Less is More

Successful weight loss helps improve quality of life

Inspired to make a change in her life, Lisa Urban made a commitment to lose weight.

Lisa embarked on the journey with strong determination to improve her health and quality of life. She wanted to be a source of inspiration to her husband and children.

Lisa Urban - Before
Lisa before enrolling in the non-surgical Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program. Photo taken 11/13/2011.

Stressful times can often derail healthy habits and Lisa fell off course in recent years. She admitted that during a difficult time in her life, she was not always making the best food choices. Like so many of us, Lisa tried every diet imaginable without success and fell into a state of depression.

"I was going through a distorted body image," she said. "I kept saying to myself 'Why can't I do this?' I was feeling very frustrated."

As a caregiver at Aurora Medical Center in Summit, Lisa was well aware of the Bariatric (weight loss) Surgery Program offered on-site. While she had some general knowledge of the program, it was her colleague, Terry Mason, who inspired her to learn more. Terry was one of the first participants in the Bariatric Surgery Program. Since his surgery last April, he's lost more than 120 pounds.

"In Terry, I not only saw the physical transformation, but his positive attitude. It inspired me to look into the program," said Lisa.

After attending a seminar last fall, she had her first appointment with Dr. Peter Garza in early November. Dr. Garza is a board-certified general surgeon with expertise in surgical and non-surgical weight loss programs.

Lisa's weight loss goal was 65 pounds. After meeting with Laura Meyers, bariatric program coordinator, it was determined that based on her Body Mass Index (BMI), she did not actually qualify for bariatric surgery. Since it was also her preference to lose weight without surgery, it was recommended that Lisa enroll in the non-surgical Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program.

Despite the misconception, bariatric surgery is not the "easy way out" and in order for the surgery to be covered by most insurance plans, the following guidelines must be met:

  • BMI higher than 40
  • Or BMI of 35 to 40 with associated health condition(s)
  • Multiple past attempts at weight loss
  • Ability to understand and comply with a treatment plan

On November 9, 2011, Lisa Urban began her weight loss program under the supervision of Dr. Garza and his staff.

"It's a very well-rounded program. The support team includes on-site experts such as a dietitian, psychotherapist and cardiac rehabilitation specialist. They design a program around what you can do successfully," added Lisa.

Lisa Urban - After
Lisa after enrolling in the non-surgical Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program. Photo taken 2/22/2012.

Just about halfway to her goal, Lisa already has a new lease on life. She feels great, has more energy and her clothes are loose on her 5'4" frame. "Trust me, it's a good problem to have," she said, smiling.

She survived the ultimate test of dieting through Thanksgiving and the long holiday season. Her early weight loss success even motivated her husband, Pat, to follow her lead and enroll in the Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program. Together, they encourage each other in making the right choices that will impact their overall health. Now the whole family is eating better and exercising more.

"People hold you accountable. It's easy to cheat without that support," said Lisa. "It's not something you can do on your own. You need a support system."

Beginning a weight loss program is a very personal decision, but one with long-term health benefits.

"When you're ready to make the commitment, this team is there for you," Lisa emphasized. "They want you to succeed."

For more information on the Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program and the Bariatric Surgery Program, please contact Laura Meyers, RN, bariatric program coordinator, at 262-434-7277 or laura.meyers@aurora.org.

Watch for our continued series featuring stories of successful surgical and non-surgical weight loss and healthy living.