scroll to the top of page

Worth the Wait

Posted on September 26, 2019 in Bariatrics

It took about six months, but Nicole Cook says it was worth it. After losing 50 pounds on a medically supervised plan through Fort Sanders Weight Management and Nutrition Center, Cook says she’s feeling great.

Her customized nutrition plan has made it simpler for her to keep the weight off than had she chosen a fad diet or simply tried to deprive herself of food. It’s all good news and much better than what she used to hear every time she went to see her doctor.

“You need to lose weight.”

Weighing more than 200 pounds with high blood pressure and a family history of heart disease and diabetes, Cook’s health was at risk. Every time the doctor brought it up, Cook always had the same response.

“I would say, ‘I’m doing all that I can,’” Cook recalls. “I just kept trying different diet plans and nothing ever worked.”

It was frustrating for Cook because she genuinely wanted to be healthy for her family. 

“My friend told me about the new weight loss clinic at Fort Sanders Regional,” Cook says, “I told her I was going to look into it.”

At Fort Sanders Regional Weight Management and Nutrition Center, patients are taught how to take control of their weight for lasting results. Certified bariatric nurse practitioner Dana Webber says the key is helping patients find healthier habits they can live with for the rest of their lives.

A different approach

Webber explains that jumping into a fad diet that promises fast results doesn’t usually work the way people think it will.

“The problem with diets is people get frustrated and give up; or they lose weight, stop the diet and regain all the weight, plus more,” Webber says.

So instead of a diet that restricts and deprives, Webber equips patients with vital information and encouragement helping them to make smart choices that lead to weight loss. When it’s appropriate, medication may be prescribed to help.

Webber describes what she does as helping each patient put tools in a toolbox that will help his or her new healthy lifestyle work, long term. The weight loss happens more slowly, but the results are more permanent than what fad diets offer.

A personalized plan  

For each patient, the process begins with a one-on-one meeting in which Webber goes through the patient’s health history and what the patient has done to try to lose weight in the past. Then the center offers an individualized approach.

“I discuss with the patient different options, we choose together and we set up a plan,” Webber says. “To be successful, you have to be committed. It is not about getting skinny, it is about getting healthy.”

The program was perfect for Cook because she wasn’t interested in a shortcut to temporary weight loss. She wanted health and energy for a better quality of life. When she found out she was borderline diabetic, it was the motivation she needed to make some permanent changes.

“I want to live for my kids,” Cook says, “so I just made up my mind. I was determined to lose weight.”

How it happened

As part of the medically supervised weight loss plan, Webber started Cook on a safe, prescription strength appetite suppressant. Cook became more active, she cut down on carbs, cut out sweets and drank plenty of water.

After the initial meeting, Cook went to Fort Sanders Weight Management and Nutrition Center every two weeks. The accountability kept her on track.

Eventually, Cook began meeting with Webber every three weeks. Now, 50 pounds lighter and half a year after getting started, she meets with Webber once a month.

“My blood pressure stays down and I don’t have diabetes,” Cook says. “Some of the clothes in my closet that I couldn’t wear – I can wear them now. It feels good!”

Cook is excited about the results, and excited about all the good things that have come from her new healthy lifestyle.

“I’ve told everybody on my job, ‘go see. Dana – she’s good!’” Cook says. “She’ll help you lose weight the right way.”

The program at Fort Sanders Weight Management and Nutrition Center is designed for adults with a BMI of 27 or greater who need to lose moderate to significant amounts of weight. To learn more, call (865) 331-2290.