Deborah Bell, a person who does not back away from a sensible challenge, had no idea of how difficult a challenge she had taken on until she stepped on a scale at a 5K walk/run event. She was shocked by the number on the scale. The reading made her wonder if she could even complete the walk.
That day was her epiphany, and Deborah was determined to find a weight loss program with proven results that would also keep her accountable.
She heard about the HMR® (Health Management Resources) program at Mercy Health Weight Management through a friend at church, and her journey toward losing 60 pounds began.
Based on her work schedule and personal preferences, Deborah created her own program: 3 shakes per day, 5 fruits and vegetables and 1 sensible meal. She also met weekly with her HMR health educator. The flexible HMR program was just what she needed. Deborah even used her health savings account to pay for the program.
When I first started the HMR program, I was nervous about making my own meals because I’m used to cooking with salt and oil. Because I wanted to jumpstart my success, in the beginning, I supplemented my “sensible meal” with the HMR prepared entrees. Even now I keep a few entrees on hand for when I travel or don’t feel like cooking.
The program is organized — they give you a starter kit with everything you need. You get weighed every time you meet with your health educator so you can see your progress. For extra support, you stay in touch with them through text or email between meetings. You also keep a journal of all your food and beverage intake and track your physical activity. That way you can see where to focus the following week.
Once I began to lose weight, people began to notice. They’d say, “Oh my goodness, Deborah, you look so good…well, you always looked good…. People who hadn’t seen me in a while would notice my weight loss and say, “Oh my goodness. You’re okay, right?” I’d say, “I am fine, I’m fine. It’s a weight loss program through Mercy Health.”
I’ve made some significant lifestyle changes. HMR teaches you not to deprive yourself of the foods you love. I eat regular foods — now I just control how much. For example, they showed us how to eat candy on Halloween. For Thanksgiving, they gave us a handout on how we could enjoy a Thanksgiving meal including cake and pie! I love popcorn, and now I eat low-calorie popcorn.
Having support at home and work is important. My husband and I have a membership at a fitness facility and work out there in the winter and exercise outdoors in the summer. I used to eat chocolate all day at work. I don’t do that anymore. My coworkers are my cheerleaders.
Exercise is important too. I have a walking regimen I do every day at work. I also take the stairs rather than the elevator, and I park far away from my destination so I walk more. I keep track of my portions, especially when I eat out.
I’m not looking to reach a certain weight — I’m just happy that I feel so much better, even though I’m in my 60s. My knees and joints don’t hurt so much, and my feet don’t swell like before. Now I don’t need to take a break when I go up or down the stairs. I recently flew on an airplane, and I was so happy to fit comfortably in the seat!
My goal is to be medication-free, and I’m on my way. My primary care physician says that my cholesterol is perfect. I don’t have to take medication for acid reflux anymore, and I’m no longer pre-diabetic. I’m off all my meds except blood pressure medication. My doctor is thrilled with my new numbers and asked if he could share my success story with other patients.
I believe that God decides when our time is up. I have no control over that, but I can do something about my quality of life. When I retire in a few years, I don’t want to spend my days going to the doctor trying to stay alive. I have kids and grandchildren I want to enjoy.