Along with GIA 180 dietitian Katelyn Bianconi, I have the pleasure of leading a support group and exercise class for GIA 180 participants twice monthly. Through those and other regular visits, I get to know each person in our weight loss programs and see firsthand the positive impact we’re having in people’s lives. Watching these women and men strive to change their lifestyles, attitudes and wellbeing – and succeed in doing so – is the reason I love coming to work every day.
John Nipper, one of our great success stories, recently warmed the hearts of the entire GIA 180 team by thanking us for “saving his life.” John graciously agreed to let us share the contents of his letter here:
April 17, 2017
I want to start off by saying I’m so very thankful that God allowed me to meet Dr. Overholt, Katelyn and Melissa. There is no doubt in my mind that these three people were a Godsend.
I believe with all my heart that the Good Lord used these people to save my life.
When I first met them, I was miserable both physically and mentally. I weighed 366.8 pounds and had come to the point in life where I thought I had gone too far. I felt like being healthy was an unachievable goal. I was so out of shape that after a day’s work all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and watch TV, which only made the problem worse because when I sat on the couch watching TV, I was eating.
In November of 2015 my sweet mother passed away, and I honestly felt like I wasn’t going to be far behind her. That’s when my wife, Gail, asked me if I would be willing to come to GIA to meet with Dr. Overholt and talk to him about the possibility of getting an intragastric balloon to help me lose weight. I met with Dr. Overholt and found out that I had to lose 66 pounds to even qualify for the procedure.
My heart sank when I heard those words, but Dr. Overholt said that Katelyn and Melissa could help me lose enough weight to make me a candidate for the balloon. He reassured me if I would listen to them and follow their instructions I would see progress.
One of the first and most important lessons I learned from Katelyn and Melissa – “the dynamic duo” – was making good food choices. When you think about what you are putting into your body before you do it, you can see results quickly. Each time I came for a weigh in, I received nothing but support and encouragement from everyone – from the lady that checked me in to the people I passed in the hallway. It was incredible.
Every time I came into the office, Katelyn and Melissa would offer suggestions on things that I could tweak that would help me lose weight. It didn’t take long before I realized that if I would continue to follow their instructions, I wouldn’t need to get the balloon to help me lose weight.
I have lost over 100 pounds since starting GIA 180. I am down to 254 pounds, and my goal is to get down to 220. There is no way I could ever thank the staff of GIA enough for helping me get my life back. God is using them to help me reach a goal that in the beginning I thought was out of my reach. I would highly encourage anyone that needs to lose weight to come in and talk to them.
If you’re like John and feel like reaching a healthy weight is an impossible goal, I encourage you to come visit us at GIA 180. We’re here to help you change your direction and change your life. Call today to see how we can put you on course to a healthier you: 865-558-0601.