Weight Transitions: Adopting a healthier lifestyle 07/13/2006 Peter Wentz didn’t think it was possible to lose weight at this point in his life. He’d tried it many times before and could never keep the momentum going. But this time, he’s lost 20 pounds and three inches off his waist through the Weight Transitions program at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
Now he believes anything is possible.
“I feel good. I feel motivated. I can do almost anything now,” said Wentz, a retiree who was the first patient to sign up for Weight Transitions back in February. “I’m even considering going back to work!”
Weight Transitions is a weight management program aimed at assisting healthy lifestyle changes among individuals whose level of obesity threatens their health and their quality of life. It addresses exercise and nutrition choices to help participants lose weight and keep it off for good. The program focuses on people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above, which is considered obese.
Participants have a personalized clinical assessment before starting the program. Then they attend group classes taught by registered dietitians and exercise physiologists and have supervised exercise sessions at NHRMC's Cardiac Rehabilitation Center.
The Cardiac Rehab area is specially equipped with high-capacity exercise machines, weights, exercise bands, balance balls and a scale to accommodate larger patients. The equipment is designed for a clinical setting instead of a typical exercise club.
The Cape Fear Memorial Foundation financed the launch of the program and the equipment through a two-year grant awarded earlier this year.
“It’s a brand-new program and we’re seeing a lot of early success for patients,” said Chrissy Hoskins, registered dietitian and coordinator of the WT program. “But it’s about more than losing weight. It’s about getting healthy and feeling good. Plus, it’s fun.
“The one-on-one attention and interaction with the clinical staff really help encourage the patients to continue in the program.”
Wentz agrees. “It’s the support system you have there. They know your name and treat you like family. That’s what keeps you going,” he said. “I want to continue to lose weight over time. I don’t think I could do it on my own.”
And for Wentz, Weight Transitions has done more than help him lose pounds and inches.
“When I first started, my knees hurt, but after a while, I could finally exercise without pain,” he said. He even claims his taste buds have changed after learning how to eat healthier and lighter in his nutrition classes.
“Once you get into that mode of thinking of light foods, your taste buds change,” he said. “You really start to enjoy it, and it tastes good.”
Peter’s wife, Debbie, who works in the hospital pharmacy at Cape Fear, signed him up for Weight Transitions after participating in a similar behavior modification program just for New Hanover Regional employees last year. She also lost 20 pounds and continues to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“It’s a slow process,” said Wentz. “But it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be. I definitely recommend this program.”
For information on cost and how to register for Weight Transitions, call the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at NHRMC at 910.343.7193.