Tina's story

Weight is literally not holding me down any more

Photo of Tina Schmitz before and after bariatric surgery“Freedom” is how Tina Schmitz, Chaska, described her experience following her bariatric surgery. Schmitz underwent Roux en Y gastric bypass with Jeffrey Baker, MD, Ridgeview Bariatric & Weight Loss Center, in June 2019.

As a busy mom of two boys, Schmitz worked to juggle both work and family. On most days, she found herself just worn out. Knowing that weight played a factor, she tried the usual methods to lose weight. She started many different diets, exercise and weight loss programs, and struggled with all of them. “I would start but I just couldn’t commit to any of these programs – they just didn’t fit my lifestyle,” Schmitz said.

She began to eat secretly, sabotaging all of her efforts to lose weight. “There were so many little things that constantly reminded me of my weight. My heart would race and I would be short of breath just from carrying a basket of laundry upstairs. My pants would cut into me when I sat down. I avoided having my picture taken because I was embarrassed about my size. I was sick and tired of making plans only to feel self-conscious about what I was wearing and what I would eat. It was all consuming,” she said.

Four years ago, Schmitz began to consider bariatric surgery after seeing a family friend who had undergone a bariatric procedure. “She looked so good and seemed so happy.” Schmitz did her research, listening to audio books about people’s experiences, as well as medical podcasts about bariatric surgery. She had many discussions with her husband, and finally came to the conclusion that bariatric surgery at Ridgeview could be the tool that she needed to finally see the numbers on the scale go down and to begin enjoying a healthier life. Tina said her experience with Ridgeview’s program from the beginning was amazing.

“You meet with the surgeon right away and he is with you every step of the way. You get to know everyone on the team, and they take the time to get to know you. You build a relationship of trust as you prepare for surgery. I felt supported every step of the way,” she said. “Dr. Baker listens to your concerns and helps you decide which surgery would be best for you. The staff got me excited about the process. I knew, unequivocally, that I was going to be successful with weight loss,” Schmitz added.

She was pleasantly surprised by her surgical experience, having prepared for much worse. “I am a member of a bariatric support group on Facebook, and in retrospect, that was a bad idea – it’s filled with horror stories.” Although tired following her surgery, she has only good things to say about the staff and care at Ridgeview.

“Everyone from pre-surgical to the night nurse who walked the halls with me making casual conversation was so kind and helpful. All of my questions were answered and I knew I was in good hands,” said Schmitz.

She admits that she is a bit of an odd duck in the fact that she was actually looking forward to her admission to Ridgeview. “I had my first son there 10 years ago and I remembered how great the care was. I kind of looked forward to having some ‘me time’ with that same care!”
Five months after Tina’s surgery, her husband underwent surgery, too. “We are both so happy. Weight is literally not holding us down and we are so much more active with our boys, traveling, and even dancing all night at a friend’s wedding.”

Her only regret is that she didn’t have bariatric surgery much earlier in life. Her advice to others who may be considering surgery, “If you have even the smallest thought that this might be the right choice for you, just make the appointment for a consultation. Talk with the surgeon and get the facts. Don’t be another one to say, ‘I, too, wish I’d done this sooner.’ I guarantee you won’t regret it,” said Schmitz.

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