How a Utah woman changes her life and her outlook on weight loss surgery

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By The Utah Center for Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery
Posted June 22nd, 2017 @ 3:00pm

Brittony has seen failures and she has struggled

Brittony Stromberg has seen plenty of friends fail in their efforts to lose weight. Over the years, some of those friends turned to liposuction and other forms of cosmetic surgery, only to see the weight return in the absence of meaningful lifestyle changes. Stromberg herself is no stranger to weight-loss disappointment. During her own 15-year struggle with obesity, the Salt Lake City native tried every diet and exercise solution imaginable.

Stromberg's weight struggles began with her first pregnancy. Unable to slim down following childbirth, she found herself trapped in a difficult cycle. "The more weight I gained," she explains, "the less active I was." That cycle was, unfortunately, intensified by physical challenges. Her body weight placed pressure on her bone structure, causing repeated joint problems that made exercise even more difficult. As is often the case with severely overweight individuals, depression, discouragement, and apathy soon followed.

Frustrated by her struggles with a seemingly intractable weight problem, she eventually paid her own visit to a local liposuction clinic. She was surprised, however, when the attending physician refused to treat her, insisting that she lose 35 of weight on her own before undergoing liposuction. Frustratingly, the liposuction clinic offered no assistance or advice on how she could shed those pounds and Stromberg continued down a dangerous path of inaction.

She got a wake up call

Eventually, however, she received a diagnosis that she couldn't ignore: Stromberg was pre-diabetic. As a healthcare worker herself, she was not naÏve to the dangers of inaction. With years of experience working in a wound care clinic, she had seen firsthand the struggles faced by those battling diabetes.

So she looked for options to treat her obesity

This unfortunate escalation caused Stromberg to begin researching more permanent forms of medical weight loss. She was encouraged by the success stories she encountered but was still very unsure about pursuing surgical options. That's when she discovered Dr. Jeffrey Eakin, a medical weight loss professional at the Utah Center for Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery. Dr. Eakin evaluated Brittony and worked with her on several approaches to weight loss.

As their first step together, Dr. Eakin facilitated a session with a nutritionist. By journaling her eating habits, Stromberg realized just how poorly she had been making dietary decisions. She was also surprised to learn that she was an emotional eater and hadn't realized it. By making a few simple changes, she lost 35 pounds in a short period of time.

Although encouraged by these initial successes, Stromberg was still not entirely satisfied and began considering weight loss surgery more seriously. She and her husband continued to have concerns about surgery, but performed plenty of research and consulted heavily with Dr. Eakin. Eventually, they decided that gastric sleeve surgery was the right procedure for her specific circumstances. "It was time to move on with my life," explains Stromberg. "It was time to move on from this chapter and start the next one, and to be more active with my kids."

The surgery was performed laparoscopically, facilitating a relatively quick recovery. Not surprisingly, she struggled with some initial sickness and pain, but quickly got back to normal. "It really wasn't a bad transition," she explains. "It was relieving just to have it done. I wasn't hungry. I was up and about." Brittany lost an additional 15 to 20 pounds within the first month following surgery and eventually reached her target weight loss of 100 total pounds.

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"It was time to move on with my life. It was time to move on from this chapter and start the next one, and to be more active with my kids."

Life after surgery

Following surgery, Stromberg drastically changed her lifestyle. She also changed her outlook on surgical weight loss. While initially skeptical, she now recommends weight loss surgery wholeheartedly as long as patients can find the right physician. Medical weight loss is a commitment to changing lifelong habits. But, for Stromberg and many people like her, it is also a way to change life in a positive and permanent way.

To meet Dr. Eakin and the friendly staff of the Utah CMIBS, including our bariatric coordinator Rebecca, simply fill out the form below to get your consultation. 

Brittony took her life back with bariatric surgery, and so can you.

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