Roseville woman was a quick study in weight loss techniques

weight loss patient Lisa Rajnicek on boardwalkLisa Rajnicek’s journey to a healthier lifestyle began in July 2018. Looking at pictures from her niece’s graduation party, she was shocked at how heavy she appeared in the photos.

Lisa, who holds two master’s degrees, recognized that years of studying and eating fast food for convenience had contributed to her sedentary lifestyle.

“People joke about the ‘freshman 15’…by the time I finished my education, I had gained the ‘graduate school 30.’ I had been taking care of all these other areas in my life, but I didn’t know how to take care of my own body,” said Lisa.

Finding the right fit

Her primary care doctor, Sararla Vunnam, M.D. referred Lisa, 57, to Henry Ford Macomb Hospital’s Center for Weight Management.

Lisa, a Roseville resident, had tried other weight loss programs when she was younger, but found the weigh-ins intimidating. “One of the ladies made a comment that stressed me out and I just never went back,” she recalls.

At the Center for Weight Management introduction session, Sherry, who led the presentation, was “confident, positive and cheerful.” Lisa decided to give it a try.

“My first meeting with Trish (the nutritionist) was such an eyeopener about what nutrition should look like in a day. I left with a plan in my hand…and I’m a good student,” said Lisa.

Through weekly nutrition classes, she learned about protein, fiber and the benefits of veggies.

“I never knew any of that,” she said “The whole staff at Center for Weight Management is amazing, especially my coach Lisa Peters. She practices what she preaches and does the diet with us.”

Lisa also commented that she enjoyed the HMR meal replacements.

“The food was a non-issue. What other diet can you have chocolate shakes every day?”

Other favorites include the lasagna or enchiladas, which she says also make a good sauce for vegetables.

Reaching her weight loss goals

Lisa shared that when she first set a weight loss goal, she had no idea what was possible. She just picked a number: 30 pounds. Just one year later, she has lost 62 pounds.

“My grandson weighs 57 pounds. He’s a reminder that I was carrying that much extra weight around every day. No wonder my back hurt; no wonder my ankles swelled. I had no stamina.”

Reaping the benefits

Gardening is a favorite hobby for Lisa. While before her weight loss, she would barely last an hour, she can now work outside all day.

“The old me is back!” she exclaimed. “I walk every day. I still struggle a bit to fit in the total recommended physical activity. I work at a church, so on my lunch break, I go up and down the stairs to the balcony. Twelve flights was my goal. Now I finish and I’m not winded. I guess I need to up my goal!”

The physical activity has the added benefit of providing reflective time, serving as a de-stressor and helping to clear her mind.

Lisa, who never expected to do so well, is excited to share her success story with others.

“The staff where I work have seen my progress. Four other people have joined the program because of my example. And my six-year-old grandson is learning eating habits from me. He understands that sugar is not a food!”

One more thing Lisa has noticed is that people seem to pay more attention to her when she gives presentations.

“I know I project a more professional appearance and I’ve gotten some tips on what to wear. I feel better; I look better; and that has helped me to gain more confidence.”

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