Reaching Goals Together at Saline

Working Together to a Healthy Weight

A support group is helping people stay accountable to reach their weight loss goals.

Three months since gastric sleeve surgery, Shannon Scrivner is at Saline Memorial Hospital each week learning about new meal plans; however, she is also there for the weight loss support group. It’s not required following the surgery, but Shannon knew it’s what she needed to do to continue shedding pounds.

“Accountability is one thing and plus when you’re surrounded by people who understand what you’re going through,” said Scrivner.

The group is a blend of people in different stages of weight loss.

“You don’t feel like you’re being judged or looked at or belittled just because you’re heavy,” she said.  “We’re trying to do something about it.”

The program, which has grown tremendously over the past year is averaging 25 people a class. Next month though the hospital is adding a third support group once a week.

“The surgery is such a minor portion of it because if people don’t learn this lifestyle change that they have to go through for weight loss, they’re not going to be successful,” said Rex Luttrell, Director of Bariatrics.

The support group can help people talk about their experience and give them a game plan to live a healthier lifestyle.

“Just coming and having that accountability, sharing my story and listen to other people, to me is just incredibly helpful. Judi’s attitude is wonderful, she makes you want to succeed,” said Scrivner.

Judi Garrett, who runs the program, has come full circle to help others.

“At one time, I was well over 300 pounds and so I’ve had my weight off for 17 years,” said Garrett. “People ask me what is the magic, how did you do that? It’s support.”

At her heaviest, Shannon weighed 440 pounds and used an oxygen tank. Since the surgery she no longer needs it and she’s lost 60 pounds.

“I’m already off my diabetes medication, my blood pressure’s normalizing and my blood sugars are normal for the first time in a very long time,” Scrivner said.

Now she’s turning her focus to make sure she’s on the right path six months from now.

“I don’t think I could really do it without them. I really don’t,” Scrivner said.

The weight loss support group is free for patients and for anyone in the community.

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