A new relationship with self through medically supervised weight loss

Nearly 90 pounds lighter, Emily Chambers focuses on maintaining her weight loss and accepting her new self

People are motivated to lose weight for different reasons. For some it’s a big occasion looming in the near future — perhaps a wedding or beach vacation. For others, their physician may be urging them to drop a few pounds after the number on the scale creeps a little too high.

Emily Chambers found her motivation from a photo — the one she refers to as her “before” picture.

“It’s the picture that convinced me I had to make meaningful changes to my health,” Emily said.

The day the photo was taken didn’t feel like a “fat day,” she said.

“I can still remember getting ready for work that morning,” Emily said. “I picked that shirt because I was tired, it was easy, it covered me up, and I thought it was slimming.”

Any picture can show what you look like, but this one reminds her of how she felt.

“Seeing that girl standing in front of people and doing great things at work and knowing how she felt on the inside was starting to take its toll,” Emily said. “It devastated me.”

A comprehensive program supervised by medical specialists

Emily had tried fad diets and explored the city’s plethora of fitness offerings, but the numbers on the scale weren’t going down.

A Norton Healthcare employee, she turned to an employee wellness program and discovered Norton Weight Management Services.

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“It wasn’t the first time I tried to lose weight over the years, but it was the first time I was really ready to do something,” Emily said.

Norton Weight Management Services offers a 12-week medically supervised weight loss program open to anyone in the community who needs extra support to lose weight. A staff of experienced doctors, nurses, dietitians and behavioral health specialists work with participants to help them reach a healthy weight and achieve total body wellness.

“As anyone who has tried to lose weight knows, it is very difficult to lose weight and maintain that weight loss,” said Jeanne Thompson, M.D., internal medicine physician at Norton Weight Management Services. “We believe that the best results come from a comprehensive program that addresses the physical, behavioral and emotional components of weight.”

New healthy habits

It was during those 12 weeks that Emily lost about 40 pounds and gained a new outlook on her health.

“I experimented and changed my relationship with food. I gained the confidence to try new fitness classes without feeling like I didn’t belong,” she said. “I adjusted my lifestyle to get rid of the toxic enablers in my life and developed new healthy habits.”

One of those new healthy habits is cooking. Through the weight management program, she got acquainted with her kitchen.

“I lived in my house for six years and only used the brand new oven twice before my weight loss journey,” Emily said. “Now I spend time learning about new foods and understanding how they fuel my body.”

Emily’s ‘before’ picture provides motivation

Now nearly 90 pounds lighter, Emily focuses on maintaining her new weight and accepting her new self.

“I think everyone else saw me before I truly saw myself,” Emily said, looking back. “Sometimes it takes seeing my old ‘before’ pictures to remind myself that I have done a good thing and it shows.”

Emily continues to use her “before” pictures for motivation and accountability.

“While I have all the tools and support, sometimes I need the visual reminder,” she said. “Those pictures, no matter how embarrassing, help me not lose sight of where I’ve been and where I want to be.”

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