Our Patients Say It Best

Your friends and neighbors from throughout southwest Michigan and beyond share their experiences at Lakeland Health. Do you have a story to share? Click on the "What's Your Story" button and complete the form. 
What's Your Story?

Chasing Life Share
Cheryl Kingsley

Jun, 2016

Physicians: Michael Schuhknecht, DO

Cheryl Kingsley, a Stevensville resident, never had a problem with her weight growing up. Even into her early 20’s she recalls always being at a healthy weight. However, after giving birth to her two children, the “baby weight” didn’t seem to go away. It became a more serious problem as she continued to gain. Over the years she noticed that as her weight increased, so did her back and knee pain. Cheryl rarely slept through the night and was constantly fatigued.

In 2011, after a yearly physical, Cheryl was given some news she wasn’t expecting. She had a degenerative joint disorder, sleep apnea, and was borderline diabetic.

“I knew it was time to make a change,” said Cheryl.

Cheryl had heard great things about bariatric surgeon Michael Schuhknecht, DO and the staff at the Lakeland Comprehensive Weight Loss Center, so she scheduled an appointment to discuss her options.

Cheryl’s procedure shrunk the upper part of her stomach, creating a small pouch that holds only a few tablespoons of food at a time. Food passes slowly through a narrow opening at the bottom of the pouch, making her feel fuller longer. 

Leading up to the surgery, Cheryl had to prepare herself for the many physical, mental, and emotional changes she would experience. She not only had to lose 20 pounds prior to the surgery, but also had to undergo sleep studies, numerous appointments with the dieticians and nutritionists, meet with a psychologist and pass a cardiac stress test.

“Aside from the surgery itself, I also became more knowledgeable about my food choices and learned how to read box labels,” said Cheryl. “I used to look at them, but didn’t really know what it all meant. Now I do.”

Since the surgery, Cheryl has completely changed her eating habits and has become more active. To date, she has lost 130 pounds and has fully embraced her new healthier lifestyle. She now enjoys power walking, jogging, and long distance cycling with her husband. Cheryl said she is also happy to be able to keep up with her new grandson.

“All of my physical limitations are gone. I feel great!” she said.

It hasn’t all been easy. The recovery period after surgery was slow, and Cheryl said she appreciated Dr. Schuhknecht and the staff at the Weight Loss Center for their help and support along the way.

“Surgery is not a quick fix, it’s a lifestyle change. Anyone considering it needs to have a strong support system,” said Cheryl. “Dr. Schuhknecht and his staff are great. They really treat you like family.”

Hear more of Cheryl's story in the video below: 


Interested in taking a first step towards a healthier lifestyle? Attend a weight-loss monthly seminar in Niles or St. Joseph. Visit  for dates and times.