Center for Weight & Wellness
Weight Loss Success Stories
Recently retired North Providence firefighter Mike DeResta has had issues with weight management throughout his life. During his many years as a firefighter, he struggled with high blood pressure and had trouble climbing stairs without becoming winded. In 2017, Mike saw a picture of himself that motivated him to begin his journey to health and weight loss. He had tried several diets in the past, but they didn’t work for him in the long term. When he discovered the Center for Weight and Wellness through a friend who had lost 30 pounds through one of the programs, he signed up for the Modified Fast Program.
His blood pressure levels are back to normal, he no longer needs a sleep apnea machine.
Mike became an active participant in the 22-week program and now frequently attends group support meetings in the Masters Program. He’s lost 80 pounds since following the Center for Weight and Wellness’s diet and exercise regimen. Mike says that the difference lies in the education you receive as a participant. “On this diet, losing the weight is the easy part; the success of the diet comes from the tools and education you receive from the Center for Weight and Wellness. You apply those, and your life will be changed forever.” Mike exercises frequently with his personal trainer and now looks forward to working out. His blood pressure levels are back to normal and he no longer needs a sleep apnea machine. After he lost the weight, Mike even passed younger firefighters up the stairs. Mike’s journey to weight loss has inspired several of his colleagues to follow in his footsteps. The group is well on their way through the Center for Weight and Wellness programs and support each other each step of the way.
When Lee-Ann Fonseca found herself wearing a size 20 for the first time in her life, she knew she needed to make a change. The weight loss programs she’d tried before wouldn’t be enough.
Over the years, her weight gain increased and she began feeling the physical consequences – knee pain, shortness of breath, headaches, high blood pressure. It was becoming difficult to do daily tasks like carrying groceries or climbing stairs.
“Now I’m exactly where I want to be physically and mentally, I feel good about myself."
She can now share new adventures with her family – they recently took a vacation to Spain and Portugal, where Lee-Ann did tons of walking and sightseeing without ever feeling short of breath or needing to sit down.
Adam had been a dedicated public servant. He worked for a fire department as a paramedic, but that wasn’t enough for him. Adam wanted to join the military. However, he weighed 360 pounds and also had back pain, joint pain, and high blood pressure. So, he enrolled in the Full Fast program at The Miriam Hospital Weight Management Program.
“To say the program changed my life would be an understatement.”
In about 5 months, he lost 160 pounds and eliminated his medical problems. Then, he enlisted in the Army. He completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan and is currently serving in Texas. "I would like to share my success story with others to inspire them." He adds, "to say the program changed my life would be an understatement."
The Miriam Hospital Weight Management team thanks Adam for his service and for his desire to help others seeking a solution to their weight challenges.
The turning point for Mike was when he went to play hockey with some buddies and could not bend over to tie his own skates. At 450 pounds, he knew that he needed to do something. Mike enrolled in the Full Fast program at The Miriam Hospital Weight Management Program.
“The important thing is gaining the skills for weight management and not simply losing the weight.”
In 11 months, he lost 245 pounds. Mike participated fully in the program by going to weekly group meetings and having individual consultations with the dietitian and exercise physiologist. “The important thing is gaining the skills for weight management (portion control, keeping a food diary, developing an exercise habit) and not simply losing the weight,” says Mike.
He felt supported by the team of experts in making the hard decisions when resuming an all food diet. Mike is playing hockey or running five times per week. “Now I get to play hockey and I can do it well.”
Alix engaged in emotional eating when feeling stressed or anxious. According to Alix, this led to being overweight and not feeling good about herself. Then she enrolled in The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Management program. She chose the Modified Fast program and lost 63 pounds. Alix was a regular and active participant in the group meetings while losing weight. In the groups, she learned ways to modify her thinking and behaviors to help deal with emotional eating.
“Weight management is about how I treat me. I feel better about me. It is more enjoyable to be alive.”
“Comfort foods are now the healthy foods that I eat to take care of my body.” Moreover, Alix had an important realization. “I came to accept that obesity is a chronic medical condition,” and she emphasized that once she “wrapped her head” around the idea that she needed to make a lifestyle change, she became successful at long-term weight management.
Alix consistently attends the weekly Masters Program weight maintenance group and appreciates the ongoing support that she gets from the team. “Weight management is about how I treat me. I feel better about me. It is more enjoyable to be alive.