Our Success Stories
Medical Weight Management Center is proud to serve Minneapolis / Saint Paul and the surrounding areas of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Lose pounds today using a safe program that fits your budget, your schedule, and your goals.
My name is Jannette and I am 38 years old. I have been struggling with my weight since I was a child. I grew up watching my mother and my sisters also struggling with weight issues. I attended the Medical Weight Management Center in the early 1990s and lost 30 pounds. I was able to manage my weight well by what I had learned for a few years. It was when I was pregnant with twins that I started to struggle. I was unable to exercise or even get out to the house for 5 months of my pregnancy, due to complications. After the girls were born, I struggled to stay at the weight I was at, which was 235 pounds. I continued to gain up to a high of 291. I watched my mother struggle with her weight, diabetes, and heart problems, and my husband with high cholesterol and triglycerides.
We decided that we needed to make a change for ourselves and for our children. I started the program at the Medical Weight Management Center and instantly started to make changes at home that I had learned in class. We removed the family-style dining from our table. This was hard for us, as it was one of our traditions. I started portioning the food on the plates and included fruits and vegetables for everyone. We started using more spices instead of adding fat.
We started exercising as a family, including using the weight machine that had been sitting in the corner for 2 years. I was able to stick to this program because of dedication and family support, and I was not hungry. I knew in advance that this had to be a life-changing event or it would never work.
I lost 120 pounds; my cholesterol went from 230 to 190 and my blood pressure decreased to 100/65. My husband lost 50 pounds just by eating right and regular exercise (walking), and his cholesterol and triglycerides came down to normal. My children have become more conscious of what they are eating-they know that the cookies and sugar will only make them tired. Everything I learned in class was shared with my family over our dinner meals. My daughters have started lifting weights to improve their hockey games.
Over the past year, I have endured many life experiences while on this program. I started a new job, my mother fell and was incapacitated for many months, my father passed away, we went camping almost every weekend, and took a trip to New York City. I attended many family get-togethers. Through all this, I was able to stay on the program. I feel confident in myself and my food choices.
I was able to step back during those times when I was still on the liquid meal replacement and analyze what would be the best food choices. All the things I learned in class helped me to prepare for these situations. Without the nutritional background, I know I would be lost now that I am in maintenance. I still review my nutritional sheets almost every night. I study my log books and I use fitday.com to log my entire food intake. I started using this internet program about 6 months into my weight loss program so I could get used to it for maintenance.
My name is Marsha G and this is my story. In 2000 I was at what I thought was my heaviest weight ever. I was desperate to lose weight so I had bypass surgery. I went to the surgeon’s information session and decided to go forward with the surgery. The surgery went smoothly, 5 days in the hospital and 5 weeks for recovery at home.
I didn’t lose weight as fast as I thought I would and I quickly learned I would spend a lot to time in the bathroom vomiting after most meals. I only lost 55 pounds in 6 months. I then developed a muscle disease that required steroid therapy. Within 3 months I gained 60 pounds and weighed more than I did before the surgery!
In 2005 I got the good news that my illness was in remission so I was taken off the steroids. I decided to try Optifast. I started at the Medical Weight Management Center in February and by September I had lost 70 pounds.
I regret that I ever had the surgery; I thought it was the quick fix. The surgeons don’t tell you about all the vomiting and they don’t teach you how to eat properly. They just “surgically enhance” you and leave you to figure the rest out on your own.
With Optifast I have learned behavior modification and proper nutrition. I still have more weight to lose but this time I will have all the tools to keep the weight off, thanks to Medical Weight Management Center and their wonderful staff.
After I had quit drinking alcohol two years ago, I thought I had eliminated thousands of calories each week. By adding exercise and a diet, I expected I would return to the health and vitality I once knew. But my energy levels were at an all time low and I felt weak throughout much of the day. I had actually gained weight within my first six months of sobriety, and I was very frustrated.
Fortunately, I read an article in the newspaper about the Medical Weight Management Center. While surveying my eating habits, it became clear that I am insulin resistant and that I had replaced beer with other high-sugar, high-carbohydrate foods and beverages which I had come to crave.
After losing 30 pounds in less than two months, the staff at MWMC taught me how to improve my diet and permanently change my approach to food. I now have the knowledge to have satisfying, well-balanced meals while enjoying my favorite foods. It’s been two years since I started the program and I haven’t gained back a single pound. I look and feel like I did when I was in college and Medical Weight Management has given me back my life again.
Our Longest (Known) OPTIFAST® Weight Loss Maintainer. Fran is in her 20th year of maintenance. She works with disabled athletes to help them compete in marathons and other athletic competitions.
My name is Fran, and I started the OPTIFAST® program in January of 1998. I lost 160 pounds and have maintained for eight years. I’m five foot four and 124 pounds. I had reached the largest size that Lane Bryant sold in the stores (size 28-30 or 4X). I had high blood pressure, and I was on medication for it. I had high cholesterol. I had been battling chronic pain for years, and I had just gotten bigger and bigger. One of the ways I dealt with chronic pain was to eat. When I’d eat, I’d get tired, and then I didn’t want to move. It was a vicious cycle. I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs or around the block. I was reaching a crisis point. All of a sudden I couldn’t button those size 28-30s.
Then my daughter ran Grandma’s Marathon. I wanted to see her off at the starting line, but I couldn’t walk down the hill and get back up. I knew I had to do something. I’m retired now, but I worked then for a lab at a local hospital. One of our health options was to pick OPTIFAST® or Weight Watchers.
I had tried dieting before, and there were missing pieces for me. The thing that made OPTIFAST® successful for me was the lack of choices. Once I was on it, I wasn’t hungry, and I didn’t have to make any choices. It made it very easy.
I would do Grandma’s Marathon. In June of 1999, I walked and completed it. It took me a little under six hours. Then I race-walked the Twin Cities marathon and a lot of half marathons in between and had lots of fun doing it. I still try to walk as much as I can, and I lift light weights two times a week. I do some kind of activity every day, seven days a week. I continue to work with a trainer.
Some of my battles with health have not been fun. I’ve struggled with low thyroid and back surgeries. There were both crises and celebrations. My husband died, and there were other family crises. My daughter got married. I’ve had five grandkids born during this time, and I’ve moved two times. But there’s no reason for me to go back and overeat. I’ve learned to use food for its intended purpose: fuel for my body, not comfort.
I weigh in once every two months at Medical Weight Management Centers and meet with the group. It keeps you accountable. I also weigh myself every day because I don’t want to gain more than three pounds outside my limit. If I do start creeping up, I cut back or move more. Sometimes my physical problems mean I can’t move more, but it’s much easier to lose 2-3 pounds rather than 15 pounds.
My health has improved dramatically. I don’t take pills for blood pressure any more, and my total cholesterol came way down. OPTIFAST® is a good intervention because it takes away choices and gives you time to see that you can succeed. I don’t think I could have succeeded without the program because making choices is the hard part. It took me nine months to learn how to handle food. That was the big thing. To meet up with food and not have to eat it because it’s there or to please someone or because I paid for it. The things I can do now include walking around my cart in the aisles at the grocery store, tying my shoes, getting off the floor, and needing only one seat on an airplane.
It’s never really over. It’s a lifestyle change. Losing weight is worth all the work even if you‘re only 30-40 pounds overweight. I wished I had lost the weight 20 years earlier.
A note from Medical Weight Management Center
Fran’s journey is proof of the success that comes with sticking to the OPTIFAST program.
1) Narrowing food stimuli is key. Removing food choice allows (bad) self-behaviors to become evident. Fran’s overeating was tied to her chronic pain, pain that, although manageable, continues to this day. Sticking with OPTIFAST® until she reached her goal was an important achievement to far overshadow getting away from her food traps.
2) Support does make a difference. Losing weight is not quick or easy. Fran took advantage of the weekly 1:1 and group sessions during her first 9 months of the program to help her “stay honest.” She continues to be disciplined with her eating, activity and weighing in. Even today, she still comes in (about every 2 months) to get weighed and for group as a means of keeping accountable.
Fran received everything the program can offer: Reduced weight, improved health markers and fewer medications.
From 275 pounds with a handicap sticker and walking cane for support to running marathons, Fran is the inspiration for making a goal and working toward realizing it. She is now 60, still at her maintenance weight of 124, and just completed a 10-mile race in just over 3 hours. She will be running again – this time in the New York marathon in November.
“The best part of my physical change? For the first time in 16 years I’ve known my wife, she can give me a complete hug. She was never able to clasp her hands around me before.”
My Weight Loss Journey – Tim of Minnesota
“The New You contest is perfectly named because after following the OPTIFAST program for 17 weeks, I lost 101.3 pounds. I feel completely transformed in body, mind and soul.
Let’s start with the body. When I got on the scale on December 27th, 2013, I weighed 390 pounds. If I didn’t do something, the Old Me was going to flip my weight odometer past 400 by Valentine’s Day. The New Me was not in love with that idea.
So I reached out to Karen Holtmeier of the Medical Weight Management Center in Edina, MN. I told her how everyone had been telling me to just get gastric bypass surgery and that I thought re-arranging my plumbing probably wasn’t a good long-term solution for me. I needed mental readjustment too. When she explained the simplicity of the meal replacement plan, I felt free already. It was like a food-intervention. My diet was a no-brainer: 7 shakes a day.
Now I’m walking at least 7K (4.35 miles) 4 to 6 days a week. Exercise used to make me sick. Now I don’t feel well unless I get my workout in. Talk about a New Me!That allowed me to put more focus on starting an exercise program, which I knew was equally important to succeed. I started walking on the treadmill and the first week I worked out 6 days and went 9.84 miles. It was very difficult, but at least I was moving towards the New Me.
They took measurements at Medical Weight Management Center to remind me of how my hard work was paying off. My waist went from 63 inches to 50, my hips from 55 to 46, my chest from 56 to 47, my neck from 18 to 15.25, my thigh from 23 to 21, my calf from 20 to 18. I dropped from a 5XL shirt size to a 3XL. My pants size dropped from a 48 to a 38. But the best part of my physical change? For the first time in 16 years I’ve known my wife, she can give me a complete hug. She was never able to clasp her hands around me before.
My mindset and confidence has completely changed. I used to give up quickly on diets and go back to my Old Me way. Not this time. I set weight loss and fitness goals to keep myself motivated. The weekly OPTIFAST group meetings helped me understand what other people’s experiences were in the program, and dietary education with the nutritionist will help me maintain my new lifestyle by making better choices.
All the medical issues I had before I started OPTIFAST like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, kidney stones, low energy, being on the brink of weight-induced diabetes, were gone or greatly diminished. My blood pressure went from 176/107 to 102/70. Because of that, my blood pressure medication was cut in half. My LDL Cholesterol dropped by 44 points. I don’t snore anymore, (probably from that 2-inch neck fat loss), and I sleep so much better. And so does my wife!
OPTIFAST not only saved my life, it enhanced it. Even though I am almost 26% smaller, I feel like 10 times the person I was. I am actually inspiring others with my diet and exercise! What? Talk about a New Me. That would have never happened to the Old Me.
The best part is my OPTIFAST journey is not even complete. I want to lose 50 more pounds by the end of the year. So I look forward to meeting the Newer Me soon!”
My Weight Loss Journey – Deb P. of Bloomington, MN
I was lucky: I was a relatively healthy overweight person but concerned about my future health as well as increasing my mobility.
As a result of having had childhood polio, I use a wheelchair to get around, paired with forearm crutches. I do upper body exercises (weight training and archery) to maintain strength, but I just couldn’t burn enough calories to lose the fat. On top of that, I am less than five feet tall. I regularly lost — and then gained — the same 10 pounds! I have had weight challenges most of my life.
My annual physical resulted in normal cholesterol levels and good blood pressure readings. Phew! But my health was changing: My blood sugar levels were into the pre-diabetic range, and I just couldn’t change them. Fortunately, they weren’t bad enough to need medications, but it was a concern and I wanted to be able to get around easier. I really needed to get the weight off!
In 2010 I decided to try it on my own, once again. Even with a personal exercise trainer, watching my calories and eating more protein I still wasn’t losing the weight.
Before Labor Day 2011 I got an email from OPTIFAST®, encouraging me to join. I talked with my husband; we decided to see if OPTIFAST® could help me.
During my first visit, I could tell OPTIFAST® was going to be different than my previous diet experiences. In those early weeks, the support, education, medical evaluation and positive attitude I received from the clinic staff allowed me to really trust them with my health. I love the nutrition support they give: I thought I was carb sensitive and in fact, I’m ‘insulin resistant’ (carbs are not broken down well and are turned into fat). It made so much sense! They help me make wise choices when difficult social eating situations come up, as well as teaching how to maintain weight loss once goals are met.
I am happy to say that all my lab tests are now in the normal range (or better!). As a result of losing 75 pounds – and 45 inches – I get around with greater ease. And — as a bonus — although I am over 40, people tell me that I am looking younger!
“October 2013… Here I am, at a little over 2 years on my journey. 20+ pounds lighter than when I last ‘checked in’ for a total of 94 pounds lost and aiming to get to 105 pounds lost so I will be at my high school weight.
“Thank you to the team at Medical Weight Management Center and OPTIFAST® for their support. By having registered dietitians to share how the science influences our nutritional choices, and to educate us on the right foods, I know I can maintain this for life.
“I have lost 6.6 pounds since July, and even better–two inches off my waist and two inches off my hips. My lab results are good too!! I am more active than ever, working out at the gym 3-5 times a week, and it’s also been fun trying other activities. I can now do things I never would have tried since I have more mobility! (See picture of Deb on the three-wheeled, Can-Am she rode recently). From my full story above, you see I have physical challenges.”