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Forty pounds lost and not regained

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​To Paul Waid, the success he experienced with Marshfield Clinic’s weight management program isn’t just in the number of pounds he’s lost and been able to maintain. It’s in how much better he feels.

Paul Waid, of Merrill, succeeded with a medically managed weight loss program. Paul Waid, of Merrill, succeeded with a medically managed weight loss program.
“I went from feeling like I was 82 to feeling more like I am 42,” said Waid, a long-time funeral director in Merrill. “I can bike and walk, and I got some snowshoes that I used in winter. Before my weight loss, I could hardly walk.”

Waid said his health started to bottom out three years earlier after he injured his knee and the recovery did not go well, as least partly because of his weight. A year later, he was using a cane and realized he needed to try something else.

“I knew folks who had gone on the weight loss program and had miraculous results, so I decided to join it. But I still procrastinated for six months,” he said.

His physician, Gregory Gill, M.D.​ of Marshfield Clinic Merrill Center, referred him to the Health Management Resources (HMR®) program, which has been used by the Clinic since 1987.

Starting at 306 pounds, he lost about 33 pounds in just 12 weeks. He then joined the HMR® weight maintenance program, losing an additional seven pounds and keeping it off. His weight loss represents 13 percent of his prior body weight.

“I’d like to lose about 26 pounds more. I’ve got the tools and it’s more a matter of sticking to it,” he said.

A key for him is the weekly meeting for both programs, which includes a weigh-in. “I need the structure and accountability, and knowing that on Monday night I will get weighed in. It takes the naughty factor away.”

Waid has found his instructors and HMR services coordinator to be upbeat, energetic and positive.

During his first couple of weeks in the program, he was actually praised for eating so much, he recalled, because he was replacing high-calorie, low-bulk foods with healthier alternatives.

He also commented that when most people think of diets, they probably think of being hungry or unfulfilled by small food quantities.

By contrast, Waid said, “I’ve never eaten so much food in my life. It almost became a job just eating.”

The HMR® program features daily entrees that are satisfying but not fattening, supplemented by several servings of fruits and vegetables. Some people choose the option of low-calorie weight-loss shakes for most meals and snacks.

The program also encourages exercise, with a goal of burning 2,000 calories per week.

Marshfield Clinic Merrill Center’s dietician said Waid’s experience is common with this program. Of 19 participants in two maintenance classe, 58 percent had maintained 75 to 100 percent of their initial weight loss after a year in the program. Of those, 68 percent maintained at least 50 percent of their weight loss.

Five of the 19 maintained more than 100 percent of their weight loss. That means that they, like Waid, continued to lose weight while enrolled in the maintenance program.

HMR® published data from selected programs offering the Healthy Solutions® Program show a 35-40 pound average weight loss.

Much of the success of the program is because of the support and accountability built into it. Participants report the food satisfies their nutritional needs, is easy to prepare and tasty, and keeps them satisfied so they’re not as tempted to indulge in less healthy snacking.

In addition to Merrill, Clinic-based HMR Weight Loss programs are offered at Marshfield Clinic centers in Minocqua and Marshfield. The HMR at Home program is available throughout the Clinic system.

For more information about HMR or other weight loss tips, or to sign up for a program, contact Nutrition Services in Merrill at 715-539-0123 or in Marshfield at 715-387-5480.

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