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Michelle Schultz, Registered Dietitian

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Preparing for bariatric surgery takes time, but Registered Dietitian Michelle Schultz, RD, also prepares patients for life after surgery, to help ensure their success.

As she helps them understand the role of nutrition in their lives, she takes time to get to know her patients in a non-judgmental way. “Each person is different, so I individualize my approach, which allows me to meet them where they are,” she said.

Some people already know what their nutrition pitfalls are, but they are unsure how to make needed changes. Schultz offers food alternatives to help them achieve a healthy nutrition level and change habits that have enabled their food consumption. “And then I guide them to make achievable goals.

Many people who I encounter know what they need to do. They’ve been told that they need to lose weight, and then they are sent on their way, but they don’t know how to get from point A to point B. My job is to help create a roadmap with achievable goals. Small wins are still wins, and we build on those,” she explained.

Bariatric surgery is a serious life change and Schultz warns that people considering it take it seriously. She ensures that her post-surgical patients are receiving the proper nutrition and are finding solutions to meal planning and food substitutions. “When we want to run a marathon, we start with a mile, not 26 miles. This is the same thing. We start small and build on it to set our patients up for success,” she said.

For more information about the SBL Bariatric Program, call the Medical Clinic at the Center for Healthy Living at 217-238-4961.