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Let’s Move Quad Cities: QC woman continues 150-pound weight loss journey despite major setbacks

Genevieve Steitz lost her husband when she started her weight loss journey. After that, she decided to move to California and focus on her health.

DAVENPORT, Iowa – Genevieve Steitz decided to go on a weight loss journey in 2017 after she saw a picture of herself around Christmas time. She’s down almost 150 pounds since then and doesn’t plan to stop.

You can find her at Planet Fitness every morning for 2 hours.  Whether it’s the elliptical, weights, or the treadmill, she’s determined to lose the weight. She began her journey at 310 pounds, when she made a verbal commitment to lose the weight.

“I started taking pictures, documenting this, and I started to take measurements,” Steitz says.

She lost her first 40 pounds with her supporter, her husband Bob, at her side. Shortly after that, he died from a heart attack at work. But Genevieve was determined to keep her weight loss journey moving forward.

“I decided just to call California my “fat farm” and just work on me,” says Steitz.

She moved out west, stayed active, and focused on portion control.  She eventually went from a size 28 to a 13.

“To go from my first women size, like a 16 or a 14, it’s kept me motivated,” comments Steitz.

She moved back to the Quad Cities less than a year later to sell her house.  That’s when she met her next supporter, her boyfriend, Neil.

Steitz says she was overweight for a long time, and obesity can develop osteoarthritis – or arthritis in the knees.  Steitz says being active was painful at times and she turned to swimming to relieve her joints.  But Neil’s sister introduced her to Dr. Ryan Pokorney, an orthopedic surgeon at ORA.

“He did x-rays on the back of my knees and he said, “yeah, your knees are really shot”,” Steitz remembers.

“For every pound that you have, the forces through your joints are usually 4 or 6 times more,” says Dr. Pokorney.  According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, individuals with obesity are 20 times more likely to need a knee replacement than those who are not overweight.

After Steitz lost 150 pounds, Dr. Pokorney says she became a strong candidate for a double knee replacement. The less weight, the less risk for complications later.

“We did that because her knees were so bad,” says Dr. Pokorney. “The deformity was bad enough that doing one at a time would have really impacted the rehab on the other side.”

Steitz says thanks to the replacement surgery she’s able to keep up with her weight loss goals pain-free. She says her next goal is to complete a marathon in the next year – before she turns 50.

This content is sponsored by ORA (Orthopedic and Rheumatology Associates) Orthopedics.