|Total Weight Loss:||70|
Time for a Change
For Christie, a 48 year old mother of three, weight had been an issue her entire life. She gained weight with each of her pregnancies, and had lost and regained weight through the years with various diets. By April of 2008, she was carrying nearly 240 pounds on her 5'7" frame.
Christie learned about Kaiser Permanente Medical Weight Management program through a letter she received around Thanksgiving of 2007. The timing wasn't quite right for her, but soon she found herself at Kaiser's Health Education Department for more information on the program.
Losing Weight Quickly and Safely
Christie started the program in April at Kaiser Permanente Fremont Medical Center. She admits that the liquid diet was a "big concern," but she was extremely motivated. "I was impatient to lose the weight. I wanted to lose it quickly, but safely." She knew that the OPTIFAST® products were nutritionally complete, and with the medical supervision provided by the program, her health would not be compromised. "You are eating every 2 to 3 hours, so you never get a chance to get really hungry," she says.
During the first phase of the program, Christie lost an average of 3 pounds per week. This rapid weight loss was a big motivation for her. Another source of inspiration was the 16-person support group that met each week. A self-described "shy person," she was unaccustomed to sharing her feelings, but the group really helped her to "open up," about food issues and emotional issues. The group shared tricks and tips as well, such as ways to add variety to the liquid portion of the diet. "You learn to be very creative," says Christie, who combined diet soda and ice with her shakes to enhance the flavor.
Planning for Continued Success
After 16 weeks, Christie and her group entered the transition phase of the program, during which meals are gradually substituted for shakes. "It was really scary for all of us," she recalls. "The only food choice we'd made for 16 weeks was whether to have chocolate or vanilla." Again, Christie credits the support of her peer group to her success. They helped each other to make good choices, recognizing that meal planning was the key. "We talked a lot about planning meals. You need to know exactly what you are going to eat so that you make good choices," says Christie.
Christie's weight loss has continued through the maintenance phase at a rate of about a pound per week. She incorporated exercise into her lifestyle early in the program by taking walks and gradually building the intensity level so that she now does 3 to 4 miles, 3 or 4 times per week. "I love being healthier and happier, and my self-esteem has increased dramatically," she says. "Now, clothes shopping is a treat, not a chore." She knows that with the knowledge and skills the program has taught her, she will be able to maintain her weight loss, stating emphatically, "I will never be heavy again."
Christie is admittedly passionate about the program, saying, "It really has been one of the easiest diets I've ever done." She considers it to be among the best weight loss programs in the Bay Area due to the extensive network of support professionals that contribute to the program. "We heard from fitness trainers, dieticians, doctors, psychologists...all of whom encouraged us to push forward and keep going, regardless of setbacks. I would do it again in a heartbeat."
And she is aware of setbacks and challenges. When the topic of Halloween candy came up at her group meeting, a peer asked her how she could resist all the goodies her children would be bringing home. Christie's response shows both her determination and her pride in her success: "I've worked way too hard the last 6 months to even think about a Snickers bar!"
Note: Individual results may vary, and this patient's results are not typical. Average weight loss in the Medical Weight Management Program is 46.6 pounds. Attend a free information session to learn more about the program.