The couple achieved significant weight loss without surgery

Often a simple push is all it takes to start an amazing journey.

“The last push last July was my A1C was going up. I was very, very close to full diabetes,” said John Wodochodsky of Sioux City, Iowa.

Vodochodsky started doing some research and in December 2021 started the Sanford Weight Management Program.

It started with a meeting at the Talley Building in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with Dr. Adeem Abdulwahab, who is a family medicine provider at Sanford Health.

“We are all board certified in obesity medicine, able to prescribe FDA approved weight loss medications to help patients lose weight safely and effectively and not only lose weight, but keep it off. That can be the struggle sometimes,” she said.

Find long-term success: Weight Management at Sanford Health

In addition to board-certified obesity doctors like Dr. Abdulwahab, the weight management center has registered dietitians, health coaches, and offers counseling to those who need it.

Dr. Abdulwahab worked with John one-on-one to create a personalized approach to his non-surgical weight loss plan.

“We’ll talk about what I need to do, what I need to change, and I’ll adapt those changes accordingly,” Vodochodsky said.

Following the doctor’s diet and exercise plan, the pounds began to come off quickly.

“Well, I started at 415 pounds, and today I’m down to about 234.5 now,” he said.

Transformation beyond physical appearance

According to the CDC, losing 5% of your total body weight can reduce your risk of hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular events and other obesity-related risk factors.

“So losing 5 percent, which can be as simple as 8 to 10 pounds, can make a big difference to your health,” Dr. Abdulwahab said.

Weight loss transformed Vodokhodsky’s health.

“I stopped my cholesterol medication. I stopped my blood pressure meds. So my health took a 180-degree turn,” he said.

At his last checkup, his A1C was healthy and his diagnosis of prediabetes was reversed.

Inspiring others

Vodokhodsky’s success in the program inspired Marty Vodokhodsky, his wife of 31 years, to take a leap of faith.

“You can only cheer so much. Sometimes you have to jump in with both feet, heart and soul, get your team together and run with it,” she said.

For several months, she commuted 85 miles to Sioux Falls from Sioux City with John Wodochodsky for his appointments at the Weight Management Center in Sanford. Marty Vodohodsky then also signed up for the program and made an appointment with Dr. Abdulwahab. They worked together to challenge common misconceptions when it comes to weight loss.

“In high school they’ll tell you, ‘Do you want to lose weight? Stop eating.’ With the Sanford program, it was smart and sustainable,” said Marty Wodokhodski.

Today, she has lost more than 65 kilograms.

“I actually weigh the same as I did in college. It’s the first time I’ve been this low in 30 years.”

Following her personalized weight loss plan achieved milestones in just a few short months.

“I was ecstatic the moment I was able to walk into the women’s plus size section and buy plus size clothes. I was so happy and so ecstatic, I probably danced to the cash register and walked out of the store,” Marty Vodohodski said.

Dr. Abdulwahab says results come with hard work and dedication to the program.

“You can feel the struggles that patients go through sometimes, but you provide support, be there for them, make yourself open to suggestions and change and change your plan if you feel like you’re hitting a wall sometimes,” she said.

With the support of each other and their care team at Sanford Health, John and Marty Wodohodski will continue on the health journey ahead of them.

“Don’t be afraid to start,” said John Vodochodski. “Use whatever motivation you use to connect with this program and ask the necessary questions.”

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Posted in family medicine, healthy living, weight loss

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