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Why Weight gives couple new life

Manitowoc residents Tom and Linda Jachimstal embrace healthy changes.

In January 2016, Tom and Linda Jachimstal found themselves at a crossroads with their health. Tom’s Type 2 Diabetes was requiring an ever-increasing amount of medication to control it while Linda was following a similar path heading from borderline diabetes to Type 2 Diabetes. It was the perfect time for a Why Weight flyer to catch Linda’s attention as she left the HFM Wellness Center.

They had tried many diets and weight-loss programs in the past with none sustaining long-term results. The Why Weight program, specifically designed for people with pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes, seemed different to Linda. She brought the information home and convinced Tom to attend the free informational session with her.

This is not a diet

From the very first session, HFM Wellness Center trainer Maddie Schmitt made it clear that this was not a diet. Tom remembers her telling the group “This is not a diet; a diet is something you quit. This is going to be a lifestyle change.”

For 16 weeks Tom and Linda attended weekly group sessions that focused on healthy eating, covering portion control, food preparation, and healthy choices. The couple began meal planning together and tracking their food intake through an app on their phones. While weight-loss programs had seemed overwhelming, HFM Why Weight allowed them to take control of their eating habits. “You can have anything you want, in moderation. You set yourself limits,” Linda explains. “I don’t say I can’t have it, I choose not to have it,” Tom added.

This is not a diet; a diet is something you quit. This is going to be a lifestyle change.

Armed with the tools to make good decisions, the Jachimstal’s were happy they could even treat themselves with a night out. They now opted for baked rather than fried foods and cut the supersized portions provided in most restaurants in half, opting to share meals or take home leftovers instead.

A second group session was held each week at the HFM Wellness center to focus on incorporating physical activity into their life. While Linda had been a member of the Wellness Center for some time, the sessions gave her ideas for new exercises to try. A trip to the HFM Wellness Center evolved from a social outing to a social outing with a purpose. HFM trainer Maddie taught the group how to use the weight machines and the importance of incorporating strength training into their routines.

The first 16 weeks provided the building blocks for a healthy life. The on-going monthly sessions helped keep Tom and Linda motivated, accountable and able to adjust whenever life events happened. Linda took a week-long trip to visit friends in Florida and brought her new habits with her. She came back to Wisconsin four pounds lighter. The 2016 holiday season was a win with both Tom and Linda committing to maintaining, not gaining.

Healthy lifestyle, healthy life

As the Jachimstal’s embraced the healthy lifestyle choices, Tom’s health began to dramatically improve. He’d been on insulin injections for over 10 years and was up to five injections a day. Within two weeks of starting Why Weight, he was able to cut out mealtime insulin shots. By May of 2016, five months after joining the program, Tom no longer needed any insulin shots.

Their weight began to drop as well. Since committing to the program over a year ago, Linda has lost 43 pounds and is down four clothes sizes while Tom has lost 70 pounds. In the fall of 2016, each of them had unique experiences that put that weight loss into perspective.

You have a choice, go on living as you are and die from deteriorating health or really “live” the rest of your life.

During a weight training session, Linda picked up a 35 pound weight. It was so heavy she could barely lift it. “How could I carry this around every day?” she wondered. Tom struggled to move a heavy object at his house and realized “you would carry this every day of your life.”

With improved health came an improved life. As a team they work together to stay on track, comparing notes, planning meals and measuring their food intake. They’re able to be more active and enjoy life again. For those considering HFM Why Weight, Tom reminds them “you have a choice, go on living as you are and die from deteriorating health or really “live” the rest of your life.”

Click here to learn more about current HFM Why Weight sessions.

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