Bill Whitcomb's story
Like many people, Bill Whitcomb has had a battle with weight since childhood. Over the years, he would exercise, eat less and successfully lose weight; only to regain it all back - along with a few extra pounds.
About five years ago, his weight had reached a new high. He began exercising in earnest, again, but this time with little change in eating habits. He lost some weight but then an elbow injury lifting weights knocked him off his exercise routine and the weight came on quickly. Bill had resigned himself to his new larger size with the purchase of a new wardrobe. However, a year later he was already outgrowing these new clothes. “I felt embarrassed having to buy larger clothing already and my doctor was continuing to recommend blood pressure medication. I knew something had to change.”
He had great intentions. “Every morning I would say today! Today is the day I do something about this situation” explains Bill. “But, this seemed overwhelming and often by the afternoon, I was back to my old ways of eating.” Bill was concerned about his health, not just his weight. He had seen examples in his own family how debilitating obesity can become. “So far, I was lucky. But, the reality was that I was a 56-year-old man who was not exercising, weighed over 300 pounds and was headed for trouble…perhaps a heart attack, stroke, diabetes. I knew I had to change the way I was living but I needed some help.”
His time had come. “I was looking through Southwest Health magazine and the program Weight Loss for Life caught my eye”, explains Bill. “Just the name of the program clicked for me. I didn’t want a quick fix or another yo-yo diet experience. I wanted to improve my health and lose the weight for good. Since the program was through Southwest, I had confidence that the hospital’s health professionals would not support a fad diet.”
Bill attended the Weight Loss for Life orientation session and learned about the program. “I had some initial hesitation about the meal replacements, but I decided I had to give it a try. As I continued, I saw the important role of meal replacements as I learned skills to make wise choices in the grocery store, the kitchen, in restaurants, and in social situations.” During his medical evaluation, Dr. Susan Bradley suggested that if this program didn’t work, that he should consider bariatric surgery. “To me this re-emphasized the seriousness of my weight problem. I was determined to lose the weight and keep it off.”
The program emphasized changes that almost immediately improved his health. His blood pressure dropped dramatically during the first few weeks of the program. The weight also started dropping. After losing the first 10 pounds, Bill was already noticing the difference. “I felt better, I could move easier and there was less stress on my joints.” In November 2007, seven months after starting, Bill reached his goal weight; 120 pounds lighter. He is continuing in the maintenance phase of the program and his weight has remained stable. “Deciding to lose weight is a very personal decision. For me, I knew it was time. The Weight Loss for Life program has given me the skills and the structure to make the right decisions for my health. And, you can’t put a price on that.”