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"I'm Alive Again" - Linda's Story

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We asked Linda Bizjak to describe how the Wilson Health Center for Weight & Wellness has changed her life. Read about Linda's story and how the Center for Weight & Wellness program at Wilson Health has changed her life in ways she couldn't have imagined and has made her feel alive again!

Life before Wilson Health Weight & Wellness...

"Before my weight loss journey my life was so restricted. I was unable to do the simplest things. I had extreme difficulty standing for any length of time or walking any distance. My legs constantly hurt and I was always short of breath. I could not enjoy being with my grandchildren or doing the things I wanted to do, like shopping or even standing long enough to cut out fabric for my quilts. I had always loved cooking and entertaining, but could no longer do that without becoming exhausted and out of breath. I was also being treated for heart disease and pulmonary disease."

How did you find Wilson Health's Weight & Wellness Service?

"I was told by my pulmonary doctor that I simply had to lose weight. I really did not like hearing that all my health issues were weight-related. But, I hated feeling the way I did. My primary care physician suggested I look into the weight loss program at Wilson Health and I attended an information seminar."

My first experience with Wilson Health Weight & Wellness...

"I had been to another seminar for weight loss in the Lima area about a year or more before coming to the one at Wilson Health. I didn't connect with the staff for the other program and did not feel like it was something I could afford. However, when I attended the seminar at Wilson Health, I had a totally different experience. I felt like everyone there was supportive and it was a doable thing for me. Dr. Dunkle-Blatter was so down to earth and right there with me from the beginning. I did not feel like it was a scheme to get me to invest in some life long vitamin plan or a get well quick scheme. They laid the plan out as a doable thing, but with lots of hard work. I was challenged. It was a good challenge and I was motivated to make all the changes I needed to lose weight."

How were you assisted by the Wilson Health Weight & Wellness team?

"First they motivated me, but then they instructed me in every way to make the journey possible. I obviously had to learn proper nutritional guidelines in order to be successful. They worked together as a team to teach me how to eat properly, what amount to eat, and the importance of drinking water and eating the right amount of protein. There was no skirting around the things that would definitely hold me back and I was taught what was not good for my body and what I should eat in moderation. Dr. Dunkle-Blatter, Kristin and the entire team were there to answer any questions along the way. They helped me make good choices and kept me on task the whole time. My questions were answered, and I was encouraged to be honest about what I was eating and how I was exercising. The plan works if you follow it."

Lifestyle changes...

"Most of all, I had to be honest about what I was eating, I kept a tracking journal and to tried to get as much exercise as I could. It took time to be able to do the things I needed to do, but I learned to have patience with myself. Drinking less coffee and more water was a big change for me, but I soon felt the advantages of doing that. Cutting back from drinking pots of coffee to just enjoying a morning cup of coffee was difficult, but I was motivated to make this transition along with eating three sensible meals a day instead of grazing all day. Cutting back on sweets and carbs took discipline, but I felt encouraged very quickly as the pounds started to come off. I had to discipline myself to keep track of what I was eating and it became a necessary part of my daily life."

Staying motivated...

"Hearing other people's success stories and seeing their progress at the monthly support group meetings kept me going in the right direction. My husband was a wonderful supportive person during the whole journey. He attended every meeting with me and never challenged my decisions to change the way I ate. He followed my same diet and that made things so much easier as well. He did not ask me to make special food for him or demand desserts that I could not have. He did not always eat what I ate in volume but he did not make it harder for me to follow a good regimen. My whole family was very encouraging and that motivated me to also work harder."

Life after surgery...

"After I had surgery, there was the normal amount of recovery time from the actual operation. Eating was even more restricted due to the smallness of my stomach, but it was not unbearable because I had been learning to eat less and less during the pre-surgery stage. I had a very positive experience at Wilson Health and I felt I got the very best care there."

"The most important thing about my life post-surgery is that I am alive again. I can walk without difficulty, I can ride my bike for 10 miles and feel wonderful. I can pick up my grandchildren and play with them without my daughter being frightened that I might fall down. I love working in my flower beds and even mowing the grass in the summer. I can clean my own house and sew and cut my fabric. I just feel like a brand new person. Of course it is nice to go into an ordinary store and buy myself a blouse or pants off the rack without having to order them in enormous sizes."

To find out more about Wilson Health's Center for Weight & Wellness, please visit our website at Center for Weight & Wellness | Wilson Health. For information on our Weight & Wellness seminars and to see if you might be a candidate for weight loss surgery, visit our website at Weight & Wellness Seminar Sign-Up | Wilson Health.