Tiffany Marchyshyn was shopping for bigger clothes and her energy was down. This was not good for a busy wife and full-time mom to a 1-year-old and a 4-year-old boy. At a checkup for a thyroid condition, her endocrinologist, Centegra Health System’s Achal Ahmed, MD, voiced what Marchyshyn had been thinking.
“She told me I really had to lose weight or one day we’d be talking about diabetes,” says Marchyshyn, 31 at the time. “That scared me.” Being overweight is a risk factor for diabetes and it’s also linked to high blood pressure, breathing problems, some cancers and many other health problems. More than two-thirds of Americans older than age 20 are overweight or obese, so concern about diabetes is on the rise.
READY FOR CHANGE
That day at the doctor’s office, something clicked for Marchyshyn. “I told Dr. Ahmed, ‘Give me six months to see what I can do,'”she says. Already a member of the Centegra Health Bridge Fitness Center, she scheduled an assessment with a personal trainer. Spending just one hour at the gym most days of the week became a priority. While the kids played in the on-site child care, she hit the treadmill, joined cardio classes and lifted weights. Slowly she built stamina and muscle. She also worked closely with Meg
Burnham, one of Centegra’s registered dietitians.
“First, she had me keep track of what I ate, when I ate, my hunger level and even where I was eating,” Marchyshyn says. “It was an eye-opener.” Marchyshyn learned to cook and shop differently. Meals shifted from convenience foods to fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Snacks are scheduled. She carefully watches portion sizes and she’s an avid label reader. “Sometimes just changing brands can lower calories and boost fiber or protein,” she says.
After just six months, Marchyshyn, now 32, had dropped 42 pounds and lost 8½ inches from her waist. She felt great. “I needed the one-on-one help from a trainer and nutrition expert,” she says. “They set up a program designed just for me and my life. Now my glucose, cholesterol and thyroid levels are all in the normal range and the doctor said I reversed my risk of developing diabetes.” Her goal is to lose 20 more pounds and help her entire family live a healthier life. “It takes a lot of effort for moms to put themselves first, yet it’s worth it,” she says. “I know I’m setting a good example for my kids.
READY, SET, GO!
How do you know if you’re overweight? One way is to check your body mass index (BMI), a formula based on height and weight. Overweight is a BMI of 25 to 29.9 Obesity is a BMI of 30 or higher. To find yours, use Centegra’s online BMI calculator at centegrahealthyliving.com.
Centegra’s Weight-Loss Institute supports people at every stage of their nutrition and fitness efforts, no matter their goal. Available programs include:
- Two fitness centers
- Mind-body programs, including yoga and Pilates
- Wellness screenings and coaching
- Metabolic testing
- Weight-loss surgery, including gastric bypass, band and gastric sleeve
- Programs designed for kids and teens
- Medical nutrition therapy
- Simply Weight Loss
- Diabetes treatment and education
To make an appointment, call 877-CENTEGRA or visit us online at centegrahealthyliving.com.