Starting Weight: 191.5 pounds
Current Weight: 140 pounds
Total weight lost: 51.5 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.
I had always been one of those people you would look at and wish you were. I was thin most of my life. The turning point wasn’t until an injury that happened one day as a firefighter that would take me from the career that I loved so much and had done for almost 18 years. I could no longer do all the physical things I used to enjoy doing. And of course, with getting older, something that happens to all of us in time, I started to gain weight. I don’t think it was until 2007 when I started putting on a lot more weight. As I look back to see where it all caught up with me, I believe it was during the time our only son was fighting for his life at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida after being critically injured on Mother’s Day.
Everything would be different. It wasn’t until we got past all of that the following year that I came to the realization that I had gained a lot of weight and was not healthy. I think it sunk in when I went to the doctor’s for a problem, and she told me I was considered to be in the “obese category.” That was the day that changed my life for the better.
I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. My husband and I really spent the better part of the year caring for our son and spending all our time on him. We put our life on hold, really. It wasn’t until I returned to work and found it difficult to walk any distance without being short of breath, and had to go up several flights of stairs to find 70-year-old men climbing faster than I was able to, that I knew not only was this embarrassing, but it was just not right. I was half their age, for goodness’ sake! My clothes didn’t fit anymore and I had to go buy increasingly larger sizes. When my work uniform pants went to a size 42 – that was it! I knew I could not let myself get into another bigger size.
I was ready in all ways to commit to something to do with saving my own life and in turn saving myself for my family whom I love so much. It just so happened that my doctor had just introduced The Center for Medical Weight Loss (CMWL) program into his practice. I could not wait to get in that office and see what this new program was all about. That was the turning point in my life. I was depressed and felt like my life had spiraled out of control – and that meeting with the CMWL’s doctor’s nurse practitioner was the best doctor’s visit I would ever have.
Dora’s Weight Loss Journey
My journey would take one year. I knew with my injuries it would take me longer than some but I just told myself that it’s not how fast you get there, but the journey of getting there. It was literally one step at a time until I built myself up to walk faster and longer and then added in some other activities that would make the difference.
My goal was to lose 50 pounds in a year and get to a weight of around 140 pounds. I also needed to get my BMI in a healthy area along with my blood cholesterol, since I was at risk for a heart attack. Heart disease runs in the family, and I have inherited this risk factor that takes the lives of hundreds each year. I know the symptoms of a heart attack; after all, I ran on many EMS calls for people who were having signs and symptoms of a myocardial infarction. I went from no heart disease to a few years later finding out I had developed heart disease. I have never smoked so that was not one of the factors that put me at risk, but as a firefighter we are at a much higher risk of heart disease and cancer. I just didn’t want to be on the receiving end of either one.
So for me, it started with encouragement from the doctor’s office and the entire staff along with my family and friends, and I took one step at a time. I would follow up with the doctor’s office every two weeks and get on what at first I considered the “dreaded scale.” Oh dear! I look back and laugh now because the scale became my friend and something I really looked forward to getting on. They had the most state-of-the-art scale that told you so much about your body, not just weight.
The CMWL program was a little more challenging because of a permanent knee injury I had sustained along with a broken wrist, which limits a lot of what I can do anymore. Running and high-impact sports were out, so I started out walking every day, and then I would use my lunch hour at work to do the elliptical in the gym for 20 minutes. I would eventually add aerobics at home and follow an exercise DVD that would modify some of the exercises for people like me. Before long, I could start to see the pounds and inches come off. I went from exercising for 10 minutes to 20 minutes to gradually longer periods.
I took up swimming and joined a Masters program. For me, it was a first because I didn’t really know how to swim like a professional swimmer, but I learned with a coach who worked with all of his swimmers, most of whom were there for triathlon training and a few like me who just wanted to get into shape. Now for all of you who can come up with an excuse: I had to get up at 4am to get to the pool to swim from 5 to 7am and then get ready to go to work from 8am to 5pm. I would swim three days a week. This was a great way to exercise, and I really did see the weight come off in all places. I would split swimming laps for the 1 hour and then water aerobics for the 2 hour. On days where there were not enough people to do the water aerobics, I swam for the entire two hours. You would have thought I would be dead tired, but it seemed to make me feel alive and ready for the day. Now if I could have bottled up all my energy and passed it on!
No Weight Loss Excuses
For me there are no excuses for why someone cannot lose weight. You just have to get up off the couch and move your body and even with the first step as difficult as it is…just do it! When you see the positive results of eating better, making better food choices, and losing weight, you will continue because you and all those around you see the difference. Before you know it, people around you will ask you what you are doing to lose weight, and you will want to share your success.
The CMWL program provides you with the knowledge to make good food choices and discuss different ways to achieve your goals. CMWL has great-tasting drinks and food items to choose from, and even many types of snacks. I also used an appetite suppressant for a while. Even if you decide to eat foods that you can buy in the store or eat out, CMWL gives you information to make healthy food choices that will fill you up – they’re good for you but don’t pack on fat, calories, and pounds.
Weight Loss Challenges
For me, the challenge was my physical limitations. But I got creative and just kept trying different things until I found what I liked to do where I could lose weight safely, like swimming, walking, elliptical, free weights, roller skating, and modified aerobics.
Some of the other challenges included going out with others who were not on the weight loss program and staying on the program. It is very easy to let others influence you to eat like they do or “just have a little.” Just stay true to yourself. Others may mean well, but the bottom line is this is your journey. Only you can keep yourself on task. If you are not strong enough to say no, don’t go out and eat with others. I found it was easier to bring the foods you can eat to work rather than eat out with others. If I did eat something that I might not have had otherwise, my next move would be to exercise to get rid of those calories; if you don’t, you will see it on the scale and then on
Improving Medical Issues
Losing weight was better for my permanent knee injury. It was also better for my heart due to family history; the CMWL program will no doubt make a difference in giving me a better outcome and a longer life span. I am not depressed anymore. And best of all, I like myself and know that this program has had a positive influence in all aspects of my life with my family.
I did take a lot of other medications that I have come off of due to the CMWL program. I don’t think I have been this healthy in a long time. Due to my family history, I still take a baby aspirin every day for cardio protection.
Best Parts of Weight Loss
For me, there have been so many things. I feel so much better, have more energy, feel great about myself, and love the person I am now. If you feel better, I think you reflect that to all those around you. I look like I did when I was 20 years younger and love buying new clothes that show off my hard work. Others want to know what I have done, and I get so excited when people who I have not seen in some time comment on how great I look. It’s infectious! I want to share with others that they too can do it, but I think you have to really want to commit to change and just do it, take that first step, and don’t make excuses why you can’t. On difficult days you tell yourself you can. It is a lot of little steps to the new you.
The Center for Medical Weight Loss program saved my life. I was very down and depressed about my weight and at the bottom of feeling sorry for myself. I had been through hell for the last few years with our son’s near-death ordeal along with losing a career that I loved, to now doing something else with my life. No one else can do it for you but you. So get up, get to a CMWL center, and start that first step in a journey that will surely change your life for the better. I did it, and I know in my heart that anyone can do it – you just have to want it. The doctor and staff will help you achieve your weight loss goals in a program designed just for you and your lifestyle and health issues.
I am so thankful for this program and Dr. Nestor and his entire staff – especially to Deborah Nolan who was my point of contact and my lifeline there. I am also very grateful for my loving husband and son who provided support along this journey and encouraged me even when life threw a curveball at me.
I plan on keeping my weight off long-term by staying on task with my workout program and eating healthy foods. The bottom line is to remember what it took to get where I am, and smile because I did it and this program really works. I keep a before picture close by and reflect back on where I was and where I am now.
Favorite CMWL Product:All the products are good. There are so many choices and they all taste great.
Top Tip to Stay Motivated:Keep a picture of you at the greatest weight along with a dress or outfit that you want to fit into. For me, I hung the dress in the hallway that I wore one time at my husband’s class reunion. I had to pass it every day, and it was my motivation. I can fit into that dress now. I also had fun going out to buy other clothes and getting rid of all the bigger clothes that fall off of me now.
What I Like Best About CMWL:The staff at the center I went to. They were always there to provide encouragement and keep me motivated. They provided me with information to help me be successful while on my journey to get to my goal weight while monitoring any specific health issues or concerns I had.
At CMWL, I learned valuable information from Dr. Kaplan to help keep me moving forward
"Being both a CMWL doctor and patient, I have first-hand knowledge of how well this program works. I will never be overweight again."
"I got the same results without having surgery…I accomplished something I thought was impossible."