Mary Free Bed’s Weight Management Program uses a team-based approach to weight loss – a physician, registered dietitian, psychologist and an exercise physiologist all play an integral part in each patient’s success. Participants lose an average of 29.5 pounds or 11.58 percent of their body weight during the first 20-week phase of the program, and 15.2 percent of their initial weight at the one-year mark.
Many participants continue with the program’s second phase, called Stride, to help them maintain their weight loss or lose additional weight. Stride’s weekly meetings provide tools that reinforce ways to make new habits and behaviors stick, while offering support when old habits resurface.
In this blog, RaeAnn Fortin shares her experience with the Weight Management Program and how she says it’s “changed [her] entire life.” She’s lost 19 pounds, more than five inches from her hips and waist, and decreased her body fat percentage.
Why did you join the Weight Management program?
I joined the program for several reasons, but the main reason was for my health. I have struggled with my weight for several years, and I am facing knee replacement surgery at some point in the future. I wanted to be as healthy as possible going into a surgery like that for many reasons, but recovery is the number one reason. I also wanted to feel better about myself and have more energy, which were additional reasons to join.
What were some of the most helpful things you learned?
I think that the most important thing I have learned is to not beat myself up when I have a small gain or stay the same/plateau for several weeks in a row. I learned to understand that it’s a process, and I have to sometimes change things up a little to see that progress again. I am learning to love who I am and not let a “bad” choice or a small lapse define me. Whether it be with food or another part of my life, the group motto “Progress not Perfection” was key for me to learn.
How has the program helped you?
I have more self-awareness, and I am continuously looking for new things to try as far as food, recipes and exercises that would benefit me, especially with my knee pain. The Weight Management team is amazing, very supportive and top notch, and I am blessed to be a part of such a wonderful group. Our group meetings are also something that I looked forward to throughout phase one and throughout Stride. Having other people share ideas about how to accomplish our common goals gave me the support and accountability I needed. I find myself missing the people when I have to miss a meeting … we have become a family.
What new habits have you formed?
I meal plan more than I ever have, and tracking has become very important. I find that if I track my intake I seem to have a better outcome with the weight loss. I have also become more flexible with my plan, because sometimes things don’t go the way you wanted them to, but learning to be flexible with that has helped me stay on track.
Have you discontinued any medication or made any significant health changes?
I am looking at coming off medication for water retention; I am doing well enough that I do not need that anymore. My doctor is so pleased!
Would you recommend this program and why?
Yes, I would recommend this to anyone looking for a healthier life style. This program is different than fad diets that don’t work. You’re taught how to balance the highs and lows from life, and if you slip up, it’s not the end of the world. You learn to get back up and start again. It’s a lifestyle change and not a diet.
Mary Free Bed’s Weight Management Program encompasses much more than a number on a scale. Participants develop self-confidence and healthier relationships with food, improve mental health and well-being, and decrease medications. It’s not about “losing” weight, but getting rid of it and not finding it again in the future.
The next class is 5:30-6:30 p.m. Sept. 19. For more information or to sign up, use this form or call 616.840.8908.