As a nurse, Kris Gemar knew better. She knew how excess weight could affect a person’s quality of life. How it could impact health. As a teenager, she was athletic, participating in many high school sports.
And yet, in her mid-40s here she was — overweight and uncomfortable. She found herself with health challenges that kept her from family activities and other social events. Kris knew it was time to make a change, and just at that time, she saw the ad for LifeTracks at BryanLGH LifePointe, with its accompanying before-and-after photos and decided to see what it was all about. She came away from an informational meeting inspired and ready to make new choices — to lose weight and regain her health.
LifeTracks, a medically supervised program for rapid and safe weight loss, focuses on health and weight management, and less on “dieting.” The 20-week program is specifically for those who need to lose 40 pounds or more and includes exercise, meal supplement, weekly group sessions and individual sessions with a registered dietitian.
Bob and Mary Baker were at that inspirational meeting, too. Working on different schedules, the couple found dining out to be one thing they could do together. But instead of making reasonable choices, they indulged, ultimately packing on more pounds than they care to discuss. “We just got complacent. We really enabled one another,” Mary says. Not only that, Mary was on the verge of being placed on cholesterol-lowering medication. Bob was already on it. They, too, decided the time was right to commit to a healthier way of living. It wasn’t an easy decision. As anyone with unhealthy habits knows, taking the first step is the hardest.
“You feel as though you will never lose the weight,” Mary continues. “And stepping into a gym can be intimidating. But the atmosphere at LifePointe is safe and nonjudgmental. Everyone is welcome and accepted as they are.” Jon Cook, a health and fitness instructor at LifePointe, points out, “We aren’t the typical gym. We’re geared toward health and wellness — we want to help people address underlying causes of health issues. It’s a very noncompetitive atmosphere here.”
Kris, the mother of two teenagers, Sam and Nicole, and wife to Tim, now looks forward to her workouts. She likes the variety of activities at LifePointe — water classes, weight machines, the cardio theater. She mixes it up to keep it from becoming boring. Kris emphasizes that the program is “not just about losing weight. It’s about changing your lifestyle. You have to make movement a part of every day.”
Today, Kris has shed nearly 75 pounds and doesn’t take her health for granted. “I’m happier, more confident. I realized it was just as important for me to take care of me — you can’t take care of everyone else in your family if you’re not taking care of yourself.” Working as a couple, the Bakers became one another’s supporters, rather than enablers. Bob has shed 60 pounds on the program; Mary 90 and counting. “It’s been fun trying to find things we both like and exploring new foods,” the Bakers said. Bob wasn’t a big vegetable and fruit eater before, but has learned to enjoy them.
Perhaps more importantly, Mary has dodged cholesterol medication altogether. At the start of the program, her total cholesterol was 267. In four months it went down to 162 — without medication. The Bakers are as committed to a healthier lifestyle as Kris Gemar, who enjoys family activities now — as a joiner rather than a spectator. And the Bakers like the way they feel. They laugh, saying they relish going to the movies or sitting in an airplane and being able to sit in the seats with the armrest between them down. “Seriously, we want to be here for our kids and grandkids,” Mary says. “And for each other.”
To learn more about LifeTracks, visit the information page here.