Losing Weight; Gaining Confidence

Weight loss patient walking in the parkBrittany Thomas of Roseville has her eyes on the prize. After losing 64 pounds in six months, the 24-year-old is almost halfway to achieving her weight loss goal. Not only is she losing weight, she’s building confidence and improving her quality of life. And she’s done it despite a pandemic that altered her weight loss routine.

The right time to make healthy changes

Brittany had tried to lose weight on her own in the past. But with the pressure of working full time and going to school, she ended up gaining most of it back.

“I started looking toward the future and I realized I don’t want to bring obesity problems into a marriage or when I’m ready to have children. It complicates everything. I figured there’s no easier time then now for me to lose the weight,” said Brittany.

In January 2020, she stared Henry Ford Macomb’s Center for Weight Management. By June, she had lost 64 pounds, and was nearly halfway to her 150-pound weight loss goal.

“I’m close to the lowest weight I’ve been in my adult life,” said Brittany. “It’s moving so quickly. I expected it to take longer.”

Sticking to the plan, despite a pandemic

Brittany is using the Healthy Solutions plan, which includes the HMR shakes, two HMR entrees and a minimum of 5 servings of vegetables and fruit daily. Brittany says she finds the meals very helpful because they take the stress out of planning what to eat for the day, leaving more time for workouts.

“The food is delicious. I came to orientation and sampled a shake and penne pasta. I was excited and surprised by how good they tasted. My favorite entrée is barbeque chicken with rice and beans. I use that for dinner every other night,” said Brittany.

While many people saw the numbers on their scale go up due to stress or inactivity during the COVID-19 surge, Brittany has continued to lose weight steadily while switching to virtual support classes.

Before COVID-19, she met Saturday mornings face-to-face for a group class and individual weigh in. Now, the group class is conducted via Zoom (she hasn’t missed a call) and she uses her own scale for weigh ins.

“It’s a wonderful group with a great sense of community. We share stories and experiences. They keep me balanced,” said Brittany.

She credits accountability as a key factor to her success.

“Every time I’ve craved something outside of my program, I’ve seen Jackee’s face (her health educator) and I didn’t’ want to disappoint her more than I didn’t want to disappoint myself,” Brittany said. “Jackee has been my coach since the beginning. She is knowledgeable, experienced, relatable and she doesn’t judge me. I think she gets more excited than I do to celebrate my successes!”

The biggest change during the pandemic has been the exercise. While the Center for Weight Management instructors share exercises that they demonstrate in class, it is up to each person to find what activities fit into their lifestyle.

“The gym was a source of motivation. It gave me good results, but it’s closed right now,” said Brittany.

She currently does YouTube video workouts and a circuit that she put together herself, along with walking at the Fraser High School track.

Brittany’s mom and sister have also become clients of the Center for Weight Management, so the family checks in with each other to help stay on track. They’re all motivated to avoid diabetes, which runs in the family.

“As time goes by, I’ve become a little more comfortable and confident. There are not the same pressures I felt in high school. My goal now is to look completely different by the time I finish with my bachelor’s degree,” said Brittany.

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