Can you share a bit about your background and how you became involved in this specialty?
I have been a nurse practitioner for 15 years and in nursing for 24 years. My nursing background is in surgery as a circulator and scrub tech. I knew that I wanted to continue to work with surgical patients. I come from a family of people of size—large and small—and I hated to see the bias that is brought against anyone who is overweight. Once I began working with bariatric patients, I felt at home. I didn’t know I would be applying for this position. My husband saw the advertisement and sent my resume off. It was the best surprise job I have ever had!
What has been the most rewarding part of working at the Lakeland Weight Loss Center?
I love when our patients achieve their goals and have been approved for surgery. Their excitement is contagious, and our entire team supports our patients. This is what sets our clinic apart from any other bariatric clinics. We keep up with our patients and continue to see them throughout their lifetime. It is such a rewarding job for myself and the team I work with.
What tips can you offer our patients that have helped you keep up with healthy habits?
I cannot say this enough: Pick the best time of day to do your exercise and stick with it. Once you have done that it will be easier to continue the pattern and become a habit. Make these changes work for you, if you do not, you will never be successful. It must fit your lifestyle. Everyone is busy, but if you don’ take care of yourself, you won’t be there to take care of others.
Share with us some of your hobbies/interests.
I enjoy staying active and fit. For me that means being outdoors. My vacations are typically warm areas where I can walk, bike, or kayak. I also enjoy working in my yard.
Is there anything else you wish patients knew?
I wish patient could understand from the beginning how much our team enjoys helping them achieve their weight loss goals. Some patients arrive embarrassed that they had to seek help. It is a lot of hard work that most individuals who are not a person of size would understand. That is where our team comes in to provide the support that is so necessary to meet those goals.