Debbie: 82 lbs. Lost
As a young adult, Debbie Lehman’s life was hectic and stressful. Debbie turned to food for comfort and convenience. Over the years, her weight slowly crept upward to the point where it was out of control. Debbie described herself as having a food addiction that was taking over her life.
Already on medication for high blood pressure, her physician suggested she start cholesterol medication as well. As her weight climbed, her self esteem plummeted.
Debbie started the OPTIFAST program and 8 months later she was at her goal weight. She lost 82 pounds! Her body fat dropped from 41% to 16%. Size 20 clothes were replaced with size 6.
Debbie approached the diet as if she was in a rehab program. She wanted accountability; she wanted the education that was key to making changes, and she wanted to get rid of the excuses.
Debbie feels strongly that she received all she needed while a patient at CONCI. She states that because of her experience at CONCI she was able to face her situation for what it was, and make the changes in her life required for a new and healthy lifestyle. She took the classes offered at the clinic very seriously and learned from them. She found it helpful being accountable weekly to a dietitian who was supportive and motivating yet, at the same time, not accepting of any excuses. Exercise was encouraged. Debbie had not been to the gym for years and felt very uncomfortable there. CONCI’S gentle prodding got Debbie back in the gym under the guidance of a personal trainer.
She has found exercise to be a source of great pleasure. “Exercise makes me feel better than any food I ever used for that purpose.” Despite a hectic work schedule, she makes the time for daily exercise. Debbie is now in the gym often, doing things she never thought possible. She exercises before work everyday with her school teacher colleagues who have established their own weight loss support group. She and her family go for walks together, replacing the old habit of going out to eat or sitting in front of the TV.
What was the pay-off for her hard work? “It feels good being ‘normal’.” “It may sound silly, but when I was overweight it was hard to tie my shoes because there was not much shoestring left to work with. Now I pull the strings tighter since my feet are smaller. There is plenty of shoe string left to tie!” Debbie’s other victories include now being able to ride in the backseat of the car. She can now fit easily between her students’ desks at school. Seemingly small victories are, in reality, huge.
“The program at CONCI was much more than a diet to me. It was as if the professionals there held a mirror for me to see into my soul in order to determine the “whys” of my addictive behavior. Their insight, their support, and their expertise were invaluable.”