28. John John Genovese on Degenerative Disc Disease And Gastric Bypass

John John Genovese dreamed of living the good life of being a newlywed and starting a family. Having an early start to his working career, his life should have taken off and he should have excelled!

However, at only 27 years young, John John was walking on crutches and canes and using a wheelchair to get to the store due to Degenerate Discs Disease.

He was told back surgery was his only solution to be able to walk again. Since he was only a year into his marriage it left him struggling with wanting to provide for his wife and navigating months of medical decisions and healing.

Over time, he watched his weight creep up higher and higher making the pursuit of health even more difficult. He decided to have gastric bypass surgery and with time, dedication, and hard work, overcame his disc pain to enjoy his marriage and start a family.

Let’s Get To Know John John Genovese


A photo of the person being interviewed.

John John is a husband and father of 2 beautiful girls with one on the way! He owns and operates the largest auction company in the state of Hawaii along with his father. His wife is a nurse and he tries to live every day to the fullest while doing his best to take care of his family.

He was educated at home and never went to preschool, elementary or high school. He was able to advance in life and work earlier. This contributed to his back injury and at 27 years old he was not able to walk on his own.

The Challenge

Degenerative Disc Disease caused John John to walk with a cane around the house and need a wheelchair to get to the store.

The doctors told him back surgery was his only option. He was less than a year into his marriage and still a newlywed. As a husband, he felt the need to provide emotionally and economically and didn’t feel he was doing a fair job.

He really asked if he was letting his wife down and considered this in his decision. He wanted to try and find a solution that didn’t require surgery.

The Methods to Heal

John John found chiropractic care and walking to heal some of his back. He used painkillers when the pain was really intense but otherwise overcame it naturally. His weight made it impossible to sustain a healthy back and he went on to his next challenge.

The Second Challenge

The doctors were concerned about his weight and told him he needed to lose some weight. All of his life he tells us, he was a heavy kid and had lost some weight before he was married.  When his back went out he had reached a peak weight of about 320 some lbs. He tells us his weight always caused self-esteem issues and he had learned to cope with the use of humor.

The Method to Heal

Gastric Bypass is the method he chose to help him lose weight. He warns us that it is real surgery and there is a recovery period after.

One must change their eating habits and whole mentality. “You do whatever it takes to get yourself healthy.” 

Learning the size of his stomach was a big challenge. He was sick of protein shakes after the first few weeks. For weeks, even months he had to fine-tune what he could eat, it was only 4-5 oz at a time.

In the past, he could eat 4 or more plates of food and after the surgery, he could hardly eat a side dish of food. He had to relearn when to say no, when to stop and what a portion was.

I asked him about cravings, as my guilty pleasure is chocolate!! He said he still has a hard time with cravings and has them at times today.

As John John slimmed down to his natural size he began to feel a lot more energized. If he eats fast food today, he doesn’t feel well and it really affects him. It boosted his self-confidence yet tells us that to this day, he still feels large and the emotional effects are with him in many ways.

Today, he feels more in control, second-guesses himself less, and feels more confident. He tells us his wife is amazing and an amazing part of their family and without her, they wouldn’t survive as a family. Since she was so supportive and amazing he didn’t feel pressured to lose the weight yet does feel great now that he has.

Parting Words

If you are listening or reading this and struggle with willpower please do your best and get ahold of it. Feel free to reach out anytime to John John through the contact info below.