If you are thinking about joining the Living Well weight management program, read the following stories from participants in our program. They share how Living Well helped them successfully lose weight and achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Like many adults, the stress of a new job took a toll on Tammy Murray's weight. Tammy knew she needed to change her lifestyle in order to get back in shape. Learn how Living Well helped her lose 32 pounds and achieve her goals:
Why I wanted to find a weight loss program: When I moved from Arizona to Columbus, I didn't have time for consistency in my workout routine. I was used to taking advantage of the Arizona weather, and did most of my exercising outdoors. I didn't know how to continue being active in the cold. My busy schedule and lack of exercise eventually led to weight gain. I didn't have any time for me and my weight was out of control.
Why I chose Living Well: I wanted something that would fit into my life, something that had a structure. I learned self-control from the Living Well program and practice it by planning my meals and eating pre-packaged snacks. You have to make the changes to your life - the people here can only show you how.
How Living Well helped me with my weight loss: The combination of exercise, behavioral changes and support from the Living Well staff has kept me on track. The support from the staff here has been really important; you need medical support if you're going to make changes in your lifestyle. The comprehensive program has helped me to make some of the initial changes in my lifestyle.
What I'm doing now for long-term success: Now I write down what I eat, and I have small frequent goals to help me manage my plan. Serious about long-term weight loss, I made changes in my personal life to help my plan succeed. I changed my hours at work, and re-evaluated how I use my time. I schedule myself first and I make sure that my health is at the top of the list.
When Thom Milem was diagnosed with diabetes, he knew that his lifestyle had to change. He joined Living Well because he wasn't able to lose the weight on his own. Here's his success story:
Why I wanted to find a weight loss program: I had been fairly active, but sitting behind a desk at work caused me to put on weight. I began to lose weight by watching my intake of carbohydrates, but I was not aware of the calories and fat I consumed each day. While I was able to lose 25 pounds on my own, it wasn't enough to stop taking my diabetes medication. It was a struggle to lose the initial weight and I needed help to accomplish my weight loss goals.
Why I chose Living Well: After talking to a co-worker who had successfully completed the Living Well Program at OSU Medical Center, I decided to sign myself up. When I talked to people who had participated in the program or knew about it they seemed so excited, and that got me excited.
My biggest challenge: was getting used to having a workout regimen. I never spent a lot of time at the gym, so having a workout routine was new and a little scary. By working with the Living Well team, I was able to create a plan. They helped me realize that it wasn't about spending hours at the gym, but doing some sort of movement every day can make a big improvement.
Also, half-way through phase 1 of the program, I hit a plateau and didn't lose any weight for several weeks. Discouraged, I looked to my wife, who was also in the Living Well program, for support. She was able to push me to keep trying. By the end of the first phase we both looked at each other and said 'yeah, we can do this.'
Secret to my continued success: Support from friends and family has helped me along the way. My kids even got involved; they ask me to come and exercise with them. I now fit daily exercise into my busy schedule by doing things like taking the family dog for a walk. Even our dog Tucker has lost some weight.
How Living Well helped me: By participating in the Living Well program, my diabetes has improved. I haven't stopped taking my medication yet, but if I lose about 10 more pounds I should be able to. This isn't just a diet program, it's a lifestyle change and you need that support along the way.
As a student at The Ohio State University, Rebecca Miller gradually lost control of her weight. Rebecca lost 80 pounds through Living Well and has been able to keep off the weight she lost in the program. Here's how:
Why I wanted to find a weight loss program: I had always weighed around 135 pounds but I started gaining weight steadily over 18 months. In denial about my weight gain, I finally stepped on a scale. When I saw how much I actually weighed, I broke down. I knew I had to lose some weight.
Why I chose the Living Well Program: I liked that this was a serious program. It is supervised by doctors and not by someone who has only had three months of training. I wanted to make sure I was taking the best approach to my weight loss.
My biggest challenge: Though I successfully lost 80 pounds, learning to count calories was the biggest challenge and most effective tool of the program. Counting calories was a big change from not paying attention to calories at all. Since we had to turn our calorie journals in, it helped me be accountable for what I was eating. Along with cutting calories, I applied other healthy eating strategies like substituting lower-calorie options and controlling portion size to my weight loss regimen. I'm a visual person, so I kept a graph of my weight on the refrigerator.
Advice for others trying to lose weight: People go into weight loss programs with such high expectations that they give up too soon. You don't have to be perfect every day to lose weight; you just have to be mindful of the choices you're making. Giving myself small achievable goals has helped to keep me on track. I've promised myself to never have to lose 80 pounds again. When I walk in the gym now, I remind myself that every decision I make is a decision closer to my weight loss goals.
Secret to my continued success: Back at my ideal weight, I have been able to incorporate activities such as running and yoga to help keep me at a healthy weight. You have to be willing to do this program for yourself because no one is going to do it for you.
Click here to find out more about Ohio State's Weight Management Program, or call us at 614-293-2800.