Stacey enrolled in Pack Health at the recommendation of a co-worker. She’d tried a number of restrictive diets, but none had worked for her. Her company covered weight loss surgery, but she knew she didn’t want to go that route. Her coworker told her Pack Health had a different strategy they would break things down into achievable steps, but you had to commit. This was about changing the way you live. It sounded hard, but necessary, so Stacey signed up.

Just 3 months later, Stacey has lost 24 pounds and is feeling positive about her new lifestyle. How did she make such astounding progress? We interviewed her to find out.

What part of the program was the most helpful for you?

You know we are adults and we think we know the healthy way to eat, but that isn’t always true. I didn’t have a lot to cut out it wasn’t like I went to fast food places, drank a lot of soda, ate a lot of cookies, I was getting frustrated on my own like I don’t know what else to do, I wasn’t eating much because I thought it would make me put on pounds, but once I talked to Barbara, she would ask what I ate and we realized I was eating the wrong foods, and maybe not enough, so my body was hoarding them.

It’s interesting, I was eating maybe twice a day, and things like granola bars that look healthy, but she had me look at the nutrition information. I hadn’t realized how much junk was hiding in there, in between the healthy nuts and things.

I’m enjoying food more and I’m not starving during the day, which is amazing because I was always hungry before. I’m not really one to count calories so the healthy plate thing worked. Especially knowing the right portions, because I wasn’t getting the right portions. I did measure some things, like my cereal in the morning, but now I know what it looks like (1cup) once you know what it looks like, it’s just normal.

I eat 3 meals a day and I’m not hungry anymore but I’m also eating healthier meals, and the right portions, so I’m losing weight!

What other Tiny Steps did you take?

Well, I started getting steps in at work, walking with a buddy, which really helped to motivate both of us. My coworker actually was a smoker and she went out for smoke breaks, so I made that my ‘trigger’ I asked her to grab me when she was going out to smoke and I’d go out for walks. After a while, she’d still want to smoke but that would be quick and then we’d walk together, and that became a stress reliever for her. She thought smoking was the stress reliever but I think she realized walking had the same effect. It’s funny, it used to be we had breaks, but we never took them, and then I started walking and all of a sudden other people wanted to go walking too. We had to pair up because if all of us on the same team go for a walk at the same time it doesn’t work!

Was there a turning point for you in the program?

Probably a month into it, I really started to notice more things, in that, you know, I was losing about 2 pounds a week, and it was like a lightbulb that said I’ve never done this before in my adult life and this is working. And I’m not on diet pills or some meal plan that is costing a fortune. It was hard because there was nothing I could cut out, and I had to learn to make meals. But with this, I don’t have a protein shake or anything that I have to be dependent on.

It’s also encouraging when people notice it is working! That gives you confidence too. And Barbara, [my Health Advisor], she gets so excited when you meet a goal. It makes a big difference having someone there to cheer you on.

It changed my mindset. I have another health issue so certain activities aren’t doable, and I used to say I can’t do this because, now I say I can’t do exactly that, but let me do something else instead, or I can do it within limits, so I’m not making excuses, but thinking about what else can I do and instead of once a day I’ll do it twice a day.

What advice would you give for people who are considering Pack Health or just starting out?

Mentally, you have to go into it that it’s a lifestyle change: not diet, not starvation, you’re making a whole change to your life. It’s not a quick fix, but for me, I was ready to do a lifestyle change. Because some of my coworkers did the weight loss surgery and they look amazing but they’re exercising now and the thing is, they could have just done that before! I didn’t want the bandaid I wanted a healthy lifestyle, and that’s important.

You’ve gotta know that it’s not a quick fix but it is something you can do and others can do it with you. This was the only thing that ever worked and my parents are now doing it too when they saw the change in me they said, we want to do this too. They’re eating the right portions, and at restaurants, they make healthier choices. That’s huge.

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