Hamilton Weight Management is offering a new Intensive Behavioral Therapy (IBT) program for obesity for those on Medicare with a diagnosis of obesity, body mass index (BMI) of 30 and above.
Dietitians Elayna Roberts, MHS, RD, LD, CDE, and Kari Intemann, RD, LD, are working with patients in the program.
Steven Spears, a retired engineer from the Georgia Department of Transportation, started at 296 pounds and has lost 38 pounds so far while in the program. He says he’s happy with his progress.
“Working with the folks over at Weight Management has been super,” said Spears. “When I would lose two pounds, I think Elayna was more excited about it than I was. She just gets excited about the weight loss and helping patients. Someone that excited about helping you motivates you to do better.”
IBT is a 6-month to 12-month program consisting of four weekly visits and 10 bi-weekly visits. The program is available in a class setting or individual appointments. If the patient loses at least 6.6 pounds after six months, he or she will receive an additional six monthly visits and a waived co-pay. The program requires a physician referral.
The program includes an individualized meal plan and education on eating out, physical activity, portion education, mindful eating and more. Dietitians discuss different topics each visit based on what the participant most needs.
“I think what keeps most people from participating in weight-loss programs is that they feel they’ve done it before,” said Roberts. “They feel like they know (the information) already or they’ve tried it and were unsuccessful. What’s different about this program is that it’s individualized so it works for you. We look at previous programs and talk about why they didn’t work for them. Then we work through those barriers that kept them from losing weight before.”
Born and raised in Dalton, Melinda Golden is going through the program and has lost 22 pounds so far.
“I’ve been trying to lose weight for a long time,” said Golden. “I feel so good. I feel so much better because I can do a lot of things that I haven’t done in a long time.”
She said her heart doctor was impressed with her success in the program. “He was so proud of me,” said Golden. “He thought he was going to have to increase my medicine, but I don’t have to do that now, because my blood pressure is awesome!”
Both Spears and Golden said they have tried a number of other programs without success.
“I’ve tried a lot of other programs, and it never worked,” said Golden. “When I lost it, I would gain more back. This is more balanced. This program is really working. I’m not trying to force myself.”
Spears said he didn’t understand the previous programs that he tried.
“The staff over there (Weight Management) have a way to explain what you need to do in a way that an average person can understand and you just get it,” said Spears.
In the beginning, Spears and Golden said it was difficult to stick with their diets, but both said it has gotten easier for them.
“I’m probably driving my wife crazy,” Spears said. “When I’m counting my calories up for the day and I’m getting close, I just say this is it. I’m done. I guess I’ve gotten a little OCD about it. I watch it because I know this is what I need to do, but it has gotten easier.”
Roberts said she likes the way the program is designed.
“One thing that I personally love about this program, as a dietitian, is that it’s not about losing 50 pounds in one month,” said Roberts. “It’s about making lifestyle changes that are really going to stick with you for the rest of your life. We’ve seen patients dramatically change their diets and they feel so much better. At the end of the day, weight loss isn’t about fitting into skinny jeans. It’s about feeling better and being healthier.”
The program requires a physician referral. Please talk with your doctor about getting a referral. For more information, please call 706-272-2688.