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?

Satisfying Her Artistic Hunger Share
Jane Brody

Jan, 2018


There was never a time that Jane Brody was not conscious of her weight.

Coming from a family of musicians, it didn’t take Jane long to realize that her calling in life was to pursue the arts. She worked her way through college by performing in swanky night clubs. Her career took her from Minneapolis to Chicago to Los Angeles and eventually to the small southwestern Michigan town of Buchanan.

“I was an artist,” said Jane. “I didn’t want to be famous, I just wanted to act. Period.”

However, as a singer and actress there was always a great deal of pressure to fit a certain mold and maintain society’s “ideal” figure.

All through her career, Jane struggled to meet the industry standards which finally led her to pursue weight loss surgery. Initially Jane decided to have a laparoscopic gastric band inserted in her stomach. This allowed her to feel full after smaller meals, and to stay full longer. It led to successful weight control for years.

Then came a new season of frustration and stress. After starting a new job Jane began monitoring her diet less and less. She began abusing the gastric band and the weight started to return. During this same season of life, she was also diagnosed with breast cancer, which resulted in a double mastectomy. 

After being proclaimed cancer free, she decided to pursue breast reconstruction surgery. Her physician suggested using tissue from her stomach to replace what was taken from her breast and she underwent another surgery to retrieve it. In the process, her gastric band had flipped and no longer served its purpose.

Due to the stress of her new job Jane noticed she was gaining weight at a rate that was uncharacteristic of her since the first laparoscopic gastric band surgery. By the time she retired from that position, she had added on close to 20 pounds.

That is when Jane sought the help of bariatric surgeon at the Lakeland Comprehensive Weight Loss Center in Niles.

“I knew I was unable to lose weight without help – it’s not willpower, it is ‘me’ power,” said Jane, referring to the way genetics and other factors she couldn’t control played into her struggle with maintaining a healthy weight.

Her surgeon suggested a vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure for Jane. A slightly different surgery from the gastric band Jane had in the past, the procedure removes 60 to 80 percent of the stomach forming a sleeve-like shape similar to the size and shape of a banana. After thinking it over and going to the necessary pre-operative counseling sessions, Jane decided that was the direction she wanted to go.

“The counseling sessions were wonderful,” she said.

Now, just months after the surgery, Jane has lost 35 pounds and counting.

“I can shop in stores for ‘regular’ people now, I don’t have to shop in the fat sections,” said Jane with a chuckle.

Now, Jane satisfies her artistic hunger by teaching lessons in the field that she loves. She also fills her time researching and writing books to help students to succeed in art of theatre.

“I stopped acting, I didn’t need it,” said Jane. “Teaching now fills my artistic hunger.”

Professional support can be a powerful tool to help people to lose weight and keep it off. Places like the Lakeland Weight Loss Center are great resources for those who have tried other options without success and are ready to work toward a healthier future. To learn more, visit