When will you lose weight, get in better shape, be healthier?
It’s a promise you may have made many times, but it never seems to stick. So, when do you make a physical and emotional commitment to that better health? And, where do you start?
You first make a commitment to yourself then look for something tried and true to help you reach your goal.
Health Educator Renee Trapp and Registered Nurse Kelly Murphy, Marshfield Clinic Health System, have helped people get answers to these questions and coach them on journeys to better health.
Trapp and Murphy work with Health Management Resources® (HMR) weight management programs offered through the Health System that promote and support fast and lasting weight loss.
“This lifestyle change program not only teaches how to lose weight but to maintain the weight loss,” Trapp said. “It’s a very structured program with few decisions for people to make. That’s really what produces lots of weight loss. The more decisions people have to make the less willpower they have. When someone only has a few choices, it’s better.”
These programs – high-quality weight management and risk factor management services – help adults lose weight safely through lifestyle changes and meal replacements, and learn about nutrition and lifestyle management. The Health System has offered these services, in weekly small-group class settings, for more than 30 years. HMR, a national program, started in 1983 and has been offered through the Health System for the past 36 years.
With their oversight, Murphy and Trapp help people with this approach:
Phase 1 – weight loss
“People in this phase have no decisions about how to make a healthy plate of food,” Murphy said. “It’s ‘to do’ behaviors rather than ‘don’t do this, don’t do that.’ People perform better if they have things to do vs. traditional ‘no no no.’ They also need to commit to record keeping; attending class; setting eating behaviors every day, like 3 shakes and 2 entrees daily or five servings of fruit/veggies; setting physical activity goals; and consuming non-caloric/water fluid.”
Phase 2 – maintenance
This phase, Murphy said, builds on healthy routine behaviors, like physical activity and how to make healthy meal choices. They keep meal replacements in place to balance calories and choose lean proteins, grains, portion sizes and incorporate half their plates with fruit/veggies.
Phase 3 – one-on-one monthly visits, if desired
Trapp and Murphy have seen people make commitments to lose weight, keep it off and make wise food choices that have built a better lifestyle long-term, all leading to dramatic change.
“I typically meet people at their lowest times,” Trapp said, “and as the program goes on I see them transform into the people they wanted or hoped to be. I see people who don’t believe in themselves but with weeks of practice they start to see quality in themselves again. A lot of people with weight problems don’t see their own self-worth. It comes out in classes to love and be kind to yourself. For those losing 20 or 100 pounds, I see progress through this program.”
Murphy sees numbers improve. “I get to watch blood pressures go down, people getting off insulin and cholesterol medicines, all those decreased numbers,” she said. “They’re so happy about that, along with the exercise they can do. They feel so much better.”
Trapp, herself a runner, was inspired by a woman in her 60s who lost over 100 pounds. The woman started walking, then running a mile, worked her way up to a 3.1-mile race, then a 10K and now she’s won medals in her age group. “To develop this type of skill in her late 60s and continue to do 5ks and 10ks, to become a runner so late in life, that’s pretty amazing,” she said.
They’re also amazed by one woman who lost 75 pounds and finally tried – and loved – zip-lining; another woman who no longer uses a cane after losing 50 pounds and doing two hours of daily physical activity and can’t say enough about getting her life back; a woman who owned horses and lost enough weight to comfortably ride them again; and a man who now does not have blood pressure off the charts, is off diabetes and other medications and is running 10 miles a day “and understands how precious life is,” Trapp said.
To learn more about HMR, click on this link. And both Murphy and Trapp encourage you to consult your health care provider before starting any weight loss program.