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This content was produced by Brand Ave. Studios. The news and editorial departments of La Crosse Tribune had no role in its creation or display. Brand Ave. Studios connects advertisers with a targeted audience through compelling content programs, from concept to production and distribution. For more information contact sales@brandavestudios.com.
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How MyNewSelf Bariatrics helped this patient sustain a healthy weight

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Gina underwent gastric sleeve surgery on Nov. 30, 2019.

For Gina, losing weight wasn’t difficult. Keeping it off was the problem.

“I’ve always been overweight,” she says. “I’m from a long line of overweight people.”

Despite staying active through high-intensity interval training and rucking, walking long distances while wearing a weighted backpack, Gina was never able to achieve the long-lasting weight loss results she wanted.

After going through cycle after cycle of losing weight followed by a period of declining momentum and then gaining it all back, she finally decided enough was enough. Her sister had gently urged her to look into weight-loss surgery and she reached out the one of the surgeons at MyNewSelf Bariatrics, a comprehensive surgical weight loss program at St. Luke's Des Peres Hospital in St. Louis.

Watch her testimonial here.

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Gina weighed 350 pounds. She now weighs 188.  

“I woke up one day and said, ‘I’m calling this program,’” Gina says. “I set an appointment for 10 days or two weeks out — it wasn't long — with Dr. Matthew Ricks and scheduled the surgery. That was it. I was ready to go.”

MyNewSelf Bariatrics supports patients to help them achieve and maintain a healthy weight through bariatric procedures, pre-surgery education, post-surgery classes, support groups, and long-term personal nutrition and lifestyle counseling services.

With her 40th birthday looming, Gina underwent gastric sleeve surgery on Nov. 30, 2019, with a follow-up revision to a duodenal switch in October 2021 due to bile reflux issues. When she started the liquid diet the day after her first procedure, Gina weighed 350 pounds. Since then, she’s lost more than 160 pounds and currently weighs 188.  

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Gina lost more than 160 pounds.

“I get emotional about it,” she says. “The amount of support I’ve received from friends, family and strangers has been overwhelming, and the support at the program has been fantastic. I can’t say enough nice things about the staff. Anytime I’ve had a question, everyone’s been eager to help.”

Changing her eating habits took effort, but with the help of program dietitian John Parish, Gina has managed to stick to a balanced diet.

“It’s a scary process learning to rework your relationship with food,” she explains. “I was a compulsive eater, but food doesn't control me anymore. I don’t feel bad if I have pizza for dinner or a piece of cake at a party. For a long time, I tracked everything I ate, and I still do sometimes, but now I’m able to trust my body and my hunger cues.”

About four months after her first surgery, Gina decided to test herself by running a mile. On April 3, 2022, she was registered for a half Iron Man triathlon in Galveston, Texas — planning to swim 1.2 miles, bike for 56 miles and run 13.1 miles. Gina’s definitely proud of how far she’s come, but crossing the finish line isn’t the biggest reward. It’s the affection she receives from her 9-year-old son.

“He can put his little arms around me and give me the best hugs now,” she smiles. “[Having bariatric surgery] is the single best thing I’ve ever done for myself.”

To learn more about achieving and maintaining healthy weight loss through the St. Luke’s MyNewSelf Bariatrics program, call 314.966.9640 or visit stlukes-stl.com.


This content was produced by Brand Ave. Studios. The news and editorial departments had no role in its creation or display. Brand Ave. Studios connects advertisers with a targeted audience through compelling content programs, from concept to production and distribution. For more information contact sales@brandavestudios.com.
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