Jefferson University Hospitals

Getting Older and Wiser About Weight Loss

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"The OPTIFAST portion of the program really gives you a sense of accomplishment as the pounds start coming off"

Leigh was a fat baby, a fat kid and then a fat adult.

Like many people, she would lose the weight but had trouble with maintaining her weight loss.

Perhaps with age really does come wisdom.

Seven years ago, Leigh, a registered nurse, decided that the time had come to take better care of herself.  Living in Center City Philadelphia, she started looking for a surgical option to keep off the weight and found Comprehensive Weight Management Program instead.

"Finding the program really made the difference," Leigh shared. "For the longest time, I never knew when I was hungry or full, I just ate for a lot of other reasons. When I started the OPTIFAST program, I didn't have to make any decisions; I just followed the program."

OPTIFAST is an 800-calorie-per-day liquid diet that is medically safe and medically supervised.

By the third day, she no longer felt hungry and stayed on the liquid diet for almost eight weeks. Leigh was amazed that she dropped 15 percent of her body weight in those first weeks.

"The OPTIFAST portion of the program really gives you a sense of accomplishment as the pounds start coming off."

Leigh moved from the liquid diet to the second phase of the Weight Management Program, where she began exercising regularly and eating lots of protein and vegetables.

"I knew I was facing the biggest hurdle, which was moving from a structured eating regimen to having to make healthy choices. This is where the classes became an essential part of my success. You just learn so much about what is happening to your body when you eat certain foods, and how to shop and cook."

But keeping the weight off is the hardest part. Leigh lost 60 pounds with the program and seven years later, she has kept off most of the weight.

Unfortunately, a cancer diagnosis and the accompanying treatment have meant a roughly 15-pound weight gain. But Leigh is committed. She continues to attend classes once a month and after fighting cancer, losing those regained pounds seems like a walk in the park.