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Winning Weighs® helped Patti be fabulous at 50

In the fall of 2015, Patti Petrie was weeks away from turning 50 and feeling the weight of all those years.

"I was often tired and my back hurt," laments Patti. Married with two grown kids, Patti says, "It was time to take care of me. But what I was doing on my own wasn’t working and I realized I couldn’t do it alone."

That was when Patti signed up for Winning Weighs® to get healthy and lose weight. Winning Weighs helps people like Patti take control of food choices. The 14-week program was developed by Gundersen registered dietitians who provide support and accountability.

"I took the plunge and I'm glad I did!" says Patti. "The instructors were phenomenal."

What she learned

Like a lot of people, Patti often ate out of boredom or stress without even realizing it. "They taught me ways to overcome my bad habits by tapping into coping mechanisms on days I struggle," recalls Patti.

She adds, "And, I had to lose that 'diet' mentality." This is a key focus of the Winning Weighs® program. Participants instead learn a sensible approach to:

  • Develop mindful eating and a healthier relationship with food
  • Plan and cook satisfying meals and make smart restaurant choices
  • Determine healthy portion sizes
  • Recognize hunger and fullness cues
  • Learn coping skills that don’t rely on food 
  • Work through challenges

Group support

"It's important to have a strong support system. Friends, family, the instructors and others in my class all helped me through this journey," says Patti. "In class, we held each other accountable and it helped to hear other people’s stories, their struggles and ways they found to overcome setbacks."

Eating and exercise

"Learning balance and portion control was huge to me. I know it is okay to leave food on my plate, to take less food and to make better choices," Patti explains. "I also love to cook and I'm cooking healthier now—incorporating more veggies and lean protein."

Patti discovered that if you find activities you enjoy, you're more likely to stick with them. She confesses she isn’t comfortable joining a gym, but she likes to walk. For variety, Patti also checks out exercise videos from Community and Preventive Care Service. "I can do the videos at home and they are fun and motivating," she explains. "So now when I get home, I go for a walk or pop in a video instead of sitting in front of TV and eating."

Her hard work pays off

Patti has seen many positive changes from Winning Weighs. She proudly states: "Now I have more energy and less back pain. I've also lost 28 pounds and found more confidence in myself."

According to Patti, "We had to create an affirmative statement which we can look at when struggling. Mine is 'progress, not perfection' and that’s what I've achieved."

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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