Personal diligence and HMR help Merrill woman change her body at age 69
Cheryl Wright, Merrill, was almost resigned to being always overweight.
She was feeling miserable with arthritis, not moving well and was tired all the time. Wright was dependent on her cane to get around.
Read Kurt's story of weight loss success.
She wanted to be able to move better, lose some of her aches and pains and take some pounds off her joints. Wright also wanted to decrease her blood pressure.
“I have been not just overweight, but obese for 95 percent of my life," said Wright.
At age 69, Wright decided to take a chance in the Health Management Resources (HMR®) weight management program offered through Marshfield Clinic Health System at Marshfield Clinic Wausau Center.
After using HMR for 18 months, Wright, a retired nurse, now gets around without being dependent on her cane, is feeling better, decreased her blood pressure and lost 70 pounds.
“The first six weeks I was very aggressive and followed the program to a T," she said. “I had some non-related health issues so I couldn't be very active in the beginning."
But her diligence with the program allowed her to still drop weight. As she got healthier, Wright did start to do some walking and water walking.
“(The weight) just came off a bit slower, so I was in the program longer," she said. “Dr. Herbert Macalalad was great and worked with me, (Registered Nurse) Kelly Murphy educated and encouraged me and I had great support from my husband, who was my biggest cheerleader."
Rewards needed to be different
Wright said she tried a lot of the fad diets and none really were right for her. She knew how to cheat on those. Rather than a drastic diet, Wright set small weight-loss goals for herself and when she hit those marks allowed herself non-food rewards. At her 25-pound weight loss benchmark, she got herself a pedicure with white polka dots. At another benchmark Wright treated herself to a new red dress.
"I couldn't reward myself with something like a hot fudge sundae, because you just want more," she said. "So I would get a new hair-do and I had to get new clothes. I threw my old ones away, so I couldn't fall back into old habits. I wouldn't let myself."
Wright gets around much better now, has lowered her blood pressure and is almost unrecognizable, she says.
"Now, standing in the lobby at church, my pastor looks at me and says he barely recognizes me," Wright said.
Her advice: Start sooner
"If I could give any advice to other people thinking about starting this, it's that it's never too late, but don't wait to start a weight loss program," Wright said. "If I can do it, they can do it. Overall, I am feeling better and not hurting."
She continues to use the healthy lifestyle habits she learned, and she checks in once a month to report her weight and physical activity, knowing she can purchase meal replacements as needed. The weight is staying off, but Wright admits it's more difficult than she ever imagined.
"It's harder than I thought," Wright said. "I have to consciously think and keep doing things and not just sit around. But I know I will keep the weight off."
For information, call the HMR program in Minocqua at 715-358-1036, or Wausau at 715-847-3882.
Visit their webpage to learn more.