Archive for the ‘Weight Loss Success’ Category

Guest Testimonial: Linda & Vince Ferrigno

testimonial1029 300x162 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

IMG 1221 420x336 Sharing Success: 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

sorbet 300x199 H3s Meal Plan from a Guests 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 200x300 Get H3 Inspired: Barb Wood

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

FoxNewsAccolade 300x150 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 FoxNews.com, 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 ellen sherer before 225x300 Get H3 Inspired: Sue Ellen Sherer

Sue Before

 
sue ellen sherer after1 200x300 Get H3 Inspired: Sue Ellen Sherer

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

 

Get H3 Inspired: Stephanie Sifrit

stephanie sifrit before3 Get H3 Inspired: Stephanie Sifrit

Stephanie Before

 
stephanie sifrit after2 Get H3 Inspired: Stephanie Sifrit

Stephanie After

The Light Bulb

One day, I found myself talking among friends telling them I still had the “baby weight” to lose. My friend asked, “How old is your baby?” I said, “three years.” I look back on that and think “Wow! What a bad excuse!” When my little three-year-old turned ten, I was still in the same condition. I found myself crying, feeling loathsome, and insecure. I desperately needed a push start on healthier living, so I committed one month of my life to Hilton Head Health (H3).

The Decision

Planning to spend one month away from my family took some organization. I made my reservation and had sixty days to prepare. The big problem I faced was in those sixty days I kept second-guessing my decision. I kept thinking, “I can’t do this!” “This is insane!” On and on I went with more excuses as to why I couldn’t take care of myself and had to be a good mom and put everyone else before myself. The major dilemma to those rationalizations is an unhealthy mom is not a good provider, example, or encouragement to her children. Therefore, I carried on with my plan, packed my car, including my bicycle, and headed out to a new goal: a new me!

The Right Environment

I have never been so comfortable in a new environment, among strangers, than when I was at H3. From the moment I got there, (wow, I can still smell the lobby, and it makes me smile) I was engaged in being a better me. The whole environment marinates in success. The H3 routine was rigorous but not too much. I woke up at 6 am every morning to join the group for the beach walk. What a magnificent way to start a day of better living. Next came breakfast and a thermo-walk. How I miss those! Seriously! Everyone gets up from the table and walks down to the “reflector tree.” It’s a parade of your newest and best friends working together to be healthier people. That feeling is at the core of the H3 experience; you are never on this journey by yourself. There is always someone beside you edging you along and keeping you focused on your goal.

The New Beginning

With the help of Hilton Head Health, I managed to lose almost 30 pounds. Although my weight still fluctuates, I know it’s time to get back in H3 mode when I go outside of my comfort range.  H3 teaches you how to make “good, better, [and the] best” of choices out on your own. You learn skills to help you stay focused. You breathe in new life and become a better you. I kid you not; just writing this letter reminds me of the “best” choice I made: going to Hilton Head Health.

Stephanie Sifrit; Bradenton, FL

 

Get ‘H3 Inspired’: Mimi and Phil Drew

mimi and phil at h3 3 300x199 Get ‘H3 Inspired’: Mimi and Phil DrewIt has been a year since my husband, Phil, and I went to Hilton Head Health (H3) to change our lifestyle (December 2011) – and we’ve been singing H3’s praises ever since! To date, Phil’s lost 50 pounds and I’ve lost 45 — and we are continuing to lose! We are moving through clothing sizes at a rapid rate and it’s great to be going in the right direction!! My cholesterol is down 40 points and I have reduced my Lipitor from 20mg to 10mg daily and may be off it entirely after my annual physical.

Upon arriving to H3, I was afraid we would spend a week there and not learn anything we didn’t know (but just weren’t doing). That couldn’t have been further from the truth. We learned weight loss tools that have helped us in all aspects of life – from dining out to exercise; we’ve been able to incorporate H3’s weight loss rules in our daily routine to achieve lasting success. For example, who knew that weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise? Who knew that restaurants “steam” their vegetables in BUTTER? Or if you know your metabolic calorie range, you can know exactly how many calories you can consume to still lose weight?

As far as exercise is concerned, we were already in the gym an hour a day but adding an extra half hour and actually sweating has worked wonders!

Since returning home, we’ve enjoyed celebrations, holidays and trips while maintaining our weight loss. For example, last Valentine’s Day, Phil and I had a wonderful dinner that fit within our 350 calorie count; it included grilled shrimp, roasted vegetables, homemade chocolate dipped strawberries (16 cal each) and homemade lemon meringue cookies (23 cal each), PLUS champagne (100 cal). A true feast and we counted everything without feeling like we cheated on our diet or feeling deprived. Many of the recipes I found on Hilton Head Health’s blog, H3Daily.com, and the rest I was able to figure out from the cooking tips learned during our visit.

Read the rest of this entry.

 

Sharing Success: Allison

before allison2 300x225 Sharing Success: Allison

Before

 
 
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After

My story starts a little differently than the average H3@Home participant.  I began the program 6 months before I was able to make the trip from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, to South Carolina to spend a few amazing days at Hilton Head Health.  I knew I needed help – and I did not want to wait until it our schedule allowed me to leave my husband with our three kids to begin my journey toward health.  I had a fire lit under me – and I wanted to take advantage!  In April, I called Jeff Ford and signed up for H3@Home coaching. 

The fact that all of our contact was by phone did not hamper my ability to make a great connection with Allison, my coach, immediately.  I really felt like she understood how difficult the transitions my life, and she stood by me every step of the way.  She listened when I needed to vent and she challenged me when I needed a push.  It was never “boot camp,” because that was NOT what I was after!!  It was compassion, encouragement, and another person to help me decide what to do next.  The process of breaking down the fantasy of being fit – into weekly doable goals lies at the heart of H3@Home – and was a big part of how I have been able to lose almost 50 pounds – so far!!  

Now people are looking to me as a ROLE MODEL!!!  How on earth is that possible???  I was sure that I was one of the people who would never be successful at losing weight – because I was so resistant to the things you NEED to do in order to be a fit person!!  I was able to change all of that with the support of Allison!!

I am such a believer in the concept that nutrition is 80% and exercise is 20% of weight loss.  However, it did not take me very long to realize that while exercise is not even really necessary for losing pounds, it is CRUCIAL in having a healthy mental attitude toward all aspects of life.  Ever since I have unlocked that secret – there has been no going back for me.  My body, but mostly my mind and soul now REQUIRE physical exertion in order to be well.  I feel so lucky that I have found so many activities that allow me to work my body and are so very fun!!  Biking, hiking, skiing – cross country and downhill, tennis . . . and so many more exciting activities that I can’t wait to try.  (Next summer:  canoeing!!) 

Even more important than the workouts, is the new reality in my life: I take the time I need to nurture myself and my body.  My children are watching me!!  I am so relieved that now I am teaching them to seek their hearts desires and to prioritize the time and energy to follow their dreams into every single day!!  I am so excited to see where I end up and what I continue to accomplish.  I now feel like the sky is the limit.

 

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