Wife, Mother, Associate College Professor and Bariatric Surgery Patient

Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

“I lost half of myself but I found so much more!”

Half the Weight She Used to Be with Twice the Optimism

Holly Hoffman had thought about bariatric surgery for years. “It was always in the back of my mind,” she said. “My weight went down and up – I’d lose 80 pounds and then gain them back, I’d lose 50 pounds and gain them back. One day I realized I needed help to be successful with my weight.”

Holly, an associate professor in the Counseling and Special Education Department at Central Michigan University, stopped thinking about bariatric surgery and started investigating. Initially, she attended an informational seminar featuring Ernest Cudjoe, M.D., a bariatric surgeon at MidMichigan Medical Center–Gratiot.

“I did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions,” Holly said. “I wanted to know exactly what I was getting into. The time was right for me. I was ready for a change. I knew it was a step in the right direction.”

Bariatric Surgeon Jeffrey Smith, M.D., F.A.C.S., and Dr. Cudjoe performed Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery on Holly on June 15, 2010. She had the surgery at MidMichigan Medical Center–Gratiot on a Tuesday and was home on Thursday. “The care I received while at Gratiot was excellent,” she said. “They are very friendly and very supportive. And the follow-up care has been great.”

Forty-one-year-old Holly and her husband, Dan, have two children, 7 and 9. Like most mothers, Holly placed their welfare uppermost in her mind. “There are risks with any surgery,” she said. “My only concern was for my kids. Fortunately, it was smooth sailing. In fact, I have not had issues or complications at all since the surgery.”

Holly went from 262 pounds to 133 pounds. “I lost half of myself but I found so much more,” she laughed. “Before surgery, I had no weight-related medical issues except sleep apnea, but I didn’t want to develop any. Now, I enjoy a good night’s sleep and I feel great.”

Commitment to exercise is a key component of the bariatric program Holly said. “Before surgery, I exercised sporadically. Now, exercise is an important part of my life and I enjoy it. I run, I do Zumba and I’ve attended fitness boot camps, which are rewarding. I wouldn’t have done those things when I was heavy.”

Holly is delighted with the activities she now enjoys. “I wanted to be a more fun mom,” she said. “I ran a 5K with my daughter, and on a trip north, we went zip lining and kayaking. I’m planning to participate in a relay marathon in November.”

Holly credits the bariatric team with aiding her success. “They did a very good job preparing me. They didn’t sugarcoat it; they gave very clear directions on what to do and what not to do,” she said. “I’m an optimist and I kept a positive mindset through the process. I was ok with adjustments I had to make, and I maintained a very good support network of people who want me to be successful.”

Holly said she is now more optimistic than ever. “I feel fortunate,” she said. “For me, bariatric surgery was a blessing. I feel really good and I’m ready for anything — bring it on!”