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Doc Talk: Shedding weight and taking control

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A West Michigan woman is hoping her story will inspire others to take control of their lives after she went from overweight and miserable to happy, healthy and enthusiastic.

In this week's Doc Talk, Erica Mokay found out how Jean Shinabarger-Allen was able to shed her weight and change her life.

Shinabarger-Allen said, “I don’t even need a big cuff anymore.”

She certainly doesn't and judging by the smile on her face, she is proud of that.

Shinabarger-Allen said, “It changed my life.”

She was considered obese and recently diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. 15 months ago, Shinabarger-Allen decided she was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.

So, she got help.

She said, “They assured me that I could still lose weight and I lost 20 pounds the first month.”

Dr. Kaylynn Decarli, Diplomat of Obesity Medicine, said, “If you’re not feeling good, if nothing changes, nothing is going to change. It ultimately comes down to the individual committing to make those changes.”

Doctors at the Ascension-Bogress Bariatric Center helped Shinabarger-Allen with a nutrition plan. They got her the right medication and eventually they worked in some physical activity.

Decarli said, “Jean is remarkable. I mean, she's lost 40 percent and she's maintained it and she’s losing more. You know, even those patients who have the 5 to 10 percent weight loss they feel a big difference.”

In Shinabarger-Allen’s case, the difference was huge. She went from hiding her body to showing it off, dropping 139 pounds.

The woman who constantly complained about being tired, now has a new husband who she said can't keep up.

Shinabarger-Allen said, “My husband says, ‘You, you’re just going all the time.’ and I’m like, ‘Well, you know, I had a long time when I couldn’t do it, So, now I can, and I’m going to.’”

She still deals with some of the symptoms that go along with metabolic syndrome, but she says they've improved greatly, much like her outlook on life.

She said, “Things have really gone well and it's a surprise to me, but I’m willing to put myself out a little bit more and I’m 66. So, better late than never.”

She said that she is proof it is never too late to lose weight and she's not done yet. she hopes to lose another 50 to 60 pounds.

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