Archive for the ‘Weight Loss Success’ Category

Siblings “LOSE Well” Together by John Lippett

(l to r) H3 Fitness Coach Chris, Dorin, H3 Fitness Coach David, H3 Fitness Coach John, Maor


We’ve seen so many success stories in just this past year at Hilton Head Health, but none stand out more than the brother and sister combo of Maor and Dorin Elias. Dorin and Maor came to H3 looking for education, direction and a kick start to weight loss. After 4 weeks in the LOSE Well program both siblings left feeling motivated, educated and excited to continue their journeys at home. They shared in their personal successes while learning about new fitness and nutrition options they enjoyed.

Dorin and Maor strengthened their swimming skills, more than doubled the number of push ups they could do and can now hold a plank twice as long as when they first arrived. Not to mention their improvement in their pool volleyball skills. They lost a combined total of  29 inches, 39 pounds, and greatly improved their blood lipid profiles in just 4 weeks!

All of those accomplishments don’t compare with Maor and Dorin’s overall improvement in quality of life, boost in confidence and new found excitement towards health and exercise.

We wish them both good luck at home with continuing their personal journeys towards greater health!




A Letter to Re-Inspire Your Resolutions

Dearest Alumni, Future Guests and Hilton Head Health Followers,

I have decided to write each and every one of you a personal letter—via H3’s blog.  Not too long ago, I received a photo from a very successful alumnus.  The photo contained bags of clothing she can no longer fit into because they are too baggy. She called it a “moment.”  To this day, she continues to share her moments with me; they are heartfelt and motivating.  Another “moment” was the day she sat in an airplane and was able to fasten her seat belt for the first time in over ten years.  I have a picture of that as well.  Can you imagine the overwhelming joy?  About 5 months after this experience I received another snap shot of her at a New Year’s Eve party…looking confident and beautiful in a stunning black dress.  Her journey is so inspiring and I hope all of you get to hear it someday.


This year, I want to encourage you to savor and appreciate your moments.  Some of you may be seeking these victories and feel like you are at ground zero.  Some of you may be down 10 lbs. since the start of 2015.  Some of you have just returned home from our facility and are experiencing the H3 High.  Soon enough it is going to be mid-March and the New Year’s rush of getting to the gym may have slid and the motivation to continue meal preparation can become a battle.  I want you all to keep after it like the alumnus I shared above.  No excuses and always learning.  She always believed in herself and never let a meal of cheese, wine and bread get in the way of her progress.  She has developed a wonderful relationship with food and she doesn’t let 12 hour workdays get in the way of her fitness.  Get this: she continues to make new goals and set out for something “bigger.”

Take pictures, write in a journal, cook your own food with healthy ingredients, find fitness routines you enjoy, purchase new clothes, buy new shoes, share your success, tell yourself you have what it takes, believe in yourself.


My absolutely best,





Non-Traditional Strength Training


We have had some tremendous success in the world of weight loss here at Hilton Head Health and one of the many tools used in these accomplishments is non-traditional strength training equipment like what you see in the video below.  Because of the dynamic nature of this equipment the possibilities are virtually endless as far as fun, fast, and effective workout routines go.  Shannon McCain, one of the many LOSE Well weight loss program legends featured above, lost over 30 pounds and more than 15 inches off her body, while also increasing her strength endurance by 111% and her VO2max (her body’s ability to consume oxygen) by almost 40%! Amazing results!

Plan a visit to Hilton Head Health and experience, not only the success we pride ourselves on, but the many ways we make it happen.



Guest Testimonial: Linda & Vince Ferrigno


By Linda Ferrigno
When we go on vacation, we come back needing a vacation. Not at Hilton Head Health. We come back feeling MARVELOUS! We love it so much; we brought our three adult daughters with us last time. It was the best vacation ever.

My sweet husband is Italian and he is so much FUN. We celebrate every holiday, vacation, and social occasion with food. Dinners with friends and family were three or more hours of eating, drinking, and laughing. We tried diets and joined health clubs but the waistlines kept expanding. Everything we tried was just a temporary fix. We were going out smiling, but if we didn’t change our ways, we were going out soon.

Hilton Head Health changed our lives. We have smaller waistlines, lower cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose, blood pressure, BMI, and body fat percentages. The change is so much deeper than all of these wonderful numbers. Through the classes we learned about the science and psychology of staying fit. We are preparing delicious, healthy food at home and no one would ever label any of it “diet food”.

The active life is becoming our life. I ran my first race in over 20 years at H3 and since coming home have done more. I walked a million steps in less than 90 days with an amazing tracking device they helped me discover. My husband has a bad knee. He learned things he COULD do, like water classes, fit ball, and an amazing NuStep machine in their gym. For the first time in our lives, we are part of our own team. It isn’t “us against them” like it was most of our lives.

The staff is so nice! They know your name. They care and it shows. No matter what stands in your way, they are there to help you find a way over, under, around, and through the obstacle. When you ask a question, they really listen. If they don’t know the answer, they tell you the truth and go to find the real answer. No egos, just love and support. H3 is a little piece of heaven. To say we love it would be a huge understatement!



Sharing Success: Lacresha Granger

Lacresha Granger

I have been overweight since I was a child.  I can remember on the first day of fourth grade telling a friend that I needed to go on a diet.  Looking back on it, it seemed like I was so old at the time, but was merely a young child.  As I got older, my weight problems have only increased.  Sure there were a few times where I was actually successful at weight loss, but the success was short lived.

I love watching weight loss shows because I enjoy hearing people’s stories and seeing their transformations at the end of their journey.  About two years ago, a show called “Heavy” came on, so I just had to watch it.  I enjoyed the show, and being from South Carolina, I was surprised to hear that the place on the show was located there.  I did my research and figured I would not be able to go there because it was not in my budget.  My husband said that he could send me to Hilton Head Health or to one of the Biggest Loser locations.  I was interested, but I did not want to go because I felt it would be a waste of money since I was not mentally ready.  In those two years, I have auditioned for the biggest loser, done weight loss plans, and imagined myself losing weight, all without success.

This year in January, I began working out in my home gym.  I overdid it and injured myself.  I was in and out of my various doctors’ offices and just still did not feel well.  I got to the point where I began to feel helpless and hopeless, and I felt like I really needed a new start.  I looked at H3 again and told my husband that I wanted to go because I needed somewhere that I only had to focus on myself.  H3 seemed like the most attractive place, and besides, I had pictured myself there so many times.  My husband and I put a plan in motion to get me to H3.  When I spoke with Michele Musulin and she was so friendly and encouraging, it made me feel like I would be right at home at H3.

When it was time to go, I was excited, but nervous because three weeks seemed like a long time to be away from home.    Since Michele had already sent me the schedule for the week, I had gone over it.  I knew I wanted to try kayaking and I wanted to sign up for the hands-on cooking demonstrations.

During my first week, I tried the Shelter Cove kayaking, and I absolutely loved it!!! It was much easier than I thought it would be and so much fun.  It was so much fun that my cell phone decided to stay permanently on the adventure.  Kayaking was something I would have never felt comfortable attempting before my journey at H3.  Now I know it’s something I would try away from H3.  While there I also encouraged other guests to sign up for it.

While at H3 I attended most of the available lectures as well as the hands-on cooking demonstrations.  I tried most of the workout classes.  There was such a wide variety of workouts; there is something for everyone.  Even when the classes seemed too difficult, I just wanted to push myself.  At the end of each class, I was always glad that I had pushed forward to completion.

I am a person who loves good tasting food, so that was one of the more enjoyable experiences at H3.  They seemed to take pride in the flavor and variety of food offered.  Another thing I enjoyed was meeting all the great new people.  My favorite workout was probably Wii Dance because you get a workout that is just a lot of fun.  I also enjoyed the sunrise beach walks, water fitness classes, drums alive (really awesome class), kayaking, salsa dancing (I was pretty good.), cardio boxing (Thanks to Michael for encouraging me to try it.), and resistance band training.

Some of the most valuable things for me were the hands-on cooking demonstrations.  I attended the Grilling, Southern Comfort, and Desserts demos.  I love to cook and bake.  I especially love baking for others. It would be nice to have some ideas that I’ve tried that aren’t a caloric nightmare.  The classes that I took gave me some fresh new and healthy ideas to take home with me.  I also gained valuable information from the cooking demos, especially the pizza class with Chef Karla.  She provided lots of ideas.

When I attended the Putting It All Together class at H3 on the Friday before my departure, I left the class in tears, happy tears of course.  I had been struggling with my triglycerides for a few years partly due to my insulin resistance.  This was one of the numbers that I was warned would probably increase before it decreased.  I was shocked to see that mine dropped a little over 50%; I was down 14 pounds and a little over 7 inches, and muscles that I had not seen in years were making an appearance. I felt so blessed in that moment just thinking about what a wonderful experience I had at H3.

When I arrived at H3, I met many great people, some with extended stays and others with short-term stays.  There were so many return visitors who talked about how wonderful their previous H3 experiences had been. I originally wished that I would never have to return to H3, but not long into my stay, I realized that it would actually be a great place to return for a boost from time to time.  On the day of my departure, as I sat in my car in the parking lot of the main building preparing to go home, I thought about how my stay at H3 seemed like a once in a lifetime experience because unlike some people, I don’t know if I’ll get to return.  I felt bad for the people who will never get to experience H3 as I did, but I also felt blessed for the opportunity.  I thought about all the changes, and I felt so grateful to all of the people that I met.  All the staff was so welcoming and just seemed to care about everyone’s well-being.

Since I’ve been home I’ve made the pesto pizza, stuffed turkey burgers, super soft chocolate cake with oreo cream filling, loaded baked potato salad, and my own version of the Andouille sausage.  I have been working out and tracking my food.  I keep thinking about the lectures I attended at H3 such as Mindful Eating, Nutrition for Health, and Goal Setting just to name a few and incorporating some of the things I learned in them.  I’m not saying that life is perfect since I got back home. I am still working 9 hour days during the week, but now I find time to work out. I try to make most of my meals healthy.  I think I will always hear the “Monkey Chatter” that Lisette speaks of, but I pray that with the changes I am making, the “Monkey Chatter” will quiet down.



H3’s Meal Plan from a Guest’s Perspective


Not only does today mark our 237th year as an independent country, but today marks the 4 month anniversary of one of our beloved guests, Brian G.  This makes for a special 4th of July, especially after numerous guests (including Brian) completed and conquered the local Firecracker 5k on the island this morning.  Four months ago today, Brian weighed in at 349 pounds.  Today, he is 85 lbs. lighter!!  His commitment to the meal plan and making the most out of his stay is something I admire as well as being a great model for any guests that gets an opportunity to talk with him.  I decided to ask Brian a few questions about H3’s meal plan and how it has helped him get to 261 lbs.  Enjoy reading J

Q1:   What 3 main things about H3’s meal plan make it so special?

  1.  “The variety, flavor and portion control.  All the food is so fresh and filling.  For the calories, you get more than what you think you would get.  What they can do with the vegetables and minimal salt is amazing.  They turn something boring into flavorful masterpieces.”

Q2:  What is your favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner at H3?

  1.  “For breakfast, the apple muesli… lunch is a tough one to answer…either the turkey burger or pita pizza.  For dinner, hands down the chicken cordon bleu.”

Q3:  How have the Chef’s Tables enhanced our dining experience?

  1. “I have lost 85 lbs. and have managed to attend every Chef’s Table offered.  It is great to see first-hand how gourmet meals can be healthy.  It shows I can enjoy a little cheese, wine and the finest ingredients—all in moderation.”
  2. b.      The picture above is from our Red, White and Blue sorbet—a mix of our strawberry, coconut and blackberry sorbets featured in our America By Three’s Chef’s Table. 

Q4:  Would you rather have the fresh salad bar (Wednesday’s lunch) with the peanut butter mousse as dessert or have our short ribs for Friday’s gourmet meal?

  1. He definitely struggled answering this one, but he made his final decision with “short ribs at gourmet night…I’d have it every night if I could.”

Q5:  What one piece of advice would you tell an incoming guest?

  1.  “Keep an open mind.  If you didn’t think you liked a particular food, such as fish, then leave that at the door.  You actually don’t need all the unnecessary fat and salt to have flavorful food.”

Q6:  What are 3 recipes you would make once you go home?

“Chicken parmesan, peanut butter hummus and the apple muesli.”



Fitness Friday: Michael Brams Success Story (Brams the Man)

There have been many people who have walked through the doors of Hilton Head Health and have gone home successful. Today, June 14th, 2013 marks the day that one of our guests, Michael Brams, has achieved his goal weight. After 7 weeks of H3 dedication in the fall of 2012 combined with 12 weeks of H3 dedication in the Spring/Summer of 2013, (75+ lbs later), Michael Brams says he is “feeling and looking the best I’ve felt since high school”. Michael took full advantage of the program; diligently following the meal plan, taking several fitness classes a day, signing up for personal trainings, cooking lessons, one on one nutrition consults, and learning as much as he possibly could in order to apply these healthy habits for when he goes back home. As a Fitness Specialist here, I am thrilled to show off some of the amazing accomplishments Michael has made during his time here. Please enjoy the video that does just that! =D



Get H3 Inspired: Barb Wood

Barb Wood 1

My experience at Hilton Head Health (H3) was nothing short of what I expected; and I had high expectations given the reputation of H3.

During the summer of 2012, my husband Randy Wood spent five weeks at H3 and lost nearly 30 pounds.  The physical transformation was impressive.  He came home glowing.  Upon wrapping up his time there, he called and asked me “So what two weeks work for you?”  It wasn’t an order, but a passionate and enthusiastic request because we both struggle with our weight.  April 2013 was chosen.

I spent the next six months changing nothing and gaining more weight.  By February 2013 I had hit the wall.  I saw a number on the scale that just did me in.  At that point something mentally clicked for me.  I immediately cut out all the garbage and sweets.  I had no desire for them anymore.  I started a meager work out two days a week.  It didn’t last very long as my heart wasn’t into the exercise.  However the elimination of the bad foods continued.

April finally got here and I knew that the next two weeks were going to be about me and my health.  H3 was the jumpstart I was craving and I was ready to make a change.  I was tired of being tired.

From the moment I arrived at H3 I felt welcomed.  I fit in and there was no stigma about a number on the scale or the size of my clothes.  The guests at H3 are like-minded and the staff embraced every one of us for who we were: people on a mission to make positive changes in our lives.

I arrived and met the staff and my (awesome) roommate and I felt like I belonged.  I realized that after my initial weigh-in, I had already dropped 7 pounds since I had changed my diet in early February.  I was already off to a great start.

The schedule can be a little daunting at first; kind of like being a freshman on the first day of school! But you quickly learn to pick the classes and lectures that mean something to you.  The tough part of course is realizing that they all mean something, but with a 2-week stay, I had time to pick and choose.

You quickly learned who the veterans and long-timers are as they were immediately into the groove and just had a wisdom about them.  They had a lot to offer.  Friendships were made quickly…and are ones that will serve us well long after we have left H3 for our own realities.

In 10 days I lost a little over 7 pounds.  Given the gourmet quality of the food we were served, this was really exciting.  Dieting didn’t mean boring and bland food.  It meant food that is colorful and full of flavor!  At 13 days I was down 9 pounds.  The drive home to Vermont was a long one but I made smart choices about the food I ate and at 15 days…I was down 10 pounds.

The transformation was amazing for me.  I feel great, my fat clothes are getting baggy and mostly…I have energy.  I am equipped with notes from lectures and the knowledge that we all will stumble…we are human after all.  As someone said, “Weight loss isn’t hard. Losing weight is.”  It’s a rule of in and out.  Less calories in, more calories out.

I purchased my Fitbit One at H3 and I wear it every day.  It has become the subtle little voice of H3 to just keep moving, because doing something is better than doing nothing.

I arrived home knowing that Randy and I will make regular treks to H3.  It is that course-adjustment we sometimes need in life.  I look forward to returning as a veteran.  Most of all, I look forward to interacting with the staff of H3 and their enthusiasm for a healthy life and the absolute desire to help us get there.

 Barb Wood – Pittsfield, VT



Best Weight Loss Program! Hilton Head Health Wins Top Honors


Fox News has named Hilton Head Health the top weight loss resort in the U.S. Learn why our weight loss program is number one in the US for men and women.

In a recent article posted on, Hilton Head Health (H3) was named the number one weight loss resort in the United States. Author Laura Kelly made her selection from a wide variety of the country’s best-known resort and spa properties, recognizing Hilton Head Health as the best of the best – “a far cry from the fat camps image that has been around for decades.”

The article noted H3’s wide range of weight loss programs, including three-day retreats, weeklong stays, and an extended program for guests interested in more intensive weight loss.

“Over the years, we’ve helped thousands of people lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle,” said H3 owner John H. Schmitz. “We are extremely gratified to receive this kind of recognition. Especially since I know how hard our staff works every day to provide our guests with the best possible experience.”

John also commented, “I also want to thank all of our guests who have been with us over the years and provided feedback that’s helped make us better.  I am personally committed and confident that our staff is also dedicated to making sure you receive the best of the best at Hilton Head Health.  We hope that you’ll join us again soon to experience America’s #1 Weight Loss Resort!”



Get H3 Inspired: Sue Ellen Sherer

Sue Before


Sue After

Struggling with weight issues has been the norm for most of my life, but I always managed to have good numbers where cholesterol and blood pressure were concerned. Then in October 2009, my father-in-law, for whom I was the primary caretaker, fell and fractured his pelvis and was sent to a nursing home for recovery. Because of his advanced dementia, he was denied routine physical therapy and I knew I needed to be his strongest advocate…he wanted to walk, he wanted to recover, even though he was unable to verbalize it. I moved with him into a handicapped accessible room at a hotel and used the weight room and pool facilities to exercise him and give him back his mobility. After five weeks, he was able to return to assisted living but I was totally unaware of the toll it had taken on me, personally, until I was back at my part-time job as a standardized (professional) patient.

One afternoon I had two different third-year medical students practicing their physical exam techniques tell me that I had high blood pressure. Thinking that they had not used the blood pressure cuff correctly, I went to the doctor in charge of the training and asked him to take my blood pressure. It was 168! Before I even left the building I was on the phone to my own primary care physician making an appointment. In addition to the high blood pressure, I had gained about 20-25 pounds during those five weeks. I have always been a stress eater, or eating that which was convenient and my closet always held at least four different sizes of clothing and I would just grab whatever fit at the time.

I knew I had to do something to take care of me at this point and went online in search of somewhere I could go to get my weight down. With my husband’s support and blessing, I made arrangements to spend a week at Hilton Head Health (H3) in January of 2010, with no idea at all how drastically it was going to change my life.

I had never exercised regularly; not really exercised at all since gym class in high school! The first class I went to at H3, I thought I was going to have to be scraped up off the floor! But through the continual encouragement of the staff and other participants, I began to try all kinds of exercise classes and was actually having fun! I laughed along with others as I stumbled through Zumba with two left feet; I sweated alongside newly made acquaintances as we labored hard on the treadmills. I always tell people that it is as much about the mind and spirit as it is about the physical changes that take place. H3 provides an atmosphere that nourishes all three parts: education for the mind, exercise for the body, food for the soul and time enough to reflect on putting it all together.

As a Christian woman wanting to take better care of the temple wherein God’s Holy Spirit dwells I wanted to be a more fit testimony of His love and care. By taking care of myself, I am better able to take care of my family, be as healthy as I can possibly be so I can ‘run the good race’ and enjoy my children, and someday…my grandchildren!

The educational sessions provided such an excellent foundation and impetus to work towards making life-long changes. I was given exercises that could be done anywhere with minimal equipment. Cooking classes showed me some different ways to cook that would be healthier and use less fat. (May I just say that H3 does a fantastic job of making 1,200 calories look and taste like a gourmet feast!)

I lost several pounds while at H3, but more importantly, I came home with a new vision and goal towards my own health. I began to check out different exercise videos from the public library and tried several until I found ones that I liked. Now I have pretty much settled on two groups of videos: one for strength training and the other for cardio exercise. I do them in my own home and keep track on a goals chart. I began to use a free online calorie and fitness program to track my daily eating and exercise, and most importantly, gathered a few close friends to join in my endeavors and we daily encourage one another with comments.

The weight did not come off quickly, but over time I have managed to take off 43 pounds and 23 inches by eating sensibly, exercising six days a week, and gathering a supportive group of friends to encourage one another. I feel better now than when I was much younger and I am still amazed when I shop for clothing that I am buying smaller and smaller sizes. Is that really my size now?!

As a primary caregiver for someone else (my mother, now that my father-in-law has passed away), we can often tend to take care of everyone else’s needs and health concerns before we take care of ourselves. By making healthy lifestyle changes and exercising regularly, I have found that the stress and tension that at times weighed so heavily on my shoulders, have been reduced exponentially. When I feel better, I am better able to tend to the needs of the ones under my care. It’s a Win-Win solution.

Thank you H3 for inspiring me to ‘run the good race!’

Sue Ellen Sherer; Rochester, NY



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