|Total Weight Loss:||113|
Taking Charge of His Health
After being obese for over 12 years, Dean took some things for granted. "I knew I would have a hard time keeping up my energy level at work and through my involvement with the theatre. I knew it would be a struggle to fit in an airline seat. And I had given up riding rides at amusement parks, even though I used to love them."
His cholesterol and blood pressure were consistently high, but his concern for his health really crystallized when he watched a colleague die of a heart attack during one of his musical rehearsals. "It was the most traumatic thing I've been through, and it got me thinking, 'This will be me within the next 7 years.'"
Dean went to see his doctor and learned more about a variety of weight reduction methods, including bariatric surgery and the Kaiser Permanente Medical Weight Management Program. "I didn't want surgery, I wanted to find a way to lose the weight on my own," says Dean. "The Kaiser Medical Weight Management program came along at the right time, and after spending a few months prepping for the weight loss program in Oakland, CA, I was ready to start my first weight management group at the Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center in late January 2008." He began the program at 343 pounds.
Each week during the program, Dean had a weigh-in and had his blood pressure was checked during the group sessions in which he met with other Medical Weight Management Program participants. "There was a lot to do each week, and the frequent classes are a big time commitment, but I made the most of the sessions."
The weekly face-to-face classes during the "diet" phase of the program were moderated by a facilitator who provided information and handouts. "Although the group sessions were not meant to be a 'support group,' pretty much all of us felt that the support, validation, and encouragement of the group was one of the main benefits," says Dean.
And how did he feel about the meal replacements that continued for the first 16 weeks of the program? "It was actually a pretty easy transition. I stuck with the chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry shakes and chocolate and peanut butter bars, and I basically didn't experience any hunger. They also eliminated the hassle and planning out meals so it made the 'diet' really easy, with no shopping, preparation, cooking, or cleanup to do!"
The Importance of Exercise
Now in the "maintenance" phase of the program, Dean is in charge of his own diet and has begun to make long-term changes in his lifestyle, including exercising daily and putting into practice the strategies he learned in the behavioral skills classes. "It's about making healthy eating choices and sticking with an exercise plan. Exercising is crucial - I jog 40 to 60 minutes a day, more if I have time on the weekends. I've blocked out my lunch hour for exercise and scaled back on my evening musician gigs in an effort to make more time for my health."
Results So Far
About 7 months after he started the program, Dean has lost 113 pounds. "I dropped 85 pounds just during the meal replacement phase of the program, but now that I have learned healthier eating habits, I am continuing to lose a pound or 2 each week. It's so great to see the scale heading in the right direction, and I estimate that next year at this time I will be at my goal of 180 to 185 pounds."
Dean's Advice to Others
While Dean knows there is no "magic cure" for excess weight, he and his many fellow participants in the program have found a system that delivers real results. "It gives you a 'jump start' with rapid weight loss so that you are more motivated to keep it up. And the medical supervision component is a comfort. If you are committed to making a lasting positive change for your health, this program can help you get there. The Kaiser Permanente Medical Weight Management Program has no doubt changed my life for the better."
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.