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Staying On Track During the Holidays

Jan 11, 2017, 13:06 PM by Annie Craton, Marketing and Graphics Coordinator
The Greccos

Doctors’ Weight Management Program participants Kathy and Chris Greco share how they maintained their combined 120-pound weight loss during the holiday season.

When the Grecos were ready to commit to a healthier lifestyle they turned to the Sansum Clinic Doctors’ Weight Management Program to support them with food choices and behavior changes, resulting in an incredible transformation and a combined weight loss of 120 pounds. Kathy and Chris were able to avoid over-indulging at birthdays, social gatherings, and holiday festivities by being mindful of portion sizes and tracking calories. They also found that playful competition not only kept them active, but more emotionally involved in their workout routines. Overall, with the support of each other they were able to stay on track with their diet and weight loss goals.

Good Health: What led you to the decision to change your lifestyle and lose weight?

Kathy Greco: My cholesterol was through the roof and my glucose level was creeping up. I did not want to take medications for the rest of my life.

Chris Greco: At the start of the program, I was on medication for high blood pressure, my glucose level was in the range of patients with type 2 diabetes, and I was unable to run any appreciable distance. I was not happy with my lifestyle. If I didn’t make a drastic change to my lifestyle, I was likely to have a serious illness. I made the conscious decision to commit to a healthier lifestyle.

GH: Can you briefly describe your experience with the doctors’ weight management program?

CG: We decided on the program for two reasons; real results and a clearly defined program with little interpretation. The first two weeks were an adjustment. Within seven months of starting the program, I lost more than 70 pounds, significantly reduced my blood pressure, stopped taking medication, and no longer had the glucose level of a patient with type 2 diabetes. I started to enjoy activities that I hadn’t tried in years such as running and waterskiing. My wife lost more than 50 pounds and looks years younger. The program was easy to follow, the diet was satisfying and we achieved dramatic results.

GH: Did you originally plan on joining the program as a couple?

CG & KG: Yes, we knew we had a better chance of success if we signed up together. We also knew that it would be easier to give in to temptation if it was just one of us.

GH: How has support from your partner helped you lose weight?

CG & KG: By providing encouragement and friendly competition! We started walking the hills in our neighborhood every morning for one hour. It was a nice way to start our day. Competition always won — we were always both out the door!

GH: What did you find most challenging about the program? Why?

CG & KG: Not indulging over holiday events and birthdays was difficult because food was so readily available at social events.

GH: Have you experienced any setbacks during the program? if so, how did you help each other overcome such obstacles?

CG & KG: Stressful life events made us gravitate towards comfort food and family gatherings often involved food and drinks so we were mindful of portion sizes. We always brought our walking shoes and made the time to walk. We planned ahead when possible and made shakes that tasted like Pina Coladas, HMR brownies, HMR mini meatloaf appetizers or HMR mini muffins so it felt like we were partaking with “appetizers” and drinks.

GH: What was it like to be dieting during holidays or special events? did you manage to stay on track?

CG & KG: It was difficult but it helped to have one another’s support. Our friends and relatives were also very supportive and helped us avoid our usual temptations. In most cases, we successfully maintained our weight.

GH: What are some of your favorite types of exercise? do you prefer to exercise together or alone?

CG & KG: Walking together in the morning guaranteed we got our minimum daily physical activity in before our work schedules interfered. The rest of the day we exercised separately, like attending a CrossFit class at work three times a week.

GH: Have you reached your weight loss goals? if yes, how has this impacted your life? if not, do you foresee yourself reaching this goal in the future?

CG & KG: We have not reached our goals quite yet but the impact thus far has been tremendous. We feel healthier and stronger. We’re participating in new activities with friends and family, fitting into new clothes and enjoying compliments. We are still planning to reach our original weight loss goals. Life is a journey. We have overcome our setbacks and charted a course to get to our target weights. The HMR Program has equipped us with all the tools that we need to be successful and trained us on how to use these tools. The rest is up to us.

GH: What advice do you have for other couples looking to lose weight and achieve a healthier lifestyle?

CG & KG: Join the Doctors’ Weight Management Program together! Clear out your pantry and fridge completely and build a foundation on healthy food and exercise. There’s strength in sharing the same commitment and you can support each other with healthy choices. You’re both worth it!

Doctors’ Weight Management Program is offered in Solvang and Santa Barbara. To learn all about the program, call (805) 563-6190, email, or sign up online for a free orientation session.