Teresa remembers feeling scared.
When she first met with Dr. Paul Benn, general surgeon at the Weight Loss Clinic at Fairview Southdale Hospital, she was afraid and wondered whether or not she was making the right decision. She worried about the risks and how the outcomes would affect her husband and four kids. But when Dr. Benn reassured her that he would take care of her, Teresa knew she was in the right place.
Like so many other people who struggle to lose weight, Teresa tried many different things. When her search led her to Southdale and she met with Dr. Benn and his staff, she liked it so much she didn’t want to look any further. She appreciated the small, intimate atmosphere and the way their staff helped to simplify the whole process for her. From preparation to surgery to follow-up, they offered support every step of the way.
Five years later, Teresa has had weight loss success but still finds value in her support groups. She knows it’s a life-long journey and there will always be challenges, but the Weight Loss Clinic offers ongoing tools that continue to set her up for ongoing success.
“You know how you have your work family? Well, at Fairview Southdale, I have my weight-loss surgery family.”
While never big in high school, once she was done with college, Sherry quickly became busy with her marriage, job and taking care of her two daughters. Once she started gaining weight, she stopped looking in mirrors, avoided photos and lots of fun activities.
Those days are over.
After years of trying countless diets, Sherry took her aunt’s suggestion and attended an information session hosted by surgeon Dr. Bradley Pierce, MD, from the Weight Loss Clinic at Fairview Southdale Hospital. “I was unsure at first, but Dr. Pierce’s message hit home right away,” recalls Sherry. “One statistic really resonated with me—that I could die 15 years earlier than a person of normal weight.”
Knowing weight loss surgery is a life-long commitment, Sherry gave it a lot of thought and prayed, and attended two more information sessions, once with her husband and sister. “One day I simply realized I couldn’t continue on the same path. . It was foolish to miss out on life because of my weight. I was really at peace with my choice and Dr. Pierce.”
From coordinating insurance coverage to nutrition counseling and education, Sherry says the Weight Loss Clinic staff was fantastic in making sure she was well prepared for surgery and long-term success. Part of the prep involved writing a letter to herself about her goals, which included wanting to be healthy, be there for her children, fit in a kayak, be comfortable on an airplane, and able to tuck in her shirt and wear a belt again.
In December of 2009, Sherry had Roux-en Y gastric bypass surgery. With no complications, the weight came off fast, and she began working toward—and achieving— her goals. Sherry’s accomplishments entail activities she couldn’t do before — from hiking in the Colorado mountains to running the Minnesota State Fair’s annual 5K Milk Run with her daughters.
“Food isn’t my thing anymore. I never feel hungry, and I don’t even miss diet pop, which I used to crave,” says Sherry. “I don’t have a single regret. Weight loss surgery is the best decision I’ve ever made for myself.”
Sherry lost more than 100 pounds and feels younger than she did 10 years ago. She says thanks to Dr. Pierce, his staff and her own determination – she is once again an active participant in life.
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