialists serving media and technology companies that want their websites to work. Learn more about how top performing businesses eliminate barriers between customers and their goals at

Joe Taylor Jr. has produced stories about media, technology, entertainment, and personal finance for over 25 years. His work has been featured on NPR, CNBC, Financial Times Television, and ABC News. After launching one of public radio's first successful digital platforms, Joe helped dozens of client companies launch or migrate their online content libraries. Today, Joe serves as a user experience consultant for a variety of Fortune 500 and Inc. 5000 businesses. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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