Duke Diet & Fitness Center Success Story: Liz L.

LizLLiz L. before and after

Age: 35
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

“Going to the DFC has been the best thing I’ve done in my whole life!”*

I’ve been heavy since the fifth grade. My dad and stepmother were concerned about my weight, and they heard about the Duke Diet & Fitness Center and thought it would be perfect for me. When they offered to send me, I felt like I’d won the lottery!

I came to the DFC in January 2007 for the four-week program. After my first visit, my life changed drastically. Before, I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Now, I watch my calories, salt, sugar and fat (now that I know what I am looking for on a food label!). I didn’t exercise before and began exercising regularly by playing racquetball and weight training three times a week. The DFC really empowered me to make those lifestyle changes.

I was inspired and motivated when I got home. I lost 63 pounds in five months, and I was going strong. Then I experienced a medical issue, and I couldn’t work out at all for two months. When I could exercise again, I didn’t have the same motivation. My exercise dropped to two nights a week – that was only because I made a standing date to play racquetball, or I’m not sure I would have made it at all. I was at the same weight for five months and eventually gained 10 pounds. Feeling frustrated, I decided to return to Duke for a month in January 2008 to break through the plateau.

One thing that helped tremendously was having my resting metabolic rate (RMR) tested again. It turned out my RMR had decreased since I’d lost weight, which helped explain why I was having such a hard time losing. During the month at the DFC I lost 15 pounds, and before I left the DFC dietitian recommended a modified calorie level to match my new RMR and I have been losing ever since!

I can’t believe how much I learned – all over again! At the DFC, you’re learning so much, sometimes you don’t retain everything in one visit. During my return visit I was reminded of some things from my first visit, and I learned new things and picked up several new techniques that have helped me tremendously. I started using the hunger-fullness scale, which I hadn’t used before, and from the Mindless Eating class, I learned to decide how much I’m going to eat before I start eating – because otherwise I end up eating too much. By practicing that, I saved about 500 calories a day, without feeling deprived. It was a great reminder of how little I really need to eat to feel satisfied.

On my return visit, I brought a “before” picture to show other clients, and they couldn’t believe the difference. Several people told me it was very encouraging. They said, “Wow, if you looked like that a year ago, I can look like you in a year!”

I’d like to come back to the DFC each year. I’ve been heavy almost all of my life and I know that I would not have made this lifestyle change at this time without the DFC. Each time I’ve visited, it has been the best thing I’ve ever done!

Best compliment: “Wow! You are so gorgeous – I can hardly take my eyes off of you!” from a little old lady at a restaurant, which was a nice change from “You have such a pretty face,” which is what I heard when I was heavier. But a deeper compliment came from my stepmother, who told me that she had complete faith in me that I would be successful at this!

Favorite snack: A sweet potato! I buy the ones with plastic shrink wrap for the microwave, cook it in the plastic for eight minutes, and then refrigerate – then it is delicious plain. If it were hot, I would be tempted to put butter and brown sugar on it!

Advice to others following the Duke Diet & Fitness program: Try as many new activities as possible to see what you enjoy while you have the opportunity. (Who knew I would love tai chi and boxing aerobics? I now own workout DVDs of each, among many others.) Also, I highly recommend getting your resting metabolic rate tested at the DFC. You will leave the program knowing exactly what you need to do to be successful. It takes out all of the mystery of weight loss and turns it into math and science that is easy to calculate.

*Results not typical.

LEARN MORE: For more information or to speak to an admissions coordinator, call 1-888-313-7174 or use our online contact form.