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Why did you choose the ARC Weight Management program?

A great friend recommended the program to me. I had another friend who began another diet program and she described how it involved both purchase of prepared meal formulas as well as making choices about other foods. I knew if I was going to be successful I had to have all choices removed except for what was strictly on the program. That’s why I picked the Optifast program.

My original goal was to lose enough weight to start a modest exercise program. The previous year I had lost about 25 -30 pounds after an operation to remove cancer and from the subsequent chemotherapy. I thought if there was a silver lining to getting cancer and going through chemo, it was that it gave me an opportunity to lose weight. However, as soon as I quit the chemo, the pounds came right back.

What part of the program is the most effective in helping you?

Wow…all parts have been helpful: Jennie’s dietary information, Dr. Miller’s close attention on our overall health (alleviates all the health worries), Deanna’s leadership of the group meetings. One thing that really helped me the most was meeting the exercise physiologists during group, Eleanor and Deric Williams. They motivated me to try something more than very modest exercise and instead go for something more challenging. They have an exercise program (see lionhearthealth.com) that was perfect for “normal” people who need to lose weight or get back in shape. It’s tough, but not too rigorous. They are motivational and give a lot of individual attention to the participants.

What new habits or lifestyle changes have you made as a result of the program?

Besides the new exercise regime, the program taught me a lot of valuable habits and life lessons. Scheduling out and packing a day’s worth of meal replacements (I prefer the ready-to-drink boxes) means getting more organized and planning ahead. Part of my problem in the years before I started the diet was that I did not plan ahead. Everyday at work lunchtime took me by surprise and I would go out and make terrible choices. Now I am in the habit of planning and packing, so when I go back to regular food I will know to pack a nutritionally balanced, healthy meal ahead of time.

Another problem I suffer from is perfectionism. I always believed “if I can’t be the perfect weight, or be in perfect physical shape, why bother?” Learning how that affects me was a lightbulb that went off for me during one of the group sessions. I always had a messy garage that I couldn’t even manage to clear out one-half of to park my car. Why clean up if I can’t make it perfect, especially when I don’t have the time to make it perfect? The program taught me to tackle problems in stages. A few weekends of just a little work and I fixed the problem and could park in my garage again – another improbable benefit of the weight management program. And it didn’t hurt that I had so much more energy after being on the program a few weeks.

How much weight and inches have you lost*?

Since being on the program I have lost 99 pounds and 10 inches around my waist.

How long have you been a patient of the program?

7 months

How will you maintain your weight loss*?

I will continue my workout program with Lionheart Health and I will plan ahead on all my meals. If I have a special occasion where I eat more calories at a given time, I know that I have to reduce calories at other meals that week to maintain my weight.

Why would you recommend this program over other programs?

If other programs mean you have to make decisions about what foods to eat and make decisions on quantity, then proceed only if you have perfect discipline. The problem is if you have perfect discipline, you probably don’t have that much of a weight problem. The program at ARC has great group counselors, as well as the wonderful Dr. Miller and always motivational Jennie Comstock. I can’t recommend this program highly enough.

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*ARC Weight Management OPTIFAST® patients who actively participate in a 26-week program typically lose approximately 50 pounds with weight-loss-related improvements in blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholestorol levels.