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Jake's Weight-Loss Changed His Life

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Laura Zabriskie

November 6, 2017
Eight years ago, Jake Rinnier's doctor told him that he needed to get serious about getting his weight under control. His blood pressure was out of control, he had developed Type 2 diabetes, and he was running out of options. His medications weren't working, so the next step was insulin shots. That's when his primary care physician suggested he look into GBMC's Comprehensive Obesity Management Program (COMP).

At the time, he was going through three cases of soda a week and regularly indulged in fast food. His life revolved around eating. Jake said that he "would eat pretty much anything that wasn't weighed down." He couldn't find clothes that fit him and simply wasn't comfortable in his own skin. In his job as a landscaper, he couldn't fit into smaller spaces and got winded from pushing his wheelbarrow up a hill. His weight was affecting every part of his life and something had to give.

Jake followed his doctor's advice and attended a COMP information session. That changed everything for him. It wasn't the information that convinced him, although it was definitely helpful, it was the people with whom he connected. For Jake, seeing others’ success first hand was his tipping point. He finally felt like he wasn't alone and became inspired by the transformations that he saw. He decided to go for it.

Now Jake's life is drastically different. He doesn't drink soda anymore — he doesn't even think to reach for it. He's working out three to four times a week and running multiple races a year. His energy and confidence levels are "through the roof," he's off all but one of his medications, and he finally feels comfortable with his body. Every day he's doing things he thought he would never be able to do.

The support of his family and coworkers along with the encouragement from other patients in the program’s private support group greatly helped him through his transition. He found that although everyone in the group had different lives, they were all having similar experiences. He has made friends with many of the people that he's met through COMP and they continue to support each other years after surgery.

Jake's biggest advice to people who have any interest or questions in bariatric surgery is to attend an information session. For him, that's where it all began, and he will never go back.
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