Duke Diet & Fitness Center Success Story: Susan R.

Age: 44
Hometown: Annapolis, Md.

"I lost 85 pounds and dropped seven to eight sizes!"*

I was obese when I went to the Duke Diet & Fitness Center (DFC) for the first time, in September 2003. I had just left my marriage, and I weighed more than I ever had before. I'm five feet four and I weighed 220 pounds. I knew I needed to do something, and a friend recommended the DFC.

The DFC literally saved my life. I've lost 85 pounds and dropped seven to eight sizes. I had tried dieting for years but was never able to maintain the weight loss. What's unique about the DFC approach to weight loss is that it's a lifestyle, not a diet. It's the whole mind-body approach that makes this program work. You can lose weight by changing your eating habits, but if you don't get to the root of what makes you overeat, you'll never be able to maintain the weight loss.

The program teaches you about your trigger foods and how to deal with cravings. It teaches you about emotional eating, binge eating, and all the different behavior patterns that affect people who are overweight. I believe so strongly in the DFC program.

I've battled with weight my entire adult life, and being overweight had consumed me. In the last year and a half, my life has changed drastically. My confidence, my agility, and my health have improved. My cholesterol has come down, and I no longer have a nagging pain in my knees. I can get around and bend down easily. And I love shopping for clothes!

I was not active at all before going to the DFC. Now I am very active -- I walk five to six days a week for an hour to an hour and a half. Walking is so easy! You can start out slow and build up to a faster pace, which is more aerobic. I've learned to view exercise as a good thing -- not the torture that it used to be!

With the help of the DFC and its staff, I've realized that I deserve to be healthy and happy. I'm worthy of being thin and feeling good, and I owe that to myself. My mantra, which someone at Duke shared with me, is, "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels." I still say that to myself almost every day, and it's posted on my refrigerator door!

The DFC has given me a new lease on life, and it can do that for others too!

Best compliment: Someone told me just last week that I don't look any different than I did in high school! It felt really good. There have also been people who didn’t recognize me since my weight loss.

Favorite snack: Fruit or yogurt.

Favorite recipe: Baked ziti with roasted vegetables.

Advice to others following the Duke Diet & Fitness program: Give yourself to the program 100 percent. I entered the program thinking that it would change my life, and it did. I am happier and healthier than I've ever been, and it's because the DFC taught me how to be good to myself and why I should. Again, it's not just about the food. If you get to the root of the problem, you can cure it. If not, you are just treating the symptoms.

* 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.