Transformation Stories

  • Transformation Story: Jaimee

    by Melody None | Sep 11, 2019
    NC - Transformations - Jaimee Moore Hunter - Blog title(1)

    Update September 2019: Jaimee continues her journey toward health, fitness and wellness. She admits that finding a trainer who understands the unique needs bariatric patients need in fitness training has been a challenge. Trying different forms of exercise, including Pilates, eventually led her to yoga, a form of fitness for "every body." But when she could not find a yoga instructor who met her needs, Jaimee decided to once again take her health and fitness into her own hands. She completed the training to become a certified yoga instructor.

    Today, Jaimee teaches group and private yoga lessons, including a monthly class offered free of charge to all Nicholson Clinic patients. "I wanted everyone to see the benefits of yoga," she says. "Having walked the walk, I felt I was good to be the voice that says, 'Yes! You can do this and anything else you put your mind to.'"

    Jaimee's Story (Originally published Aug. 18, 2015)

    In August 2014, my family and I traveled to Mexico on vacation. At 332 pounds, I was devastated and embarrassed to have to request a seat belt extension from the flight hostess. To further my devastation, my daughter and husband felt they had to make themselves as small as possible so that I would be able to be somewhat more comfortable traveling. Then while we were there, I wanted to parasail but was told by an awkward young man that I weighed too much to complete the expedition safely. The final insult to injury was, while I was able to slowly keep up with our traveling party wherever we went, I spent one day of vacation unable to leave the bed for the pain in my feet, back, and knees.

    During this time, stuck in our room, missing out on vacation, I was reminded of a recent doctor’s appointment where my physician frankly told me that if I didn’t “do something” about my weight, then I would be lucky to have 10 more years with my family. We had lost my sister Gayla, 38, a few years earlier, and I could not hurt my parents, my husband and daughter, and my friends by dying young, too. I had seen that devastation and didn’t want to add to their misery. Then I did the math and realized that my daughter would only be in her 20's in the next decade! I would not leave her so early if there was something I could do to prevent it.

    This line of thinking led me to also remember that my husband and parents had spent the better part of three years practically begging me to have bariatric surgery. I remembered being offended and insisting that I could do it on my own. I spent those years trying and failing to lose weight, exercise, and eat right. A little more math and I figured out that I had gained 110 pounds in less than a decade. How would I be able to lose what I had gained and 50 more in order to be considered a healthy weight?

    The night after we returned from our vacation, I took a deep, shaky breath and told the love of my life, “I don’t want to die.” I asked if his offer to support me and care for me through bariatric surgery was still good. I had spent the day reading up on it and explained that our entire life would change. What we ate, what we did, everything would be altered.

    This man, who will have my heart forever, embraced me and my decision, reminding that my body was not like a “normal” person. He said it “betrayed” me at every turn. I had sleep apnea and had to sleep with a machine to keep me breathing. I also suffered with high blood pressure, migraines, hypothyroidism, and high cholesterol. In the previous five years, I had been hospitalized three times for suspected strokes because my blood pressure was so high and migraines so tormenting.

    From this conversation, there were the ones we had with my parents and our daughter. All were on board and ready to make this decision a reality. For my first information meeting, my husband had to travel for work so our daughter insisted that she would go with me. She said, “I want to know that this is the right thing for us to do.” The fact that she was involved and she said “us” sealed it for me. This is what I would do.

    Dr. Roshek of The Nicholson Clinic led the information meeting, explaining all options available. He also explained how most people gain weight back on regular diets because of a hormone ghrelin that made you think you were hungry, even if you weren’t. Dr. Roshek explained the statistics and surgery options so well that my daughter was able to enlighten her father about what to expect, even using air quotes when she explained the difference between the Lap-Band and the gastric sleeve—“Sure the Lap-Band is ‘reversible’ in that the device can be removed but your stomach stays in that shape.” We chose the gastric sleeve option.

    From this point we proceeded with Dr. Carlton and an exploratory EGD, which showed I also suffered with a hiatal hernia on top of my other ailments. I thought, “How have I survived this long, much less the next 10 years?” Once we had a surgery date with Dr. Nicholson, I began to share the news with those closest to me. There were mixed reactions, but the people who mattered the most said, “If this is what YOU want, then you have my support.”

    After surgery in December, there was time for healing. However, I figured out pretty quickly that walking made recovery so much better. I started walking. And walking. And walking. That got boring so I took it to the gym…a gym for which I had been paying for years yet using only sparingly, Lifetime Fitness. I found my trainer Aaron Frisvold and, one month after surgery, I joined Lifetime’s 90-day challenge at the encouragement of Aaron. I was elated the first time I ran a mile and ecstatic the first time I ran two miles. Aaron continues to motivate me to hit those firsts. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I found out that I had won the 90-day challenge!

    Today we began the next 90-day challenge at Lifetime. I have every intention of winning this too. However, I feel like I am already a winner. I took on this lifelong challenge and am a whole new person for it. In April, it was discovered that I no longer need blood pressure medicine. Shortly after that, I didn’t need the sleep apnea machine when I slept. By the end of May, I had hit the 100-pounds-lost milestone. The weight loss has slowed significantly, and I have turned to looking at my muscle definition and body mass index for the progress. Aaron gets excited about the number of calories the fancy scale says I burn because of my lean muscle.

    In the beginning, I sported a 53 BMI. Today, that is down to 35 BMI. To date, I have lost 118 pounds and have 44 left until I hit my personal goal weight of 170 pounds, a weight I could identify with being happy with my body. Also, at my last doctor’s visit, my thyroid looked good and my cholesterol was “normal.”

    The most amazing thing that I have gained in all of this is self-confidence. For the first time in my life, I am proud of me, inside and out. I love the life that is blooming all around me. My husband and I greet each day for the adventure that is a life without the burden of being overweight and unhealthy. We have even adopted a weekly date night where he joins me at the gym. He has also discovered that he is a rock star at cooking healthy.

    My gratitude overflows for everyone involved. To the Nicholson Clinic—Dr. Nicholson, Dr. Roshek, Dr. Carlton, and Sandy—thank you for your expertise and continued support. To Aaron and all the trainers at Lifetime, thank you for all of the high-fives and atta-girls that keep me running and pumping that iron. To my friends who have been my workout buddies and cheerleaders and those who have loaned me clothes, thank you. To my parents, thank you for the emotional and financial support to make this a reality. Thank you for reminding me that I am always your “pretty baby.” To my daughter, thank you for reminding me that I have to love me as much as I love anyone else if not more. Thank you for demanding that I stick up for myself. To my darling husband, thank you for making me admit that I needed help from everyone, for learning to cook healthy, and for being my biggest fan.

    Do you have a story of transformation to share with us? Send it to us at

  • Transformation Story: Melissa

    by Melody None | Aug 16, 2018

    Inspired by her sister’s success and ready to improve her health, Melissa underwent gastric sleeve with Nicholson Clinic in June 2017. Since that time, she has lost more than 105 pounds and is just pounds from her goal weight. Melissa hasn’t only lost the weight she’s battled her entire adult life, she has regained her confidence, and it radiates from the inside out.

    weight loss surgery success

    Here’s Melissa’s story in her words:

    “I’ve struggled with my weight for my entire adult life, despite being very active and attending Weight Watchers. It was effective, however I was never able to reach my goal weight or maintain my weight loss. My sister underwent gastric sleeve surgery by the Nicholson Clinic in November 2015 and she lost 135 pounds in a year. I was struggling with multiple medical issues, and my physicians all blamed obesity. I underwent the gastric sleeve procedure in June 2017 and it was the best decision I have ever made! Insurance covered the procedure and the Nicholson Clinic supplied me with all of the tools that I needed to be successful. Many of my ailments have improved or disappeared and I feel twenty years younger. At age of 39, I am running and I have lost 105.7 pounds in just over a year. Dr. Nicholson only predicted a 70-pound weight loss from the surgery. I am only 9.7 pounds away from my goal weight. My self-esteem has improved tenfold. I will be forever grateful to the Nicholson Clinic for giving my sister and I our lives back!


    At her one-year follow up appointment, Dr. Nicholson was so pleased with her success, he called her an “over-achiever.” And it’s easy to see why. She is a prime example of a life transformed when a patient takes the tools Nicholson Clinic provides and creates a new, healthy lifestyle. Not only is Melissa crushing her goals and loving her new life, she is inspiring others to take charge of their own health and wellness. She is dedicated to fitness, an avid runner (even an injury can’t keep her down!) and sharing workout motivation and inspiration with others on social media. (Follow Melissa on Instagram!)

    Keep it up, Melissa, we are so proud of you!

  • Transformation Story: Laura

    by Melody None | Jul 17, 2018

    weight loss surgery success
    About a year ago I made the decision to change my life. I had been morbidly obese for a good portion of my adult life — with the exception of the occasional yo-yo dieting that never worked for me and subsequently always caused me to put on even more weight.

    After being absolutely blessed with a pregnancy that I prayed so long for and then having so many issues during my pregnancy, I knew that I had to make a change. It would take me another couple of years before I would really wrap my head around what I needed to do in order to save myself from a possible early grave.

    weight loss surgery success

    When I made the choice to have weight loss surgery (I chose gastric sleeve), it wasn’t a light and easy decision. I thought about it, prayed about and researched it until I knew that was the best thing for me. On February 14, 2018 my whole world changed — for the better.

    The surgery was a great tool for me but it is not the reason I have lost weight. I’ve had to make a conscious effort every single day to make healthy food choices. And most importantly, I have become physically active. Something I was definitely NOT before. When I joined the gym, I’ll be honest in saying that I wasn’t 100% on board with the whole fitness thing and it took me a while to really get into my groove but since I’ve discovered some fun classes, I have really began enjoying working out.

    I have come a long way and I still have a long way to go. But I’m stronger today than I was yesterday! And I’ll be stronger tomorrow than I am today.

    weight loss surgery success

  • Transformation Story: Kyleigh

    by Melody None | Apr 11, 2018

    gastric sleeve
    I’ve been overweight most of my life. I grew up in a household where dinner was how love was shown and was sometimes made into a game. “How much can you eat? I bet you can’t finish another plate and eat dessert.” I ate when I was bored, when I was happy and when I was sad.

    I carried these bad habits into adulthood and my relationship with food began to catch up with me. I would look into the mirror and I knew I was big but there was a disassociation too as if the person looking back wasn’t me at all. 

    I didn’t know how much I weighed because I didn’t own a scale and if I’m honest, I didn’t want to know. But when I went for a routine checkup, I was confronted with the truth: I had reached 279 pounds and it was time to do something about it.
    gastric sleeve\
    I began my weight loss journey in the fall of 2016 with the Nicholson Clinic. I had tried countless times to diet and restrict my portion sizes, but had never kept up with it long enough to see results. I knew I needed help. I went in to the clinic with feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. But by the time I left that day, I knew that they were going to help me change my life. 

    The months I spent with the dietitian and the staff helped me to prepare. I learned good eating habits and the importance of awareness as to how, why and when you eat. When my surgery date rolled around in March 2017 I had already lost 30 pounds. The staff continued to work with me after the surgery and advised me whenever I had questions. 

    And now, at 178 pounds, having lost 100 already, I have a new lease on life. I’m happy, healthy, and strong. It can’t be stressed enough how appreciative I am to the clinic’s staff and my surgeon. They gave me the tools I needed to change and be successful. If you’re on the fence I have this advice: choose the Nicholson Clinic. It’s the best thing I ever did.
    gastric sleeve

  • Randa Scudder: How Weight Loss Surgery Helped This Teacher Be Her Best

    by Melody None | Apr 25, 2017

    teacher gastric sleeve
    We love hearing stories of how weight loss surgery has helped improve our patients' lives. Randa Scudder is an assistant principal of an elementary school. When her weight kept her from being able to do her job, Randa turned to Nicholson Clinic for bariatric surgery. This is her story.

    "I was a successful teacher for eleven years. During that time my weight went up and down. I was a good teacher but walking up a flight of stairs to my classroom wore me out. I was exhausted by the end of the day. I rarely had the energy to do anything after school. When I became an administrator I put on even more weight. I ate out all the time because I told myself that I didn’t have the energy cook. I got absolutely no exercise because I told myself I didn’t have the time. I realize now those were lies that I told myself.

    "I thought about weight loss surgery for a couple of years. I had tried tons of diets and even lost 100lbs at one point but I could never keep it off. In my mind weight loss surgery seemed like giving up. I told myself that I could do it on my own that I didn’t need surgery. I would tell myself that I was educated, successful and had a great life. While those things were true I realize now that I didn’t have the life that I truly wanted.
    teacher weight loss surgery
    "The final turning point for me in my decision came on a day just like any other. I was an assistant principal of an elementary school. I got up, went to work and performed my normal AP duties until about 10:00am. I got a call on my radio that one of our students had run out of the building. My school was on a four lane street with extremely heavy traffic. Of course I immediately went into problem solving mode. I headed toward the door to where the student was. I moved as fast as I could. He was running down the sidewalk. I was following. I was so out of breath and I wasn’t even running. I couldn’t run. I was too fat. One of our teachers heard the radio call and thankfully responded. He passed me and caught up to the student. He was able to keep the student safe. I wasn’t. I had failed at my job. It was that moment that I realized that I could not keep my students safe at the weight I was at. I decided then that I would do something about it. That something was to have the Gastric Sleeve.
    teacher bariatric surgery
    "I had my surgery December 21, 2015. It is honestly the best thing I have done for myself and my students. The day I walked into the Nicholson Clinic I weighed 417lbs. Today I weigh 220lbs. I still have more that I would like to lose but I am so thrilled with how far I have come. I am amazed at what I am able to do now. Just today alone I walked up 21 flights of stairs, walked over 4 miles at school, took a kickboxing class and then did two loads of laundry when I got home. I have more energy than I have ever had in my life. I am able to perform my job better than ever, but most importantly I know that now I have the stamina and energy to keep my students safe."
    teacher weight loss Nicholson Clinic

  • Tim Morgan: From Heart Attack to Marathon

    by Melody None | Jan 03, 2017

    One year ago, Tim Morgan, 50, was told his right coronary artery was 99 percent blocked — a recipe for disaster. After getting the news from his cardiologist that he was at risk of having a second heart attack (he suffered a major heart attack when he was 44), and having a fifth stent placed in his heart, Tim set out to lose weight and improve his health condition. On his own, Tim wasn’t successful.

    In the spring of 2016, Tim turned to Nicholson Clinic to help him shed the extra weight and improve his heart health. In December, after losing more than 100 pounds, Tim ran in — and finished — the Dallas Marathon, a feat he never would have been able to accomplish prior to weight loss surgery. 

    This is Tim’s story of transformation.

    What was life like before surgery?

    When I hit my 40s it was difficult for me to maintain a decent weight. I wasn't really obese but I was considered overweight at 220-225. I thought I was at a healthy weight. I went through phases of working out then stop for a while. When I was 44 I woke up in the middle the night and felt as if I had an elephant on my chest. I had all the classic symptoms of a heart attack. My wife rushed me to the emergency room and it was confirmed that I was in the middle of a major heart attack. Within two days, I had four stents placed in my heart. I had three major blockages and my "widow maker" was 98 percent blocked. I was told I was literally minutes of being dead with the heart attack. While in the hospital I was also diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, in addition to high blood pressure, high triglycerides and high cholesterol. My weight was up to 255 at that time. Afterwards I lost weight again down to 215-225. It was a cyclical situation. 

    In 2010 my wife got pregnant with our youngest, I got “pregnant” too. Within the nine months of her pregnancy, I gained about 70 pounds. I stopped watching what I was eating and stopped going to the gym. I was fat and unhappy. I stayed around the 280's and before I knew it I was at my all time heaviest at 320. Walking was painful and I would run out of breath just doing simple things. I also developed sleep apnea. I was very uncomfortable, self conscious and depressed. Just everyday life was painful. My feet, back, knees, legs — everything hurt. I had low energy and low self-esteem. It all went hand and hand. I had heart disease, was a diabetic, had high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, low testosterone — I was very unhealthy both physically and emotionally. gastric sleeve Nicholson Clinic
    Why did you decide to have surgery?

    In January 2015 I had to have another angiogram due to a bad stress test result from a stress test the previous December. My cardiologist found that my right coronary artery was 99+ percent blocked and at the age of 50, stent number five was placed in my heart. I was mortified. I tried to lose weight again on my own but kept hitting a wall. The following summer I had enough and after talking to friends that have had weight loss surgery (including my wife) I made the decision to have the surgery with the gastric sleeve as my choice.

    What is life like after surgery? How has it changed?

    I had the gastric sleeve surgery on April 25, 2016. My life after surgery is like a new life. I can do things I never thought I could or would be able to do. My energy level is incredible, my health is great, I no longer have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, sleep apnea, low testosterone. I still have heart disease because of it hereditary nature, but I am now the healthiest I have ever been. At my last stress test, my cardiologist told me I am able do whatever I wanted to do because my heart is perfect. In addition, my self-confidence is so much better than before. I can walk without being out of breath. I can go in a store without having to lean on the cart so my legs and back don't hurt. 

    What inspired you to begin running? Why do you enjoy running?

    I knew if I was going to be successful with my surgery, I needed fitness goals. I didn't set out to be a runner; I just knew I needed to move. I have a friend who had the gastric sleeve three years before I had mine and admired his discipline to run. With the influence of some other friends that encouraged me to do it, my wife and I began the journey of running. My goal was not necessarily to run a marathon but just to learn to run. After joining Lifetime Fitness in Garland, we were introduced to their run program and started running with them. I joined the 10k training June. I ran my first 5k on July 4, 2016. After completing the 10k training, we went right into marathon training. My goal was just to run a half marathon by end of November. The more I ran the more I enjoyed it. Running became my "therapy." I enjoy it because I feel I am in control; it's freeing to be able to run and see progress every week. 
    gastric sleeve Nicholson Clinic

    gastric sleeve Nicholson Clinic
    Prior to surgery, what kind of physical activity did you do?

    Prior to surgery I had a difficult time doing any physical activities. Before I gained my weight I would work out periodically, bike ride but was never a runner. I wasn't an athlete, I was an average guy trying to maintain. 

    Who/what is your inspiration?

    My inspiration was and still is my wife, my family and my own health. I also look up to several friends that have and continue to be great encouragers. When I got to the end of the marathon and was in pain due to an inflamed IT band in my right leg, I continued to run and blocked out the pain because I knew I had to finish. I wanted to show others that it can be done. I was NOT going to quit. I overcame several obstacles in training, having the flu and being off a week, injuring my right IT band, which kept me from running the two weeks before the marathon to allow it time to heal. I was determined not to quit. A friend, who is an ultra marathoner, wanted to pace me to get me through. He was an incredible source of inspiration and encouragement for the 26.2 miles. The final inspiration was visualizing crossing the finish line for the marathon and seeing my family and friends there. When I crossed that finish line, it was truly an emotional experience. It was a journey that I never thought would be possible, especially less than eight months after my gastric sleeve surgery. 

    What would you like to say to someone who might be considering weight loss surgery?

    Realize the surgery is a tool and not the end to a means. You have to follow the rules. Realize it is a life long decision to good health, psychological, emotional and physical. Have goals. Without goals you're setting yourself up for failure, just make sure they are realistic. Wait...I just completed a marathon in less than eight months from my surgery...the sky is the limit go for the unreachable and charge after it. The surgery has been the best decision for myself. I have set an example to my family for good health finally. I would suggest that they do their research, find a great clinic (I highly recommend The Nicholson Clinic), ask lots of questions, get in a support group and go for it! I am a new man now as a result of mine. I truly took my life back. 

  • Transformation Story: Chantel

    by Melody None | Aug 23, 2016

    Chantel Arnet
    If you are considering weight loss surgery but aren't convinced the results can last? This story is for you. Chantel had surgery with Nicholson Clinic in July, 2013. Today, more than three years later, she is thriving and continues to keep the weight off. In the months following her bariatric surgery, Chantel sent us the following email to share her success.

    Hear more weight loss inspiration from Chantel on her own blog, Glow Fig.

    "I just wanted to let Dr. Nick and his staff know that I met the weight loss goal that Dr. Nick and I set at my consultation last year on May 1st. I started my 2 week pre-op diet on 6/25/13 and had surgery on 7/9/13. I weighed 205 at my consultation, 212 at the start of the pre-up diet, and 197 on day of surgery. This past Saturday, I weighed in at 129.4. Dr. Nick had said a good goal for me would be about 130 pounds. I'm 5'3" tall. Just over 9 months from the start of the pre-op diet and just under 9 months from my surgery date! 82.6 pounds lost.

    Chantel Arnett

    Here are some of my non-scale victories since WLS...

    I've logged over 250 miles since the beginning of January (January 3rd, I think).
    I climbed over 2,000 flights of stairs in less than 2 months.
    I can comfortably cross my legs.
    I'm rarely getting blemishes on my face anymore. (I attribute this to a better diet.)
    I ran 4 miles in less than 42 minutes (the last 3 in 30 minutes).
    I'm no longer wearing plus sizes (size 6 pants, size small/medium tops).
    My shoe size has gone down from an 8.5 to 8 or maybe even 7.5 (which was my shoe size in high school).
    I'm wearing a size medium belt on the smallest hole.
    I've completely given up soda.
    My children are eating healthier foods (not perfect, but better), since my husband and I are too.
    I'm setting a good example for my kids in terms of being active and fitting exercise into my daily life (and I know for a fact that they've noticed because of the things that they say about it).
    I'm off blood pressure medication.
    I'm no longer snoring and keeping my husband awake at night.

    I'm sure there are others, but those are the ones that come to mind quickly.

    Thank you, Dr. Nick!"

  • Transformation - Misty's Story

    by Melody None | May 03, 2016

    gastric sleeve
    I sit here today thinking about how different the last year has been. ​April 20 was the one year anniversary of my weight loss surgery. Some may not think it is a big deal or that it was the easy way out. I have to say it was not easy at all.

    There are many things that go into ​weight loss surgery. You have to learn to eat properly, psychiatric balance and learn to live again. The ​weight loss surgery is only a tool that helps those in need lose the weight. I had the sleeve surgery. It was a big decision and at first was met with a huge resistance from my husband. After we watched videos I explained why I wanted it and the benefits to the surgery it was a “go.”

    For the couple weeks leading up to my pre-op diet I ate absolutely everything I wanted to. I have no other reason why as only I thought I would never eat again. That really is funny. Yes I went thru the detox of caffeine and junk food -- that was so rough. The pre-op diet really gets your head in the right place. The first few days after surgery I asked myself why did I do this?

    Yes it is painful but here’s the deal, you forget very quickly the pain. I have gone thru an emotional roller coaster at times. When ​you look in the mirror you can still see that “big” person you were at times. You can look at clothes and think or even say out loud my fat butt cannot fit into that only to find out they are actually too big. Yes, it has happened to me.
    Gastric Sleeve
    gastric sleeve
    You learn to eat. It is no longer about clearing the huge plate of food in front of you. It is about measuring food, by that I mean a regular portion size, not a Texas portion size, eating on a saucer and eating to survive. Yes I do eat good food also, I love ice cream and I am not giving up my Mexican food ​-- it is about moderation now. Today I look at food as a tool to live my life. I have learned what not to say to children and how to really teach them to eat properly and not overeat just because. It is about teaching them it is okay to not finish your plate of food, eat until you feel almost full. I have learned what my sleeve does not like, including white bread. The pain associated with white bread is a nightmare! Some can eat it, I am just one of the ones that cannot.

    Why do I say all of this? This has been an exciting year and so many great things have happened. My husband and daughter had the surgery. Both of their health problems have become so much better or non-existent. I have a new grandbaby, whom I cherish so much. I can walk for hours with him, get on the floor and roll around and literally do the things I was scared I would never be able to do.

    I have a couple coworkers and friends are scheduled for the surgery coming up and love that I can be a support for them. I had a goal and of course the doctor had another goal for me. But I hit mine a while ago, still need to lose 20 pounds to reach my doctor's goal. All I wanted was to be a size 10. To some that is crazy and think why that size? That was the last size I truly remember being happy with myself. I surpassed that goal. I am now in a size 6/8.

    I have been ashamed and embarrassed at times at what my weight was and where I am now. The day of my weight loss surgery anniversary I hit a total of 100 pounds lost! I am officially 147.6 pounds. I started this journey at 248 pounds and a size 20/22.

    So you ask would you do it again? Yes, in a heartbeat! I got my life and my future back. Thank you Dr. Carlton for all your support.

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