“My heaviest was 240, that was my heaviest,” says Amy Sweat.

It was not her finest hour, but with a lot of, you guessed it, sweat, Amy reshaped her body and her life.

“I didn’t want to wake up every Monday morning ‘I’ve got to lose weight, I need to do something.’ I just got tired of it.”

Amy didn’t go at it alone. She worked with a dietician from Lee Health Solutions.

“Our program is pretty flexible. They don’t have any type of contracts or anything like that. We will sit down with a person and we’ll look at what they’re currently doing just to get an idea of what they’re eating what kind of habits we can help them change,” says Julie Stacey, a registered dietician with Lee Memorial Health System.

Amy was asked to keep a food journal to track her behaviors. What she found added up to a lot of extra pounds.

“I just thought that I had to start my morning with a Mountain Dew and some crunchy cereal usually Apple Jacks or something and then I would just you know fast food for lunch.”

“It’s really eye opening for them just as far as making better choices. So they can look and see how many fruits did I eat today how many vegetables how many whole grains and then kind of see where they need to tweak things,” says Stacey.

The next thing is to look at activity level.

“I also set an exercise goal with them. I don’t tell them what they should be doing but I help them come up with some type of goal. Whether it’s starting to walk three days a week for ten, fifteen minutes we start somewhere,” says Stacey.

This is not an overnight success story. People in a structured, well-balanced weight loss program can expect to drop a pound or two a week. It may take them longer but if they stick with it those pounds are more likely to be gone for good.

Americans spent $60 billion dollars on diet products last year. They would have been better off spending time creating new habits.

“This is a total lifestyle change. Its hard to even imagine going back to what I did before, there’s no way,” says Sweat.

Far from the biggest loser, at 60 pounds lighter, Amy Sweat feels like the biggest winner.

View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/

Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we've been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.

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