George D: 97 lbs. Lost
George D. described himself as being athletic his entire life. For years he ran, biked, and lifted weights regularly. On his 61st birthday he ran 9 miles. Not long afterward, he began to have pain in both knees which drastically affected his ability to exercise. With his restricted activity came weight gain. As his weight climbed, his knee pain worsened.
George saw an orthopedic surgeon in 2012 and was told he needed to have both knees replaced. Not wanting to take such a drastic step, for the next four years George took medication to deal with pain. His surgeon never suggested that he lose weight and then reassess his knees. Inactivity plus the medication itself lead to further weight gain. In a four year timeframe, George gained 50 pounds. In early 2016 George saw his primary care physician and tipped the scale at 309 pounds. His bloodwork results confirmed that he had uncontrolled diabetes and high cholesterol. In addition, his blood pressure was much too high. At that visit his doctor asked George if he was ready to do something about his weight because his health demanded it. Depressed due to both pain and his sedentary lifestyle, George was stunned by the news that his health was deteriorating. Rather than endure the invasive procedure of two knee replacements, George decided to attempt weight loss to not only see if his knee pain would improve, but to also address his newly-diagnosed health issues. George was ready. His doctor recommended that he contact the Central Ohio Nutrition Center.
Motivated to get his health and life back, George lost about 13 pounds on his own by making drastic changes in his eating habits. After that initial loss, George began the OPTIFAST program. After six months, he was down an additional 84 pounds.
What a transformation! George’s knee pain is totally resolved. He is back to running, biking, and weight lifting to the extent that he had done as a younger man. HE feels “fabulous!” His percentage of body fat dropped from 37% to 15%. Best of all, blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol are all back to normal without medication. George bicycled a total of 80 miles last week! His degree of fitness far exceeds that of many men half his age.
George’s advice to anyone who is told he or she needs a knee replacement: “Try weight loss first. If dropping weight doesn’t eliminate the need for a knee replacement, it could postpone how soon it might need to be done. If surgery is necessary, your surgical risk will be far less at a lower weight.”
George Shares his Maintenance Experience
George D., a patient who lost 97 pounds on the OPTIFAST program, recently spoke about his success keeping off the pounds he lost to a group of patients currently following the OPTIFAST program. For patient convenience, CONCI arranges maintenance speakers to come in during the patients’ weekly visits to the clinic. Current patients find it helpful to hear from those who have “walked the walk and talked the talk.” No one can relate better to current patients than someone who has been on the OPTIFAST program previously and is now in the maintenance phase.
George described the “perfect storm” for weight gain. His formula for packing on the pounds is as follows: “Come home from work + a cocktail + dinner (usually eaten out or take-out brought home) + watch TV for a couple hours on the couch + late night snacks = slow but steady weight gain.” Unfortunately, this formula describes the majority of Americans.
George believes that a successful weight loss plan consists of three components:
- Knowledge and information
Stressing the importance of investing in learning and listening, George is emphatic about becoming a student of diet. George stated, “Learn from the professionals at CONCI. The doctors and dietitians are experts in the field of weight management. They are a wealth of information. The more energy the dieter invests in information gathering, the more the payback will be.”
George continues to practice all three components and continues to maintain beautifully. A retired counselor, George recommends an alternative behavior for satisfying hunger and controlling food urges. “Get up, drink a glass of water, and change your surroundings by going outside or moving to another room in the house.”
Expressing the importance of having a mental picture of the body you want to have, George suggested finding an old photo of yourself when you were at a desirable weight, make multiple copies, and place them in every room of your house, your office and your car. This will provide a constant visual reminder. More importantly, the image of the person you want to be will be stronger than the urge to satisfy hunger cravings.