Over time, Frank Lehane's weight ballooned from 160 pounds to more than 275 pounds. He suffered from sleep apnea and needed to use a machine to help him breathe at night. He took five prescription medications every day to combat health problems, including high blood and diabetes, that came along with obesity.
"The pain of knowing I needed to change often left me feeling hopeless and helpless, but it also forced me for the first time in my life to take a hard look at how, over the years, I had formed bad habits that were endangering my life and longevity," said Lehane, a 55-year-old Fullerton resident and business owner.
Lehane knew he had to do something. He enrolled in a weight loss program offered at St. Jude Heritage Medical Group. Thanks to the program, Lehane lost 90 pounds in 12 months. He's off all of his medications and no longer needs the sleep apnea machine. He is now in the second phase of the program, learning to maintain his weight loss.
"To everyone who knew me before my transformation, what has happened for me is nothing short of a miracle," he said.
The program, Health Management Resources (HMR®), focuses on integrating diet, physical activity and healthy lifestyle skills through weekly coaching.
U.S. News and World Report recently ranked it the number two diet in its list of Best Weight Loss Diets for 2015 in the country, evaluating it against 34 other diets in categories including easiness to follow, ability to produce short and long-term weight loss, nutritional completeness, safety and potential to prevent and manage diabetes and heart disease.
During the ranking process, reporters and editors from U.S. News & World Report created in-depth profiles of each diet, and a panel of nationally recognized experts on diet, nutrition, obesity, food psychology, diabetes and heart disease rated the diets and their effectiveness. St. Jude Heritage Medical Group has offered the HMR® program for six years and also incorporates an exercise component and a psychotherapist who teaches patients how to stop unhealthy eating habits and understand why they might turn to food for comfort.
"This program changes lives," said Susan Watkins, RD, CDE. "Our patients lower their risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other health problems when they lose weight. We're thrilled that the program has received the recognition it deserves. We know it works."
Lehane said changing his habits wasn't easy but said it was worth all the hard work.
"For me to maintain what I've accomplished will require ongoing commitment and work for sure, but I now know that getting to be 100-plus pounds overweight didn't happen overnight either. HMR, I now know, is no quick-fix book of tips and techniques. It's a lifestyle change," he said. "If anyone wants to make a true and lasting change and produce extraordinary results (or even the miraculous), I am living proof that there's hope and opportunity for everyone.
The HMR® program offered at St. Jude Heritage is available in hospitals and medical centers or can be used by participant at home. Research shows an average weight loss of 38-57 pounds (depending on the chosen diet) for in-clinic patients who attend the program for at least 17 weeks.
To learn more about the HMR program, call (714) 446-5154.
For more information on HMR's inclusion in the Best Diets ranking, please click here or join the conversation on Twitter using #BestDiets.
St. Jude Heritage Medical Group is also offering a free healthy lifestyle coaching program for children and their families. Sign up for the Live Smart Program by calling the Health Education Department at (714) 446-5677.