Nichole’s Story: Weight Loss Surgery Was the Help She Needed

Nichole Gates had always been overweight but when told five years ago she was diabetic and had high blood pressure, she decided to lose weight. She tried all types of diets, losing 30 pounds over time before conceding she needed “a little more help” to be successful long term.

An ad for a seminar about weight loss surgery caught her eye and changed her life. Nichole attended the hour-long seminar by Premier Weight Loss Solutions where participants included her physician and members of the bariatric comprehensive care team.

“I was drawn to the program immediately. They have been so helpful and great since the very first seminar,” Nichole said. “I thought, ‘This is something I could do.’” The weight loss program was for her, said Nichole, who describes herself as a person who works well with a regimen. “I knew this would get me in the direction I needed to go, get me on a regimen with restrictions. This forces you to stick to the plan,” she said.

She underwent a sleeve gastrectomy through a laparoscopic procedure in May 2021. The surgery restricted the space in her stomach, allowing her to eat only so much a day. Over the past year she has lost 85 pounds and focuses on ensuring she has enough protein and nutrients to remain healthy. An app helps her keep track of calories and other key information. Today she’s at 200 pounds, the weight she carried when in high school. She hopes to lose another 30 pounds in the next year or so.

“I wish I would have done it sooner, but I have no regrets,” she said of the surgery. “It is an important decision, you have to be mindful that this is a lifelong commitment, mindful that things do change, even social activities like going out to dinner,” Nichole said. She still goes out and has a good time but knows she needs to plan ahead.

A Trotwood native, Nichole returned home from Alabama in 2015 to help care for her mother who has dementia. She finds the time to visit the gym, enjoys walking, and regularly attends support groups. Her decision to lose weight to deal with identified health issues was combined with a desire to help her parents and enjoy her sister, niece, and nephew.

Those contemplating the weight loss surgery need to understand up front that they will weigh the same coming out of surgery as when they went in, Nichole said. Patience is key. “You have to trust the process.” Nichole said staff at Premier Weight Loss Solutions continue to be helpful answering “even the most mundane” question and said she often uses her My Chart account to find out more information. “If anybody has any qualms or hesitation, go to the seminar. It is free; there is no pressure,” she said. “If you are on the fence, go get the information. It won’t hurt anything. Worse thing is you could lose an hour of your life.”

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