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Success Story:Taking Control of Her Health After Surprising Cancer Diagnosis



Dr. Hartsuch(Cumberland,MD)

Starting Weight: 248 pounds

Current Weight: 186 pounds

Total weight lost: 62 pounds*

*In a CMWL multicenter randomized trial involving 550 patients who followed a CMWL Low-Calorie Diet (LCD) or Modified LCD Program, both with and without appetite suppressants, the average weight loss was 2 pounds per week over a 12-week period. The research was wholly funded by an independent third party with the exception of travel expenses. According to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine, participants completing a 12-week medical weight loss program lost 11.1% of their body weight, on average. Results may vary.

At 248 pounds, I used to blame my weight on genetics. “I come from a big-boned family,” I used to say. I also resigned myself to the belief that I would get heart disease because of my weight and family history, so I felt it was only a matter of time before I was diagnosed. However,  I somehow felt optimistic that I could change my destiny. So, before coming to CMWL, I had tried everything I could think of to lose weight: Slim-Fast, Medifast, Weight Watchers, and even hypnosis! I was determined to buck the heart disease pattern in my family tree.

Then, in February 2010, I received a diagnosis. But it wasn’t the one I had expected. Instead of heart disease, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was shocked. My family doesn’t “do” cancer; we “do” heart disease. But my doctor told me that overweight women are more prone to developing breast cancer. I guess that didn’t surprise me. Being overweight can contribute to several illnesses, and now I had to battle something I hadn’t expected.

The cancer treatments really wore me down, but after I completed my last rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, I felt more determined than ever to not let my weight lead to any additional health challenges – especially the heart disease I had so long feared. It was then that my oncologist referred me to Drs. Conroy and Hartsuch at The Center for Medical Weight Loss. 

When I met with Dr. Conroy during my initial consultation, I told him that I knew cancer wasn’t going to kill me, but I knew that my heart would. He reassured me that he would do everything he could to prevent that from happening and that meant taking control of my weight first. 

And take control I did! On the first week of the CMWL Program, I lost nine pounds and felt great! And the positive reinforcement by the entire CMWL staff motivated me to continue to lose. 

I continued to drop pounds steadily, but I was worried certain situations would tempt me to return to my old habits. As the owner of a restaurant, I’m constantly surrounded by easy-to-pick-at foods (cookies are my weakness). The weight loss coaching provided by my CMWL doctor helped me realize that tasting dishes here and there is more fattening than sitting down for a meal. 

My doctor kept track of my vitals at each appointment and assured me that I was losing weight at a healthy pace. Of course, I was worried that once I finished the program I would regain the weight I worked so hard to lose. But my doctor told me that if I don’t want to gain it back, I won’t. My response: I don’t, and I won’t! 

How do I keep it off? I began to walk to work this summer, which makes me feel great and gives me an adrenaline rush at the start of my day. I also do Zumba and lift weights. The toning is paying off, and I love it! I always have fruit on hand for a healthy alternative to tame my sugar cravings.

Now, 62 pounds lighter, I no longer have acid reflux, I take one blood pressure pill instead of two, and I no longer have pain in my legs. I still want to lose 20 more pounds. I’ve never been smaller than a size 14, and I can proudly say I fit into a 12. If I can do it, anyone can!


Lisa's Weight Loss Success Tips

Favorite CMWL Product:Powdered Vanilla Shakes

Top Tip to Stay Motivated:Laugh at yourself. I would not have been successful without a sense of humor. Remember how you used to feel and look before you started the program, and use it as fuel to stay on track.

What I Like Best About CMWL:I feel like I am in more control of everything in my life.

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