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Losing just 20 pounds felt so good it lead to more changes

Grandparents will go to great lengths for the love of their grandchildren. Vicki Nemitz of Warrens, Wis. is no exception. Not wanting to miss out in the activities of her three energetic granddaughters Vicki was motivated to lose weight and get healthy.

With help from the weight-loss experts at Gundersen Health System, Vicki lost about 70 pounds on a medically supervised meal-replacement program. But it wasn't easy to overcome a lifetime of unhealthy habits.

"I started gaining weight in high school," recalls Vicki. "I lost my first 50 pounds with the promise of a car if I lost the weight, and I did it." This was the start of years of yo-yo dieting.

"By the time I was in my 40s, I was gaining about five to 10 pounds a year and no longer losing any of it," Vicki confesses. Inactivity due to back and joint pain and fibromyalgia led to more weight gain.

She says, "By January of 2014, I got to my heaviest. I could barely get up and down from the floor to play with my granddaughters. I didn't have the stamina I knew I would need to keep up with them as they grew up. I had a knee replacement about a year earlier, but I was still having problems with pain and endurance."

Vicki made up her mind to get healthier. This time the motivation was something far more important than a car. She wanted to be an active part of her grandkids' lives and set a good example. She says, "I had been heavy and feeling miserable for way too long."

Vicki did her homework. "After researching several programs I felt the meal replacement program at Gundersen was right for me. I really liked the one-on-one appointments with my nutritionist Rebecca Cripe, RD. She was awesome," she explains.

"Everybody at the Gundersen Clinic was great," praises Vicki. "Dr. [Laura] Marchiando encouraged me to set small obtainable goals and to make changes sensibly so I could stick to them."

After losing her first 20 pounds Vicki remembers, "I felt good. I felt proud. If I could feel this much better after losing 20 pounds, imagine how I'll feel after another 20!"

Vicki continued to stay motivated with the help of family and friends and the changes she noticed in herself. "As the pounds started to fall off, I enjoyed feeling my clothes loosen. I became more active and felt good about myself."

All the hard work has paid off. Now about 70 pounds lighter, fitter and more active, Vicki reports, "My fibromyalgia has improved, my back and knee problems are better and I feel energized."

Vicki no longer needs a CPAP machine for sleep apnea, and the heartburn and digestive problems which once plagued her are, she shares, "so much better now that I'm eating healthy, balanced meal on a regular basis. I knew losing weight would be good for me, but I had no idea I would feel this much better!"

Medically supervised meal replacement is just one of several weight-loss options available. To talk with a Gundersen weight-loss expert, call (608) 775-LOSE (5673).

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