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Father’s weight loss catches son by surprise

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Jeff Buettner lost 120 pounds in a year and his wife, Anne, lost 40 thanks to Health Management Resource® (HMR) weight management program at Marshfield Clinic. It was such a big loss that their own son, returning home from military duty overseas, didn't recognize them at first.

Jeff and Anne Buettner, Weston Jeff and Anne Buettner, Weston

​"We were walking down a long hall at the Milwaukee airport and saw him off to the side," Jeff said. "He saw us, but you could tell he didn't recognize us, because he went back over to the side area. When we finally got close, this huge grin came across his face and he said, 'Who is this guy?' It was a complete surprise, just as we'd hoped."

Jeff's weight loss, from a high of 365 pounds to 245, is a dramatic example of how the HMR weight management program can work. But he's hardly alone, as hundreds of patients in Wausau and surrounding areas have had their own success stories.

The HMR program provides intensive lifestyle education, personalized attention and follow-up, and an emphasis on long-term weight and health management. HMR offers a variety of diet options for anyone wanting to lose 10 to 200 or more pounds. 

Just don't tell Jeff it's a miracle. "People say that, but it's really not a miracle," he said. "I've worked hard at changing my lifestyle to eliminate the junk food and starting to exercise like I never did before." In the process, he's gone from a 52-inch waist to 36 inches.

That process started in April 2012 when Jeff's primary care physician, JF Herbert R. Macalalad, M.D.​​, laid it straight on the line. "I can yell at you all I want but you're the one who has to do something," Jeff remembers him saying. Jeff felt miserable, his feet were killing him after a day's work, and he couldn't fit in an airline seat or a carnival ride.

Dr. Macalalad, medical director of Marshfield Clinic's HMR program, told him about an orientation meeting coming up. Jeff was skeptical but mentioned it to Anne, who was all for it, and they both went to the meeting. What they heard surprised them. You could actually eat enough to satisfy yourself, they were told, but it had to be the right kind of food. He committed to the medically supervised "No decisions" plan which, as it sounds, clearly spelled out his meals. He agreed to attend a weekly meeting of fellow weight-loss candidates.

"At one of the early meetings, they asked who is hungry tonight? We all raised our hands, so they gave us a prescription of two double HMR shakes that night," he said. "The whole idea was to not go hungry. And it worked."

Anne is thankful for the change.

"I was thinking I would probably be an early widow," she said. The HMR program has worked for her as well; with 40 less pounds, it's easier to perform her mail carrier job, which requires her to walk 8-10 miles per day.

For more information about Marshfield Clinic's HMR Weight Management Program plans, visit or call 1-877-492-6508.​

Before his major weight loss, Jeff is shown with his wife, Anne, and their son, Tom, during a military leave. Before his major weight loss, Jeff is shown with his wife, Anne, and their son, Tom, during a military leave.​​