For severely overweight eastern Iowans, going it alone to lose weight can be a never ending struggle.
That's where weight loss surgery can come in to help.
Brian Heeren, 41, of Waterloo is nearly 250 pounds lighter after a weight loss surgery at Sartori Memorial Hospital in Cedar Falls helped him drop about half of his 500 pounds.
"Constantly all summer I've been buying new clothes. My mom said, 'Enough. For the winter time you should be fine!'" he said.
But his surgeon, Doctor Matthew Glascock, says the process is about a lot more than just the procedure.
"They have to understand that this is a massive change in their relationship with food--forever," the Covenant Clinic surgeon said.
Glascock did a gastric sleeve surgery on Brian, which reduced the size of his stomach.
It's one of three minimally-invasive surgical options that doctors say are far from a quick fix.
"Patients follow-up with us frequently. Especially in the year following surgery. Aside from the clinical standpoint of how are you doing, are you off your blood pressure medication, how's your weight, are you still being treated for sleep apnea and so on is 'how are you coping?'" Dr. Glascock said.
Brian, who's battled obesity for decades, is now 18 pants sizes smaller.
"I was a 60 size pants. I'm down to a 42 size and I was 6-7 extra and I'm down to an XL to a 2X," Brian said.
Sartori Memorial Hospital offers weight loss surgery seminars in Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids and Dubuque.
You can also watch it on-line.
Go to www.wheatoniowa.org for a schedule and a link to access the video.