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“I’ve struggled with my weight ever since I can remember,” shares Katie Ward, an oncology nurse at Altru Health System. “In my family, food was the center of everything. Having a hard day? Let's eat! Celebrating? Let's eat!"

The pounds continued to add on throughout her adult years and, after tipping the scales at 402 pounds, Katie knew it was time for a change. In March 2016, she joined Altru’s Weight Management Program .

Six months later, Katie had dropped 70 pounds. "It has been wonderful. My blood pressure is now normal; my cholesterol is in check. I actually weigh less now than what I lied about on my driver’s license!"

The Program
"I absolutely love the program,” shares Katie. “As a night shift nurse, they were able to personalize the program for my needs, including easy ways to fit in exercise and food plans that didn't require much effort. They also kept me accountable through an Altru app that logged my calories, exercise and water intake."

Katie continues, "When you go through the program, you feel like a member of the entire team. Everyone, especially Ann Mason , gave me unconditional support and guidance. They know each of us are there to try and better ourselves, and their goal is to help us achieve it."

Start in the Kitchen
Throughout her journey, Katie has re-learned healthier ways to eat.

“Frozen grapes are my new best friend,” smiles Katie. “They’re sweet, and you have to enjoy them slowly.”

“I bake a lot of chicken and add seasoning for flavor. I make eggs tossed with onion and green pepper. I also try to wash and pack my produce over the weekend, so it’s ready to go throughout the week with my busy schedule.”

Small Hiccup
“I have struggled with keeping the weight off at times, and have recently gained back 20 pounds after some recent stresses in my life,” admits Katie. “However, I am determined to not give up! I know I have the entire Weight Management Team behind me and willing to help me get back into those healthy habits. I know exactly what it takes to make the pounds come off and I know I can depend on them to help me reach my next goal of getting under 300 pounds."

Altru's Weight Management program offers an "Application" phase after completion of the six-month program. This includes monthly meetings on various topics, weekly weigh-ins and emails that provide advice, encouragement and new challenges. They also offer weekly workouts with Rachel Aure, Altru’s exercise specialist . Rachel shows you how to modify basic workouts to best fit your abilities and any health challenges you may have.

For Her Family
Katie's inspiration to get back on track is her family. Ryan, her nine-year-old son, is active in sports and constantly wants to play with his mom.

"After losing the weight, we have been able to do more activities together,” shares Katie. “He and my husband love playing basketball and swimming. I love being right beside them instead of on the sidelines. One of my proudest moments was when my son was able to wrap his arms all the way around me for the first time."

While Katie is still working toward her goals and understands the everyday struggle of losing weight, she shares this advice for anyone thinking about starting: “The experts in Altru’s Weight Management Program will give you exactly what you need. Use the tools, and they’ll help you get there.”

Blogs like 40 days of dating

Blogs like 40 days of dating