Here’s how lifestyle changes not only helped this patient drop the pounds, but keep them off for good.
Dupree George knows first-hand how being overweight can take its toll on your health. For Dupree, that toll was fatty liver disease and high blood pressure.
“I couldn’t breathe and I was always sweating,” he said. “It was really bad.”
While these external factors may have been visible to all, there are also unseen struggles.
“I was young. I had a college degree, but people were just passing me by because I was overweight,” Dupree said. “No one saw me as a person. People didn’t think I could do the job, just because I was big.”
At different points in his life, Dupree lost weight, only to find he would later gain it back. After the death of his aunt in 2017, he decided to try a different approach.
“She’s the one who wanted me to start losing weight,” he said of his aunt. “I had a chance to go to weight management. My doctor and my family encouraged me, and my fiancé was very supportive.”
The positive effects of joining a weight loss group
Dupree joined the Group Lifestyle Balance Program through Mercy Health. The program approaches weight loss as a lifestyle change, helping patients lose weight through healthy eating and physical activity.
“When I started the program, I was scared. I didn’t want anyone to know my weight,” he said of weighing 450 pounds.
However, it didn’t take long for Dupree to lean in to the group and draw strength from their support.
“They listened to what I had to say. I was more open in the group than by myself,” he said. “I might have given up by myself, but the group made a big difference versus being on my own.”
As the pounds dropped, he encountered new struggles, but he overcame them through the support of his program instructors, the group and his own commitment to a healthier lifestyle.
“It was hard. I saw family members eating all kinds of food. I didn’t think I could do it,” Dupree said. “I would lose a couple of pounds, gain some back. Then I got into a groove.”
The program taught him practical skills like portion control and counting calories. He began writing down what he was eating and measuring out portions to ensure he would stay on track.
“I look at food differently now instead of just putting it in my mouth,” Dupree said. “The food I used to eat, I just don’t have a taste for it anymore. This is a permanent plan for me.”
A better, healthier future
What kind of effect does Dupree’s weight have on him now? Dupree completed the program in March of this year, and sees no turning back.
“Now I have a smile on my face. I want to live a healthy life and inspire others to lose weight,” he said.
After finding success through the Group Lifestyle Balance Program, Dupree encourages others who may be struggling to seek out support instead of going through it alone.
“Work together. Come with a friend who will help you,” he said. “The program will help you achieve better things with your life. Just don’t give up. Follow your group and keep at it.”
The smiles, healthy lifestyle and weight loss are all indicators of Dupree’s success, as are the changes in his wardrobe.
“I can put both legs in one leg of my old pants now,” he said proudly.
If you’re ready to embark on a lifestyle-changing journey, Mercy Health is here to help. In addition to the Group Lifestyle Balance program, Mercy Health offers surgical weight-loss options and adolescent weight management programs. Interested? Learn more about your options and how you can get started. Or, sign up to receive more information about surgical weight loss below.