Weightloss: Munson Healthcare’s Healthy Weight Center Showing Results



Munson Healthcare’s Healthy Weight program includes one aspect of weight loss that other weight loss programs don’t incorporate.

They try to get to the root of the problem — figuring out why the weight was there in the first place.

That was key for Deb Rafferty who lost 60 pounds in 6 months during the program.

“The Healthy Weight Center is something that’s different than every place in town,” said the Healthy Weight Center Coordinator, Ron Hessem.

Hessem says they offer what other programs don’t.

“People come here when they find other things they try diets but diets have a beginning and an end but we like to think of this as a lifestyle change,” he said. “So we really try to hit all aspects.”

Food, exercise, doctor check-ins, and what Hessem says is the key component.

“The behavioral side of it, which I really think is the glue that kind of keeps people in the program,” he said. “It helps people draw out the feelings and helps them understand that they want to change and they need to change and then how they really can change.”

Change isn’t always easy to see.

A new machine at the Healthy Weight Center measuring body composition helps patients see numbers that aren’t visible on a typical scale.

“It takes a picture of the inside of you, it tells you how much muscle you have so it breaks it down segmentally so you have right arm, right leg, left arm, left leg and your core.”

It’s a brand new piece of equipment that gives you a complete look at your true body mass.

This is a valuable tool to help anyone find their starting point and set goals — and it can provide much needed motivation to those on their journey.

“People then get disappointed they get frustrated that they’re putting in all this work and the scale isn’t moving well,” he said. “In fact if you’re gaining muscle your muscle mass is increasing which is why the weight isn’t moving, you’re decreasing it in your fat so your body is becoming more healthy but you can’t see it yet, so if you continue down the road you’ll be able to see those results in the scale and in the mirror.”

The inbody scan is included in some programs within the Healthy Weight Center program but anyone can get it done for just 50 dollars.

Once the patients’ bodies start to get stronger, their overall lives start to get stronger too.

“Their family dynamics have changed the family structure has changed, what they’ve done with their kids,” Hessem said. “They’re influencing their child’s behavior, getting off medication is huge.”

Someone who’s seen these results first hand is Deb Rafferty.

“The initial goal was 25 pounds and I’m like ‘I can’t do that,’ I don’t know how I’m going to be able to do that I’m old I’m this I’m old,” said Rafferty.

During her six month program, she lost 60 pounds plus another ten since the program ended.

Now replacing produce for processed food at the grocery store.

“Food is fuel not comfort, I like food being fuel, I feel much better,” she said.

And using a mobile app to scan food when choosing from similar products.

She credits becoming shop savvy to one of the four doctors in particular.

“The behaviorist got the bottom of a few food abnormalities in my life why I did the things I did,” Rafferty said.

A new pallet combined with exercise – also something new.

“I could easily come home from my then sedentary job and sit on the couch from 5 til 10:30 when I went to bed and snacking at every commercial,” she explained. “That doesn’t happen anymore and I’m much happier now.”

Happier – and enjoying new hobbies like going home to cook all her fresh food.

On the menu tonight is tuna tacos with colorful veggies in their proper portions.

“A serving of avocado is about a sixth or a quarter of an avocado,” she said.

It’s been quite the physical and emotional journey.

“I truly could not have done with without the team at Munson and the team in my home,” she said.

And she’s never going back.

“I wasn’t supposed to live the rest of my life in pain and on blood pressure less and not being able to have fun,” she said. “I don’t have to take blood pressure meds anymore and my knees and my hips don’t hurt anymore and my back doesn’t hurt anymore, I get to have fun.”


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