Weight Loss


Weight Loss Success Stories

Our research and decades of clinical experience show that successful weight controllers must develop super-normal skills at eating (e.g., very low-fat, limited quantities), exercising (every day), focusing and maintaining the stresses and strains of everyday living. This radical lifestyle change generally takes a year or more, within the context of a very supportive (and sometimes challenging) professional relationship. The two cases described below bring these ideas to life. Approximately 50% of our clients achieve these results, and approximately 0% do the same by following the latest diet craze.

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Lost 80 pounds in one year and has maintained the weight loss 3+ years

Sara, now 40, was 36 when she entered the program. She is 5’6″ and weighed 278 pounds and had high blood pressure. Her highest adult weight was 350 pounds. Prior to starting at CBM, she had made many attempts at weight loss including gastric stapling (i.e., getting your stomach “stapled”), Optifast, and a variety of commercial programs. She is a married professional who works full time and has a two-year-old daughter. Sara has participated in weekly cognitive-behavioral group therapy at CBM and has lost approximately 80 pounds. Sara has attended the group religiously and consistently self-monitored her food, fat gram, and caloric intake, as well as her exercise. She carefully plans her meals before entering into challenging situations. Sara sets weekly realistic, yet challenging goals. She cooks dinners in advance and freezes them so she is prepared when she returns home from work. She is aware that her highest risk time for snacking is in the evening after her daughter goes to sleep. She has made some changes in her home environment to facilitate success such as removing high-fat, high-sugar snacks on which she previously binged. She walks one or both ways to work and uses a treadmill at her home five days each week.

Sara, her therapist, and her internist, have collaborated closely and have used tools such as VLCD (very low-calorie diet) and various medications to help control her appetite. Sara has been able to discontinue all blood pressure medications and reports tremendous benefits in energy level, self-esteem, and life satisfaction.


Lost 25 pounds in 6 months and has maintained the weight loss 3+ years

John was 49 when he came to Chicago CBM four years ago. He owns a successful, very satisfying but stressful, small business with 40 employees and is happily married to his second wife, who is in a similar line of work. He does considerable traveling for work, eating approximately one-third of his meals at restaurants.

John was very dissatisfied with his weight and fitness levels four years ago. He had been used to living his life as a trim, 5’6″, 155 pound man who was fairly athletic. Over the past 10 years, as his life became more complex with more commuting and less available time, his exercising became more sporadic and his weight increased by 25 pounds. Although he was not substantially overweight, it really bothered him a great deal to feel as though he was in a body that “wasn’t right for me.”

John’s main barriers to permanent weight control were: inconsistent exercise (sometimes only once a week); excessive drinking; minimal eating early in the day or mid-day, with excessive eating in the evening; variability in consumption of fat (e.g., regular salad dressings on salads; bar food fairly often).

John had one perfect tendency for a weight controller. He liked looking at the details of his life. He actually enjoyed monitoring, measuring, and focusing on exactly what he ate, how he exercised, and the circumstances that affected him either positively or negatively. He also began incorporating a more consistent eating pattern, beginning in the morning and including a modest lunch. He loves vegetable sandwiches, essentially salads between two slices of bread, usually with mustard as a condiment.

After losing 25 pounds in six months, John decreased the frequency of his sessions, discontinuing them altogether two years ago. He has maintained this weight loss now for 3-1/2 years by remaining committed, focused, and very consistent in his eating (10 fat grams a day) and exercising (every day).

* The names and other aspects of each case have been changed to protect client confidentiality.