Meredith’s Story: ‘My Life Has Improved Drastically’

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As a nurse at Miami Valley Hospital’s Bariatric Surgery Center, Meredith Schieltz has seen her share of people lose weight following surgery. In 2017 she decided it was time for her to lose weight, too. But her approach would be different.

Overweight “my entire life,” Meredith, 34, remembers lying when she first got her driver’s license. “I was already over 200 pounds, but couldn’t admit it.” Struggling with weight was a family affair. “My mom was very heavy. I watched her fight with it for as long as I can remember.”

In 2010 Meredith says she “felt God tugging at my heart, telling me I needed to get healthy.” She lost 50 pounds by exercising, but didn’t change her eating habits. “Then my mom died, life happened, and I gained it back.”

Seven years later, at 285 pounds, Meredith was diagnosed with sleep apnea and prediabetes. She again felt God reminding her that her health needed to improve. “So I cut soda, drank more water, and walked more.” Although she saw progress, “I needed help and direction,” she says. So she enrolled in Premier Weight Loss Solutions’ non-surgical weight loss program aimed at improving overall health through one-on-one diet and exercise counseling, support, and education.

Intimidated at first, Meredith remembers “the meal plans seemed really strict, but the staff was so supportive and promised it would get easier.” She vowed to give it her all, and by the end of the first week had lost 10 pounds.

In the months that followed Meredith learned:

  • To meticulously count carbs
  • She can’t turn to food when times get hard. Jigsaw puzzles, exercise, and music are her healthy alternatives.
  • Not to be fooled by deceptive food labels. “It was really eye-opening to me. Many foods advertised as low carb are not!”
  • Some people didn’t really want her to lose weight. “They enjoyed bulldozing me and don’t like the new, more confident Meredith. I had to give up some friendships.”
  • It’s OK to treat yourself — in moderation! — and not completely deprive yourself. “I get a little scoop of hot dessert in the cafeteria every day at lunch.”   
Now 122 pounds lighter and still losing, Meredith wants others to know that a permanent lifestyle change is possible. “My life has improved drastically. I want others to know that if they’re committed, theirs can improve too. I can’t go back to eating like I was before, but this is so much better. It’s really exciting.”