WHY GROUP HEALTH? MEMBERS SAY IT BEST

92 Pounds Lost and Still Losing

Lori Yates

Member

Lori YatesWhen I became a Group Health member in January 2008, I weighed more than 300 pounds and had been morbidly obese for years. When I walked down a hallway or climbed a flight of stairs, I got leg cramps, became completely winded, and had sweat pouring down my inevitably cherry red face. I felt horrible about myself.

During my first 15 months as a member, I had surgery on both knees, at least partly due to the strain of the weight on my joints. I had gall bladder surgery. I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and then diabetes. Along the way, all my Group Health doctors gently encouraged me to lose weight and exercise, but it wasn't until my personal physician told me I needed to start taking diabetes medication that I decided to take action.

In May 2009, right after my diabetes diagnosis and my 45th birthday, I finally started dieting and working out at a health club with a trainer. My diet followed a plan provided by my fitness trainer and approved by my Group Health dietitian. My dietitian also counseled me on nutrition and healthy eating habits, encouraged me to eat single-size portions, and educated me on how to choose healthy foods.

In two weeks, I'd dropped 5 pounds. After two months I'd lost 19 pounds. And by February 2010, I'd lost 92 pounds. I weigh 215 pounds now and my goal is to get down to 145 pounds.

I've been supported through every step of my weight loss journey by my Group Health medical doctors, psychiatrist, RN, therapist, and dietitian. They check in with me regularly to make sure my weight loss and fitness approach continues to be healthy and sustainable. And every time I e-mail them with updates about my accomplishments, they respond with praise and encouragement, which means a lot to me.

Now I work out six days a week. My eating habits are on target, and I don't have any symptoms of diabetes. I'm writing this because I want everyone to know that diet, exercise, accountability, and a good support system may be all you need to lose weight and get fit and healthy.

POSTED: March 2010

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