In a world where everything is documented, captured with a photo, or shared with details on social media – Sheena Weaver was silent in her weight loss.
“A friend saw me after I had lost weight and asked why I hadn’t shared my journey on social media,” said Weaver. “I told her, I did it for me (myself), I didn’t do it for everyone else. No one else is going to live my life.”
Weaver’s weight loss journey was focused on health, not looks. The 30-year-old mother of three said she was inspired to lose weight because her three young boys would ask her to play and she did not have the energy.
“I was never a bigger kid, but after my third son I noticed the weight just got heavier and I did every diet and nothing worked,” Weaver recalled. “I started having some heart issues and got a blood clot. I knew I had to do something to be there for my kids, and to do it for myself.”
Danielle Jamrog’s weight-loss journey was different. Jamrog is also 30 years old, but she spent most of her life overweight, ashamed of her body and not loving herself. After getting out of an unhealthy relationship, Jamrog says she was done saying terrible things to herself. She hated looking around and always being the biggest person in the room.
“I didn’t want to look prettier; I wanted to feel happier in my own skin,” said Jamrog. “The pressure we feel as women in our society is always there no matter what size you are, but now that I feel happier in my own body and skin I don’t feel as affected by that pressure. I love myself. I’m learning to love my body for what it is. I’m also learning to love the self I left behind.”
Jamrog has a hands-on job as a Senior Behavior Technician working with teens and children with autism. Just like she teaches her kids, it was important to set goals and watch herself exceed expectations.
“Everything has changed; my whole life has changed,” said Jamrog. “It seems like for everyone the pandemic has changed everything. It has been a crazy time to be on a weight loss journey. I used to hate going shopping and now I have to stop myself from buying more clothes. I feel like how I present myself to the world is so different now because I feel so good.”
Both Jamrog and Weaver were referred by their Mercy Health primary care physicians to Grand Health Partners. Weaver’s bariatric doctor and medical director at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, Erik Krebill, MD, noted her path to losing weight wasn’t simply a surgical process, but a comprehensive lifestyle change.
“Sheena demonstrated a great understanding of the entire process. She was both emotionally and physically ready to transform her life,” said Dr. Krebill. “Our team does an excellent job of supporting patients, and we encourage them to define their own success throughout the bariatric surgery journey. I am extremely proud of Sheena. She invested the time and energy that has resulted in the happier and healthier lifestyle that she deserves.”
Weaver’s surgery was in August of 2019 where her starting weight was 265 pounds. Today, she is running around with her boys and enjoying yoga at 145 pounds.
“Dr. Krebill was so amazing throughout the process – the day before, day of, and then after. The whole team was amazing,” said Weaver. “They showed me they really cared. It was like they really wanted the change for me, and you could feel that.”
Jamrog’s bariatric surgeon was Derek Nagle, MD at Grand Health Partners. She said without the supportive team along the way, she would not have made it past the first day.
“There was not a single person along this journey that I didn’t love,” said Jamrog. “The team at Mercy Health was incredible – and then from the women at the front desk at Grand Health Partners to the physician assistants to the doctors – everyone was encouraging and positive and just wanted to make sure I was successful on my journey.”
Jamrog lost 77 pounds before her bariatric surgery, and since that day in October 2020, she’s lost more than 140 pounds.
“If somebody sees my story and that helps to motivate them to start their own journey, continue on their own journey, or love themselves more, that’s why I wanted to do this,” said Jamrog. “I don’t want people to feel they have to lose a ton of weight to be happy, I just want them to love themselves.”
“Do it for you,” said Weaver. “You’re going to get discouraged – that’s part of being a human – but you have to pick yourself up and keep going.”