Fairview Ridges Hospital weight loss gain healthy life

A story of gains and losses

By age 15, Nate St. Martin weighed 385 pounds. He remembers the moment he’d had enough.
“I was just so tired of not being able go to normal stores to buy clothes. People used to make fun of me at school. I couldn't take it anymore,” Nate recalls.


On July 24, 2012, Nate decided to change his life. He found help at the Specialty Clinic for Children – Burnsville, through the Weight Management Program. The program is staffed by specialists from University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital.

Since then, he has lost more than 165 pounds without surgery or weight-loss supplements, relying only on the help of his Fairview care team and the support of his friends and family.

“To be honest, we haven’t seen this drastic of results in any of our patients,” says Jessica Graumann, Nate’s clinical dietitian. “He came to us and was extremely motivated. I don’t want people to think his results are typical—they are drastic. But not impossible, either.”

Determined to change
Nate says he began rapidly gaining weight in the sixth grade. The weight forced him to give up team sports, including his beloved baseball, and brought on the taunts of kids at school. He suffered from panic attacks and chronic back, hip and knee pain.

“He didn’t have gym class at school and didn’t have a gym membership,” says Shannon Hagen, Nate’s physical therapist at Fairview Ridges Pediatric Rehabilitation. “He reported eight hours of screen time a day. We performed a six-minute walk test, and he had shortness of breath during that.”

By the time he met with Claudia Fox, MD, pediatric bariatrician and director of the Weight Management Program, Nate was determined to change. He eats mostly preportioned frozen entrees and desserts, supplemented with all the fruits and vegetables he wants. He also began swimming in his grandmother’s pool, which gave him a workout without hurting his joints.
Education and inspiration
Claudia says weight loss is complicated because of the numerous factors involved, which is why Fairview’s multidisciplinary team examines all aspects of a patient’s life.

“You might have a kid who feels hungry all the time, or another who eats when they’re stressed or worried, or someone who has a binge eating disorder—you can’t treat all of them the same,” she says, adding that a psychologist is part of her team.

Getting started
If you’re interested in getting your child or a loved one a consultation for weight-related care, call theSpecialty Clinic for Children – Burnsville at 952-892-2910.