My weight loss success story

My weight loss success story
By Julia Newman

FullSizeRenderIn February 2014, Julia Newman and her husband Kevin made the decision to do something about their weight problems. Julia thought that if she just ate better and exercised more, the weight would come off easily. But, it didn’t. After unsuccessfully trying to lose weight for a few months, she began hearing about the Memorial’s Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) through friends. “My husband was really worried about my weight and wanted to find a program or something that we could do together,” Julia said. Kevin then took the initiative and signed up both of them for the class.

Both Julia and her husband were pre-diabetic, and diabetes runs in Kevin’s family. They knew they had to do something to combat and hopefully reverse their risk for diabetes. They attended the DPP every week for sixteen weeks and then monthly for the remaining seven months of the program. For Julia and Kevin, learning how to change their health and eating habits was difficult at first. They had to learn to count all of the fat grams in their meals and write down everything they eat – and to top it off, they had to commit to 150 minutes of exercise each week. They soon learned that the DPP is not about “dieting” but about making a lifestyle change. Inspired, they came together as a team to address their weight problems, which brought them closer together.

Another motivator for joining the class was the membership discount at the Yakima Family YMCA. Julia said that the discounted membership was one thing that enticed her to sign up for the DPP. Class participants receive a discounted membership at the YMCA – $25/month for an individual and $35/month for a couple. The class also gave them tools to keep them on their weight loss journey even when there was a setback. “We learned ways to persevere even when we felt like we couldn’t, which was new for us. Usually, we’d get derailed and it would stay that way” said Julia.

Since completing the class, Julia has lost a total of 100 pounds and is continuing to take off the weight. Her husband has lost 50 pounds and they both have seen changes in their health: their cholesterol levels have dropped significantly, as well as their blood pressure and blood sugar. Julia is also amazed at how well she can tolerate the heat now; she never thought she’d complete her first 5k run but has completed three races to date.

She wants people to know that it is possible to change your lifestyle and accomplish things that you never thought possible. “It does take some determination but it’s well worth it.” She is singing the praises of the DPP throughout her department at Memorial and has even started weight loss challenges within the CRM and Patient Access departments.

On a typical day, Julia has protein smoothies for breakfast and a hard-boiled egg, almonds for a mid-day snack and eats plenty of veggies and lean proteins like chicken or salmon for dinner. One of Julia’s favorite dinner recipes is the Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca and you can find the recipe here. She finally added that “If I can do it, anyone can do it! And what’s great, it’s FREE!”

Interested? Learn more about the Diabetes Prevention Program at Memorial >>

Julia Newman is an Authorization Referral Specialist in Patient Access at Memorial.


Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca

Recipe courtesy of Good Housekeeping

Total Time: 30 minutes

Makes 4 main-dish servings

245 calories per serving

1 large spaghetti squash

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters

½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, thinly slice, plus additional leaves for garnish

10 oz. (2 cans) white or light tuna in water, drained and flaked

¼ pitted Kalamata olives, chopped

1 Tbsp. drained capers, coarsely chopped

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

Grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Place squash in 9-inch glass pie plate; pierce 6 times with sharp knife. Microwave on High 5 to 6 minutes per pound, about 20 minutes, or until squash is tender when pierced with knife. Cool 10 minutes for easier handling.
  2. Meanwhile, in bowl, mix tomatoes, basil leaves, tuna, olives, capers, oil, vinegar, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper until combined.
  3. Cut squash lengthwise in half; remove and discard seeds. With fork, scrape flesh to separate into strands and place in large bowl; discard shell. Drain squash if necessary. Add ¼ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper; toss.
  4. Divide squash among 4 bowls. Top with tomato mixture; garnish with basil and Parmesan.

Each serving:

17 g protein

28 g carbohydrate

8 g total fat (2 g saturated)

5 g fiber

24 mg cholesterol

705 mg sodium

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