Guest Blogger Rosa: Wife, Mother and Grandmother

31 Mar

I’m a wife, mother, and grandmother.  I have always been comfortable putting all of the focus on my family, that way I didn’t have to focus on myself.  The boys are involved in a variety of after school activities so I stay involved as a booster member, not to mention I also have staff and committee meetings to attend at school.  My mother also lives alone so I try to spend a few evenings a week with her.

After many years of not paying attention to myself, my weight skyrocketed and my health plummeted.  What’s worse is I feel like I’ve led my family into the same situation.  My husband was overweight and my youngest two sons still living at home were following suit.  Some days, I feel like my alarm is the starting bell to a race and doesn’t stop until I hit the pillow at night.  If I was going to keep up at this pace, I knew I had to make a change.

I needed a weight loss program that gave me a daily intake plan to follow with guided food choices.  I didn’t do well with the “eat whatever you want and still lose weight” weight loss programs.  Following MWLC, I’m encouraged to make well balanced meals from all of the food groups, something I haven’t done in the past.  We are all losing weight!

Prepping food for the week is key to our success.  Making sure supplement bars are on hand for the kids and easy to grab snacks keep us all from veering off plan.
We all started as a family in April last year and by Halloween, I’d lost sixty pounds.  It was great seeing everyone over the holidays and for the first time I didn’t mind the attention.  I’ve maintained the weight loss and now that spring is here, I’m ready to set another weight loss goal. Shedding another 25 pounds will have me looking forward to clothes shopping for the summer!

Support varies from family, friends, and even sometimes in the workplace. Joining colleagues in a weight loss challenge at work will keep me motivated more than ever.

-Rosa

 

Guest Blogger Rosa: My Teenagers on the Plan

13 Jan

Izaak and Ben are the two youngest out of our five children.  They joined Medical Weight Loss Clinic with my husband Mike and I.  At age 17 and 18, Izaak and Ben are our last two children living at home with us.  Their older brother and sisters are off on their own with their own families.  The four of us decided as a family to clean out the house, lose weight and learn to eat what our bodies needed to be healthy.

Izaak, the baby, is my homebody.  He’s quiet and loves hanging out at home with the family. Marching Band is his social time with friends and this is his third year marching for his high school.  Since joining Medical Weight Loss Clinic, Izaak has lost 52 pounds.  He told me, “Marching in the hot heat at summer camp and all of the football games was so much easier this year after losing weight.”

Ben is the social one out of my boys.  He’s always on the go.  Like me, Ben has always struggled with weight and maintaining good eating habits.  We LOVE FOOD!  After deciding not to play sports this year, Ben’s weight climbed.  When I asked Ben what his goal was, he said, “I need to keep trying.  I want to get this weight off.”

Our biggest support system is the staff at the Clinton Township location.  They helped the boys put together a customized menu that made the program work during their school days.  Ben and Izaak both say, “School is easy now.  Our biggest struggle is the weekend and when we’re out with friends.”   Our team at Medical Weight Loss Clinic help the boys make wiser choices when ordering out with friends.  They educate them on how to pick their protein, starch, etc. so they stick as close to the plan as possible. For example, the boys struggle with pasta and chips. A good substitute has been Special K chips. Another great substitute the boys have learned is replacing pop and energy drinks with tea. New favorites now are sauteed peppers, onions, and mushrooms with every dinner.

When I ask them if they had any tips for staying motivated through the cold weather, “The best way to stay on track is to keep busy and drink lots of water.”

There are weeks that have been a struggle for them.  They’re teenagers!  The best thing I can do is keep encouraging and reminding them of the awesome accomplishment they’ve made by sticking with it and that every bit of effort counts!

Guest Blogger Rosa: POWER IN NUMBERS

14 Nov

We had little will power on our own, but together we had the power to make the change.  My husband Mike, our two boys Ben (17yrs) and Izaak (16yrs), and I, collectively agreed enough was enough.  My name is Rosa and this is my story.  We were your typical diet shoppers, trying this program and that program.  We cheered each other on when one of us attempted to make a change in our life.  Inevitably, it always ended up in disappointment.  We would gain back everything we lost and then some.

This is the first time we are ALL in it together.  My two teenage boys participated in the kitchen cleanout.  We gave away all of the boxes, cans, bags, and bottles.  I called the closest Medical Weight Loss Clinic and the voice on the phone didn’t make us wait for an appointment.  “Come on in and let’s talk.” she said.  Jeannine invited us into her office and had just the right sense of humor that put my teens at ease.  As the mom, I felt a tremendous sense of guilt sitting in her office listening to my boys talk about the number they wished the scale would read one day.

Since then, everyone at our MWLC welcomes us with positive thoughts and encouragement.  I know we’re at the right place when I hear Ben and Izaak open up to the staff about why they’re there and what difficulties they are facing for that day.  I will tell you that the school day is the most challenging for them.  Our friends at MWLC listen to Ben and Izaak’s concerns.  They tweak and tailor their menu choices regularly to make lunchtime and snacks at school manageable.   Every Sunday evening, we all sit at the kitchen table prepping our food for the week.  Ben is really good at creating our grocery list and meals for the week.  Izaak and I measure, cut and bag up items for lunches and snacks for easy access for being on –the-go.  We all agree Mike is the best cook so I’ve gladly left that job for him.

Today, I’ve lost 60.5 pounds and my boys (husband included) are feeling just as successful.  We’re still working toward the goals we’ve set for ourselves.  Every day and every weigh in, I watch my family move toward a healthier and happier life.

Rosa

PS:  I texted this to the boys when we began changing our way of living life.  I still send it to them when I know we have a day of temptation coming up (holidays, parties, etc).

quote-worth-it

BCBSM’s Beyond The Card: Weight Lost, Perspective Gained

10 Oct

Changing your lifestyle to be healthier in order to lose weight can be tough—a fact some people know better than others. For some, like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members Rosa Benson and Mary Sue Krause, it helps to recruit your children, siblings, spouses and other family members for support and accountability. For others, like Blue Cross member Jim Mayne, losing weight is a personal health journey that’s best done a little more solo.

Though their reasons for wanting to lose weight varied, these three members all shared one common thing: They got healthy with the help of local organization Medical Weight Loss Clinic. This clinic is a wellness consultation service with locations around Michigan helping people manage their diet, exercise and general health routines to improve their lifestyle and lose weight. It also offers Blue Cross members an exclusive discount through the Blue365 savings program. Together, they hope their stories inspire their peers, communities and fellow Blue Cross members to do the same.

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Mary Sue Krause

Embracing the process is half the battle

Mayne, in particular, knows that weight loss is just as much about the journey as it is about the destination and goal.

“My weight fluctuated for years, putting me on a roller coaster of heart and medical conditions as a result,” said Mayne. “But this time is different. I’ve got the support of my team at my Medical Weight Loss Clinic and my family and I’ve lost a total of 56 pounds in the past four months. It’s been a battle, but I know that as long as I keep doing what I’ve been doing the past few months, it’s a battle I can win.”

Saving dollars became an added perk

As a part of Blue Cross’ member discounts program, Blue365, members can save money on the Medical Weight Loss Clinic—something many don’t realize until after they’ve signed up.

“I wasn’t aware of the Blue Cross discount until I went to my first consultation,” said Krause. “I have two sisters and a co-worker who have now joined the program because I told them about the savings! We’ve been able to weigh in together and support each through the ups and downs of the whole process.”

Teamwork helps make the dream work

Support also made a huge difference to Benson, who signed up for the clinic with her husband and two sons.

“For me and my family, the discount kept up signed up for longer, meaning we had more help losing weight and kept at it for longer than we might have otherwise,” said Benson. “Blue365 made it affordable for our whole family to get healthy through the clinic.”

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Jim Mayne

The ripple effect

Most importantly, the members participating in the program say they feel better than ever. “I can bend over and tie my shoes easily and move around with less of a struggle,” said Mayne. “Plus my diabetes, liver enzymes and bloodwork are in check. I’ve made the commitment to this lifestyle and truly feel like I’m embracing it.”

Benson also knows that the progress has positively impacted her family just as much as it has her own health.

“Alongside my husband and two kids, I’ve lost almost 50 pounds in just a few months,” said Benson. “I’m more positive, happy and healthy—and so is my family!”

All three participants, and those who attend Medical Weight Loss Clinics in general, know the value of the services they’re receiving.

“I feel lucky and blessed that I found the clinic,” said Krause. “It’s helped me change my life for the better.”

To learn more about Medical Weight Loss Clinic and its partnership with the Blue365 program, click here.

Link to original article: http://www.mibluesperspectives.com/2016/09/09/beyond-the-card-weight-lost-perspective-gained/

Bobbie’s Blog: Healthy BBQ Ideas To Stay On Track

26 May

Somehow, summer weather makes every day feel like a vacation.  Ice cream with the kids, s’mores at the bonfire and beer with neighbors has me realizing summer can be just as dangerous as winter.  The assumption warm weather means being healthier has suddenly challenge my weekends and evenings.  Thoughts of holiday feasts or cozy evenings indoors watching snowflakes would be replaced by the great outdoors and fresh food, right?  Wrong!  The temptation of summer fun and the lack of routine – is a big challenge! 

Anticipating the kids will be out of school for the summer soon, barbeques and vacation–has thrown me for a loop. I am trying to strategize a plan for summer by focusing on the following so I can stay on track and still have fun:

Bottle It: The scale will reflect if you aren’t hydrated enough when you retain water. Bring your own water bottle in the car, to bbq’s, work, etc.  If you have an occasional beverage at least you will be hydrated—especially if you plan to be outdoors in the heat. Bring your own stocked cooler, so you aren’t tempted by sugary, alcoholic drinks with empty calories if you get thirsty.

Dish to Pass: Veggie/fruit platters, chicken to grill, low-cal buns are options instead of going hungry and indulging on unhealthy choices. Beef/Shrimp/Chicken Kabobs, Chicken Salad, Mock Potato Salad—all are great dishes for a barbecue. Kabobs are a great option for the whole family!

Check out  www.mwlc.com/recipes for these recipes and more. Recipes are even sorted by meals or specific ingredients.

Best Alternative to Potato Chips = Kellogg’s Special K Crackers in a variety of flavors. Avoid the open bags as it leads to endless consumption of excessive salt and calories.

Daiquiri or Dessert? Turn your favorite shake into a smoothie by adding fresh or frozen fruit and ice for a refreshing dessert-like daiquiri. Creating a favorite non-alcoholic drink for socializing, means you don’t have to compromise your diet or feel left out. Make it festive by drinking in a fun glass.

My kind of treat!

My kind of treat!

 

Don’t underestimate a vacation or barbecue. If you plan to indulge, be smart about the remainder of your day. One meal is not reason to throw in the towel for a whole day. Plan accordingly, drink water and get back on track at your next snack or meal.

Don’t take a vacation from your progress!

Bobbie

*Always confirm with your clinic which foods are best suited for your plan

 

Bobbie’s Blog: Step Up & Overcome Your Physical Struggles

18 May

When I started Medical Weight Loss Clinic in 2015, I also signed up for a 5k in Detroit. I am not a runner and never have been, but I felt compelled to try.  Half-way through the race, I began to struggle. Feeling like I would vomit, my husband gave me the option to quit or to keep going. I jumped in a cab and quit. Disappointed in myself, I decided to try again in 2016. Without expectations, I enlisted my friends and family to join me in fun-runs throughout Michigan. I wasn’t looking to compete or finish in a certain time, I just wanted to complete the races.

In April of this year, I ran a race with six of my closest friends. All of us are of different athletic abilities, some are marathon runners, some have lost close to 75 pounds or have never run before—yet we all finished. I was emotional at the finish line. I did it. Not fast by any means, but I finished. I never thought I could run 3.1 miles, especially after feeling defeated a year ago.

An emotional finish! I did it!

What an incredible feeling to reach the finish line – I did it!

 

This year, I have committed to one run or walk every month. There are a lot of walks for free that your whole family can participate in, and sometimes, you can even bring your dogs. If the thought of running intimidates you or you aren’t physically capable to run—that’s okay! It’s just about moving. Here is what helped me try again this year:

Partner Up

Enlist friends or family to walk or run with you. There is nothing more encouraging than doing something with people who are fun to be with. A team or buddy will also keep you accountable.

Sign-Up

Active.com is great resource to find walks/runs of all types in your area. There are family-friendly walks, walks with pets, competitive, non-competitive and even free events. Signing up commits you!

Warm-Up

Couch to 5k is a great running tool to train you over several weeks so you aren’t jumping in without preparation. You can find it online and printable—for free.

Suit Up

Make sure you have good shoes and comfortable work-out gear. There is nothing worse than work-out clothes that chafe your skin or don’t fit right while you’re exercising or old shoes that can lead to aches and pains.

Join MWLC as they have teams participating at the following events this summer:

June 4th, 2016                     Grand Rapids, MI                   Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis

June 16th, 2016                    Royal Oak, MI                        Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis

To register, visit:  www.mwlc.com/community_events

 

Walking with the MWLC family at the AA Heart Walk!

My family joined the MWLC team at the AHA Heart Walk at EMU on 5/7!

 

If running isn’t your thing, try and explore something physical you do like. I know firsthand the discouragement one can feel when you physically can’t do what you want. Recognize your limitations and be realistic about your health and start slow. Momentum is a powerful force when you are patient and try!

Bobbie

 

Bobbie’s Blog: Before & After – One Year Later, Lessons Learned From Weight Loss

10 May

Why did I wait? I should have done this sooner?” spoken by the woman who hadn’t been to a gynecologist in 25 years and never had a mammogram. In January, my mother had surgery to remove three ribs and a large cancerous tumor. My mother, the amazing woman who could wrangle four grandchildren and work 14 hour days as a nurse.

She never invested in herself, always putting everyone else first.  And with this admission, she taught me a great lesson:  I NEED to invest in myself, my health and well-being. No more canceling dentist appointments or putting off annual appointments because I’m “busy”. Today matters and it’s not selfish to take care of myself.

I make a lot of excuses, “I don’t have time, it’s expensive, or it will be hard.” Perhaps, it’s the mom in me or seeing my own mother selfless in her career and family that perpetuates these emotions.  Thankful for the journey I’ve experienced in the past year, it’s amazing how one life-changing appointment at Medical Weight Loss Clinic could make such a profound impact on my life.

May 2013 Beach Vacation with baby #3 - 196 lbs and holding until I decided to join MWLC in May 2015!

May 2013:
Beach Vacation with baby #3 – 196 lbs and holding until I decided to join MWLC in May 2015!

 

Four sizes smaller, 45 pounds less and feeling more like myself in years, I’m emotional thinking back to last year.  In a year’s time, I achieved what I couldn’t do on my own—it’s become much more than a physical transformation. Still battling a sense of guilt at times to make time for me, I know it’s OUR future–my family, kids and husband that will thank me later.  Family is a constant reminder to invest in our health and well-being because what good are you to those you love if you don’t take care of yourself?

Happily, I celebrated Mother’s Day with my mom and we are both embracing health with a new found attitude.

Stop putting off today what you can do tomorrow. You’ll thank yourself later.  Who knows – in a year’s time, you could be filming a Medical Weight Loss Clinic commercial like me! What a fun way to celebrate my one year anniversary!

What a fun day!

May 2016: What a difference a year can make!

 

 

Bobbie

Bobbie’s Blog: Your Weight, Wallet & Spring Cleaning

21 Apr

Daunting as it may be to start spring cleaning in the kitchen, it’s the best place to propel your weight loss.  Certainly, getting outside is much more gratifying after hibernating all winter, but the outside can wait while you clean and organize the most important room in your house in relation to your nutrition.

My kitchen overwhelms me and I’m tired of searching high and low for food so here is how I’m tackling the task of spring cleaning:

Tick-Tock

Complete 5-10 minute projects. A quick purge of a kitchen drawer, wiping down one shelf of the fridge or wiping the exterior of appliances. Small projects build momentum if you need motivation or are short on time.  Over a couple of days, you’ll have completed a lot more than starting and quitting a major overhaul at one time–that’s how I get overwhelmed!

The Fridge

Toss old or expired food, unidentifiable leftovers, and anything you haven’t eaten in 6 months—you likely won’t eat it again. Wipe down surfaces inside and out. Attempt this before your next shopping trip as the fridge is more likely to be empty and less effort to shuffle food around. To maintain, do mini-purges weekly before you shop. Don’t forget to toss the tempting food that calls your name!

Contain It

Consider using clear containers so you can easily stack/store food. A hodge-podge of containers creates storage issues and you often forget what’s inside if you can’t see the contents.  You’ll be more aware of what you have if you can see it, reducing waste and saving money. Nothing worse than tossing wilted, unused produce because you forgot it was there or it was lost in a sea of produce bags.

Take Inventory

Save money by assessing your quantities. Are you buying duplicates of what you already have?  Are you slow to eat certain produce or won’t eat it if it’s not pre-cut? Analyzing your fridge and eating habits can save you time and money, reducing waste.

Cleaning and organizing is just like a diet, chip away at it and over time, it’s much less effort to maintain.  Starting in the kitchen is a great way to build momentum for other projects because the gratification is instant.

Open the windows, put on some music and let’s get to work! Without realizing it, we might even get a work-out in.

My little helper!

My little helper!

 

Bobbie

Bobbie’s Blog: Preventing Careless Eating

6 Apr

Shopping at Costco last week, I noticed the calorie count listed on the menu in the food court. 760 calories for a slice of Cheese Pizza. I used to eat TWO of those slices as a cheap, quick meal! It put in perspective as an example of the mindless eating I did before I joined MWLC.  Seeing the calories gave me a visual awareness of how much food I was eating and didn’t account for.

BobbieS-CostcoPizza-crop

Are the calories and convenience worth saving a few bucks?

 

I constantly have to work on being accountable when it comes to impulsive food choices. Having six people in my house that have different diets and needs creates a tough environment to be healthy in. So, I have to work at maintaining habits that keep me moving forward toward my goals. Here are positive habits I am working on:

Take a Seat

Make a point to eat in the kitchen and sit down. Avoid standing or taking food outside of the kitchen. It reinforces the focus on eating instead of watching TV, reading, and working which can lead to overeating if you’re distracted by multi-tasking.

Get Fresh

Feel like you’ll make an impulsive choice? Reach for a piece of sugar-free gum or brush your teeth. Chewing gum or brushing your teeth will diminish the desire to eat.

Pencil It In

Plan snacks or indulgences to avoid hunger or deprivation.  Evenings are my time and can be dangerous if I don’t prepare with healthy options. If I’m not stocked up, I make bad choices.  Instead of eliminating my time, I modify my snack with a healthier option like low-fat frozen yogurt or fresh fruit, so I still have my evening treat.

Portion Control

Avoid eating out of a bag or box which can lead to eating large, endless quantities. Use small plates or bowls that help manage portion size and visually show how much you’re eating.

Cut-Out Hunger

Consider buying pre-cut produce for convenience or plan ahead and cut-up produce for the week.  If you’re short on time and effort, buying pre-cut produce is worth the cost to have a healthy, convenient option on hand.  Hunger and a lack of healthy options are an equation for reckless eating.

BobbieS-PrecutFruit

Pre-cut fruits and veggies are worth it!

 

Label It

If all else fails, read the label. In a moment of weakness after having cases of Girl Scout cookies in my house for weeks, I looked at the label. I couldn’t believe 2 cookies amounted to 140 calories—2 little cookies and I easily could have eaten all 12 in the box. Awareness of what you put in your mouth can deter you from making bad choices.

Understanding why and when we eat mindlessly can help change our behavior. How do you work on preventing careless eating?

Bobbie