Donna's Success Story - Medical Weight Loss

Donna (middle) with Dr. Liz Levinson (left) and Dafna Chazin, RD (right)Donna’s work as a 911 Operator had taken a toll on her health. Virtua’s Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program gave her the tools to get back on track. 

She’s lost 72 pounds in 15 weeks. Find out how she did it.

What kind of weight issues were you facing before you joined the Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program?

I attribute my weight gain to stress. I endured some painful life moments including the loss of my husband. To comfort myself, I turned to food.

And then, there’s work.

As a 911 operator, I work long hours and swing between day and night shifts. My job requires me to be on the phone, so I sit most of the time. Sometimes we’re so busy; I can’t even take a lunch break.

I’ve always been heavy, but these life circumstances and job demands have resulted in significant weight gain over the last 16 years.

What made you decide to join the program?

I reached a tipping point after I’d had several episodes where I had to go to the emergency room due to heart problems, and my doctor also told me that I needed a knee replacement.

My knees had gotten so bad; I walked with a cane. And they wouldn’t replace my knee until I lost weight.

I’ve tried other weight-loss programs without any long-term success. My sister had wanted to try Virtua’s weight-loss program, so when she referred me to it, I decided to give it a try.

How was your experience with Virtua’s Medically Supervised Weight Loss program?

By following the plan consisting of meal replacement shakes, bars and soups and eating one nutritious meal per day, I lost 26 pounds in the first week! And I’ve continued to lose weight every week since. [Note that individual results will vary.]

Because I’ve invested the money and time and made a commitment to others in the program, I really applied myself.

How did the Virtua team help you throughout the process?

The expertise and kindness of the staff have helped me throughout this process.

The weight-loss doctor and dietitians set me up with a program that fits my life. Also, at the support group meetings, I received the information I need to maintain the weight loss over time.

And because I’ve been seen by a doctor, I got connected to other specialists who helped me with other weight-related issues. For example, I had sleep issues, so a pulmonary doctor helped me breathe better at night.

What lifestyle changes might you adopt as a result of the program?

This program has changed the way I eat. I feel good and I want to feel better.

I haven’t eaten pizza in weeks. And I bought Halloween candy for the trick-or-treaters and didn’t eat any of it.

I think more about what I eat, especially at work. I love the puddings and shakes that the program provides. I know that they’re full of fiber and other nutrients that keep me full. They really help me get through my long work shifts.

What has been the reaction of your friends and family regarding your weight loss?

My sister was the one who introduced me to this program, so she’s definitely been supportive. She said: “You’re standing up straighter and you have more bounce in your step.”

I don’t need the cane as much anymore, and my doctor says that I can get the knee surgery. After that, I’m hoping that I can start exercising again. Not only that, I talked to my cardiologist, and she cut my heart and cholesterol medicine in half.

I’ve lost 72 pounds in 15 weeks, everyone I know is so proud of me. I’m ready to keep on going.

Updated February 15, 2017


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