Look how far I've come in one year. It's incredible!
Susan Gonzalez considers February 13, 2020, her “rebirth” day. That’s when she took the first step on her amazing weight-loss journey with St. Luke’s Weight Management Center.
In just a little over a year, the 57-year-old Hanover Township wife and mother of four shed nearly half of her weight. In the process, she gained a whole new, healthy life. She was done with yo-yo diets and stress eating.
Her new daily routine of healthy eating, exercising often and tracking every calorie she takes in has led to an astounding 102-pound weight loss.
The change is so dramatic that the St. Luke’s occupational therapist sometimes mistakes her own reflection in the mirror for someone else.
On the inside, she’s a different person in many ways. More energetic, more disciplined and more professionally confident than ever thanks to her lighter, fitter size-6 self.
It started when she saw the St. Luke’s Weight Management Center billboard along Route 22, showing a woman’s before and after images.
At the time, weighing in at 226 pounds, Susan needed medicines to control high blood pressure and her glucose level was elevated. She knew if she didn’t lose weight — which she’d struggled with for decades — she might be facing diabetes, kidney and heart problems and possibly a stroke. She sees those medical problems in many of her patients.
“I was a poor example of health for my patients,” Susan says. “I was talking to them about making behavior changes to get healthy, but I wasn’t practicing them myself.”
She made the call to the Weight Management Center the same life-changing day that she saw the billboard, joined the medical weight-loss program and turned the corner with her health.
“I knew I didn’t want to have surgery to lose weight. I felt I could do it with diet and exercise,” Susan says.
The dieticians and educators at the Weight Management Center patiently taught Susan about the healthiest foods and recipes to cook, how to control her cravings and showed her the workouts that would give her energy and burn off the fat.
“It’s everything I needed: education, healthy eating, exercise tips and accountability.”
Whole grains, veggies and fish, fruit and yogurt; cardio, strength and endurance training, walking, Pilates and yoga. And all of it recorded on My Fitness Pal app on her phone.
The pounds dropped off fast, her blood pressure and glucose readings improved, and her feeling of empowerment surged.
“Now I look better, I feel better and present a more professional image to my patients,” Susan says. She’s never hungry, thanks to her plate piled high with healthy, delicious foods at every meal.
Going from size 20 to size 6 outfits is an achievement she feels proud of every day.
“Look how far I’ve come. It’s incredible!” she tells herself.
It’s encouraging and affirming, and she plans to celebrate her “rebirth day” each year with thanks and praise to the St. Luke’s Weight Management Center, which helped Susan onto the path toward a lighter, healthier and professionally more confident life.