Liz Svigals had been thin her whole life until she hit middle age, and then after beating breast cancer in 2009, the pounds continued to pile on. She tried some diets where she had success initially, but ended up gaining the weight back.
At a doctor's appointment early in 2016, she asked her primary care physician, Carl Trott, DO, early in 2016 for ideas to help her get back to a healthy weight. He told her about MultiCare’s new Medical Weight Loss Program, which was offered at the Center for Weight Loss & Wellness, and conveniently offered services in Gig Harbor near her home.
In February 2016, at 216 pounds, Liz met first with the Medical Weight Loss Program's Jeffrey Hooper, DO, who holds a board certification in Obesity Medicine and then Sherry Campbell, RN, a lifestyle educator. Liz quickly discovered that she had never really learned to eat in a healthy way, and came to appreciate Sherry’s ability to answer all of her questions. For Liz, knowledge was the key to success, and she enjoyed learning the rationale behind the program.
While it was challenging at first, Liz embraced her new way of eating with the Mediterranean Diet. She eliminated refined carbohydrates from her diet, including sugars and starches, which reduced her cravings. Unlike her past diets, she found that she was not hungry and did not need to take appetite suppressants, even though that service is available through the Medical Weight Loss Program to patients who require them. She had visits with Sherry regularly to help keep her on track.
Liz says that she never thinks of it as a diet, but rather has embraced eating this way forever.
By the end of 2016, Liz reached 151 pounds, having lost an impressive 65 pounds. However, the benefits of her weight loss reached far beyond the scale.
She no longer has high blood pressure and has come off her medication. She also stopped taking one of her medications for arthritis and experiences less pain. Her cholesterol has decreased by 68 points. She is now sleeping better than she has in years, and thinking about scheduling a new sleep study to determine whether her sleep apnea has resolved. Best of all her energy levels have increased tremendously. Usually she finds herself tired and blue in the winter, but this year she felt so great that she enjoyed the holidays more than ever before.
Liz is also benefiting from the fun aspects of weight loss. She has enjoyed buying new, trendier clothes and feeling more confident. She used to always wear sneakers because they were the only shoes that felt comfortable, but now she can wear fun dress shoes and boots.
Best of all, Liz’s insurance covered the cost of the whole program. Others have also benefitted from her experience as well — Her sister who lives in New York followed the same program with Liz’s help and lost even more weight than Liz did.
Ultimately Liz feels that while making these changes can be challenging, the key is to be ready for it and commit to it. Once she started seeing results, it was easy to stay motivated.
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