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Patient Spotlight: Nancy’s Weight Loss Journey

Patient Spotlight: Nancy’s Weight Loss Journey

We asked Nancy, a participant of Altru’s Weight Management Program, about her experience, tips for success and more. Bonus: she shared a fantastic tostada recipe!

Q: What has been the hardest part of your journey and how did you overcome that challenge?
A: I was hungry all of the time for the first two weeks. When I mentioned it to John (Crist), he reassured me that my appetite would settle down, and it did. I hung in there because I saw this program as my last chance.

I also didn’t like some of the frozen entrees on the approved list, and went off the list sometimes, staying within the calorie guidelines. No one on my Altru Weight Management team hassled me about it.

Q: How do you find balance in your daily life?
A: I love to sit and either read, do hand work or watch TV. All of my pastimes were sedentary. I’ve not liked moving my body much.

But, now I know I have to exercise for the rest of my life if I want to be fit and healthy. I have the attitude – “business before pleasure” to make sure I get my exercise. I schedule it as part of my day and don’t let myself slough off. Shawn (Reich) taught me that exercise doesn’t have to be grim. Mowing the lawn or blowing snow also counts.

I learned about balanced eating from John and have developed some recipes that incorporate more vegetables and fruits and less meat, salt, fat and sugar. He also taught me how to plan ahead for meals, navigate the grocery store and get through holiday meals.

Q: Can you share your favorite recipe for others managing their weight to enjoy?
A: I found a recipe from a Mayo Clinic newsletter for soft tacos that I adapted. It has lots of vegetables and is very filling. Leave off the cheese and it’s vegan.

Veggie and Bean Tostadas

Q: How are you inspired by the other participants in the group?
A: It was so encouraging to hear the thoughts and struggles of the others. It was nice knowing I was not alone in facing a particular problem. Sometimes, it was hearing a good tip or suggestion from someone who had faced the same thing I was facing.

Q: What message do you have for those who are struggling with their health and body image?
A: Don’t let guilt or blame control you. If you simply follow the program each day, time passes, and the weight comes off. If you give in to temptation, forgive yourself, and get back on your plan. Focus on the daily process and short-term goals, and not the final goal.

Q: What are you most proud of achieving since beginning your weight loss journey?
A: My physician said I have beaten diabetes. He took me off one medication and may take me off another one when I see him next time.

Also, I can wear cute clothes that are four sizes smaller.

It’s so much fun to get compliments from my friends, and have people I haven’t seen in a while not recognize me. I’m also stronger and have more endurance.

Q: What did you think about Altru’s Weight Management Program?
A: One of the things that impressed me most about my team through Altru’s Weight Management Program is that they never said anything critical or negative. No matter what I did, they found a way to turn it around into a positive encouragement. This happened so often that I asked if they had all gone to a positive thinking seminar!

I believe that the combination of support and accountability was the key to my success. I had given up dieting, thinking nothing was ever going to work for me. But when I lost three pounds the first week, I was so delighted and happy it inspired me to keep going and not give up. I can’t thank my team from Altru’s Weight Management Program enough.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: I don’t feel like this is a diet. I’ve just finally learned how to eat healthy. I plan to live this way for the rest of my life.

Ready to make a change? Contact us at or 701.780.6729, or make an appointment via MyChart.