STAR graphic_nocopy_pantone2945U“Growing up as a child I was overweight, this continued on into my adult life as well. I tried many diets just to have them fail and I would gain more weight back then what I lost. In 2006 I looked into having bariatric surgery. Now many people see this as a quick fix, but this isn’t the case. Having bariatric surgery is like being given a tool to assist you in losing weight. You must pair this with healthy eating and healthy living. I went through and had this surgery in May of 2007. This was a start to my new life. I did great with the first 2 years and lost a total of 120 lbs. But I did what I think that many people do. I lost the weight and went back to bad eating habits and no exercise, and I gained weight back.

When TRC came out with the STARS program I really took it seriously and looked at wanting to lose the weight that I put back on.

When I had my surgery 1 weighed 2941bs. I lost 120 lbs. bringing me to about 1751bs. I was comfortable with this weight, but I gained weight back,due to lack of healthy eating and no exercise routine. When I decided to starting getting back to a healthy weight I weighed 235 lbs. over the course of the past few months I had met with my PCP who was worried about my weight gain and gave me a medication to curve my appetite and I started eating healthy and exercising again. With the assistance of having a health coach to talk to and continue with encouragement I have lost 36 lbs. this was my goal to be back under 200 lbs. Today I weigh 1991bs and I continue to eat healthy and exercise. I am joining in some of the exercise classes that are being offered through the STARS program that I really am looking forward to doing, and I have decided to set a new goal to try to get down to 1751bs this being what I weighed after having my bariatric surgery.” – Rhonda Scott

STAR graphic_nocopy_pantone2945U“Hi my name is Solimar Vazquez, since I can remember I have always been called “chunky”, “curvy”, or “gordita”. It really never bothered me since I was an athletic child and never consider myself as overweight.

After graduating high school, I stop being as athletic and started working at a fast food restaurant. With easy access to fast food I started gaining weight; still, I didn’t think I was overweight. It was after my first pregnancy that I realize my weight wasn’t healthy at 221 lbs. I “tried” many diets, enrolled myself on gym memberships, that I never used, and came up with excuses on why I couldn’t lose weight.

After having my second child I was 230 lbs., and again I “tried” but couldn’t lose any weight. At this point I was still very confident of my skills and accomplishments in life, but my self esteem was very low. I wouldn’t take pictures during family events, not even with my children. Eventually I started working for the Primary Care Clinic & CAPS office, so with access to a scale I weighted myself; I was 239lbs.

During my health insurance enrollment I was introduced to the STARS Program and all its benefits, but it wasn’t until March, 2015 that my co-worker Amber and I decided to set up a goal to lose weight. My plan to lose 10lbs. in 10 weeks was to:
•    stop eating after 7:00pm,
•    work out every day for an hour, and
•    reduce my calories to 1500 a day.

With the support of my husband and co-workers, who will remind me every time about my goal, I was able to lose about 15lbs.  By the end of May it became harder to lose weight, even though I was still with my “plan”.

In early June the STARS program offered a Lunch and Learn in how to make healthy choices. Paula Pickett explained how much water to drink a day and the signs your body shows when you are dehydrated, how much sodium to have a day, how many calories to consume to lose weight steadily, and how protein helps your body feel full for longer periods of time.

To my surprise, I wasn’t drinking enough water, I was consuming too much salt,  I wasn’t eating enough calories, and my diet didn’t include any protein ! So, I started a new plan.
•    No eating after 7pm.
•    Work out 5 days a week for an hour, not just cardio but weights to strength my body.
•    Reduce my sodium intake by replacing salt and seasonings with Mrs. Dash products.
•    Increase my protein intake as much as possible.

These changes have now become a live style. As of today I’m 207lbs. for a total loss of 32lbs in 6months! I feel great and full of energy; I can’t stop taking pictures with my family; and my self esteem is “back on top”!

So, if you have been struggling with anything try to contact your STARS coach, they have the information and tools you need to start a healthy life style. One change can make the difference on how you feel about yourself. Good luck!” –  Solimar Vazquez

STAR graphic_nocopy_pantone2945U“TRC doctors are more involved with my health than my previous doctor was. I am more confident about working with my health and TRC doctors.”

– Anonymous