Avera Medical Minute: Support with weight loss goals

Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 10:27 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 2, 2023 at 10:49 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - As a photographer, Elizabeth Dekker preferred to stay behind the camera.

She says not feeling comfortable in her own body kept her as more of a “blend in with the background” type of person.

But that mindset has recently changed after losing 70 pounds in 2022.

“I have found myself more excited to take family pictures and more excited to jump in front of the camera,” she said. “I feel so good. I have so much more energy to hang out with my kids and do things and I have so much more confidence to do things.”

Dekker remembers struggling with weight her whole life.

After having three kids in three years, she realized diet and exercise just weren’t cutting it anymore.

She originally opted for bariatric surgery.

“I had to make a decision between the gastric sleeve and the bypass, and I wasn’t sure what to do, it’s a really daunting decision,” she said.

She found guidance at the Avera Comprehensive Weight Management Clinic.

“We have such a stigma about talking about our weight. But Dr. Lansang has made me feel so comfortable in sharing his own reasons for wanting to be in this career field that I trust him and the entire team,” she said.

Dr. Zoilio Lansang has one word to describe Elizabeth’s weight loss journey: “Amazing.”

While she originally went in with the goal of having surgery, Elizabeth found success with medication instead.

“She’s almost like she had the surgery already because she already lost close to 20 percent of her weight by changes in her life and doing the medication on top of it,” he said.

Elizabeth says the medication has changed her perspective on and her relationship with food.

“I don’t know how to describe it. The ‘food noise’ has shut off in my brain I don’t think about snacking all day I don’t think about what’s coming next.”

Dr. Lansang says she is a success story and an example of what can happen when someone commits to a healthier lifestyle.

“The most important thing with changes is a commitment. Not just a commitment for a month not just a commitment for a year but weight loss is a lifetime commitment. For anybody who wants to lose weight and they are ready to do that, we are here to help you,” he said.

More information can be found at www.Avera.org/MedicalMinute