Fat to Fit

BALTIMORE Three years ago, Miriam Shark wore a size 24. After topping out at 305 pounds, Shark decided it was time to make some changes.

"It was holding me back professionally, it was holding me back personally, it was holding me back probably psychologically and in every other way," Shark says.

She joined a weight loss program and after two years, she had lost 160 pounds!

"Losing it is the easy part, keeping it off is the hard part," Shark says.

She's right. Only one-third of patients are able to keep the weight off for one year or more. If you really want long term weight loss, you'll have to make some changes.

"It's a matter of getting them to change their habits, which are long-term and ingrained," says Lawrence Cheskin, M.D., Director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center in Baltimore Md.

Like any other habit, a food addiction is tough to break.

Studies show most people who maintain weight loss are enrolled in weight loss support programs. Keep stepping on the scale. Staying aware of your weight is key to keeping it off. And find a balance between food and the gym. Trading 150-calorie soda for a 30 minute walk can make you lose ten pounds a year!

Easier said than done? Probably. Both Dr. Cheskin and Shark say continuing weight loss success is up to you.

Instead of food being in charge of me, or weight being in charge of me, or obesity being in charge of me, I'm like, I'm in charge!" Shark says.

With a little discipline and self-restraint, she will stick to her diet well into the New Year.

Statistics show by the year 2010, 75 percent of Americans will be obese.

Shark attended the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center in Baltimore Md.


Lawrence Cheskin, M.D.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Baltimore MD
(410) 847-3744

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