The Team Approach To Weight Loss

Rena Papierno and one of her grandchildren.

When Rena Papierno heard that her husband needed to lose weight for medical reasons, she knew that her also participating in the Center for Weight Management’s program would help him be successful.

“I know my husband, after so many years, that he needs a team, that he needs me to support him,” Rena said. “So I made a decision to give up the program that I was in and not working and went along not thinking that this would work for me… Maybe we were both just ready for it, but we fell into the program and it just seems to work for us.”

Rena has lost about 26 pounds since she joined the program last year and has been able to keep off the weight.

“We’re more than pleased,” she said. “It’s just become a habit for us now.”

Between learning how to measure and judge appropriate meal and snack foods to being accountable for their food consumption with an app to being aware of mindless eating to knowing when you’re actually hungry, Rena and her husband have learned the keys to successful weight loss and maintenance. They have taken this knowledge on vacations and cruises and know that a little weight gain during these times is to be expected. They also know that they will get back to their everyday eating and exercising plan upon their return.

Christine Santori, RD, program manager of the Center for Weight Management at Syosset Hospital, has said during both individual and group sessions at the center that people should not let a “holiday” become a “holi-week” or “holi-month.” This is when a person’s weight loss efforts get derailed.

“What makes this program so special is the one-on-one that you have with a nutritionist and a psychologist [and an endocrinologist],” Rena said.

In addition to Ms. Santori, the Center for Weight Management staff includes Willo Wisotsky, PhD, health psychologist, and Maria Pena, MD, director of the center.

Since taking part in the program, Rena has had some of her medications reduced and is better able to enjoy her life and her grandchildren.

“It feels wonderful when we can go on a trip and we can do the distance,” Rena said. “It feels great that we don’t have to huff and puff every time that we want to do an activity. That I can get down on the floor and play with my two-year-old granddaughter. That I can run when my seven-year-old grandson was here and he was riding his bike and even though I don’t bike ride, I was right behind him. That’s the feeling, that I can participate in the activities that I want and not feel out of breath.”

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