|Total Weight Loss:||80|
A Second Chance at a Healthy Life
As a retired Navy pilot, Tom was used to being in control. "I was not used to being unable to manage my life," says Tom, but he was struggling to take charge of his weight.
After retiring from the military in 2004, Tom - who was "never small", saw his weight increase significantly. He tried most of the popular weight loss programs in the Bay Area - several of them even twice - but nothing worked.
By 2008, the 46 year old father of two had reached 330 pounds, and says he had "thrown in the towel." He was tired of constantly looking for a solution to his weight problem, and repeatedly failing. "I had accepted the fact that I was going to live my life imprisoned in a layer of fat."
Tired of Failure
As everyday life got more and more difficult, Tom realized that he could not resign himself to remaining overweight. His blood pressure was high, his cholesterol was out of control, and even small tasks like tying his shoes were an enormous strain. Furthermore, Tom was growing tired of the stigma of being a heavy person. "People don't take you seriously," recalls Tom. "You just become background noise, and I didn't want that." He decided he would give weight loss one more try.
Tom had heard about the Kaiser Permanente Medical Weight Management Program at the Fremont Medical Center from a relative who had gone through the program. He went to an orientation, but expressed to his wife concerns about the cost. Her response was all the motivation Tom needed: "We can't afford NOT to do it." He enrolled in the very next open class.
Losing Weight, Gaining Control
The first week of the weight loss phase was difficult for Tom, but after adjusting, he describes the liquid diet as "no big deal - not as hard as I thought it would be." He attributes this to the fact that the program and the support group hold patients highly accountable. "You have to go every single week [to your support group meetings]. You weigh in, you get your medical checkup, and you get your food for the following week. You can't skip just because you've had a bad week."
He felt that the support of peers was really helpful as well, stating that his group grew very close, and the social and educational aspect of the meetings really kept him engaged and on task. "Your whole view of food and its importance in your life changes and diminishes," he recalls. This helped keep him motivated through the first phase of the program, when he lost 75 pounds. He was nervous about the transition back to normal foods, but knew that he had gained the tools to deal with making healthy food choices.
Tom continues to lose weight, and is within 20 pounds of his goal weight of 230 pounds. His cholesterol is down, and his blood pressure medications have been reduced dramatically. After losing 25% of his body mass, Tom enjoys a much more active lifestyle with his wife and kids, which includes hiking and biking around 5 times a week.
Tom uses his success to inspire others in the Kaiser Permanente Medical Weight Management Program at Fremont Medical Center He volunteers to speak at orientations several times each month, because he understands the importance of hearing from someone who has actually gone through the program. He sees himself in the faces of the new participants, and understands their fear and intimidation. His message to them is simple but reassuring: "If I can do it, you can do it too."
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 our Oakland area weight loss programs.