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Take Shape, SJH

What is Take Shape, SJH? Take Shape, SJH

Take Shape, SJH is a new weight loss program supervised by the St. Joseph's Hospital Wellness Program. The Take Shape for Life program features Medifast products. These products have a proven record of success have been used by physicians and other health professionals for more than 25 years. Take Shape, SJH integrates these proven products in a way that helps you to lose weight while feeling energized and satisfied. Our program enables you to develop relationships with the staff of the hospital's Wellness Program, who will act as your health coach as you “take shape.”

Under the program, you can expect to lose an average of 2 to 5 pounds a week. Many participants also reduce their dependence on medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, and other medical problems. Take Shape, SJH is a good fit for someone who wants to lose a pesky 10 pounds before a special event, and it also a good fit for someone who needs to lose as much as 100 pounds or more. Most importantly, Take Shape, SJH will not only help you to lose weight, but it will also help you to keep it off.

How does the Program Work?

Take Shape, SJHUnder the program, you can plan to lose an average of two to five pounds per week. The program involves eating five Medifast/Take Shape for Life meals each day and a homemade “lean and green” meal consisting of a lean protein and vegetables. Medifast meals include shakes, bars, puddings, soups, oatmeals, scrambled eggs and snacks. The meals are prepackaged to make staying on plan as easy as possible. Because you make your “lean and green” meal yourself, you are still able to shop and prepare fresh food, and you can even go out to eat as long as you stick with healthy food choices.

Unlike some diets or weight loss plans that can be harmful or unhealthy, Take Shape for Life was developed by a physician and has the backing of thousands of physicians nationwide. Health systems such as Johns Hopkins have been using Medifast products for years to help patients lose weight and achieve better health.

www.takeshapesjh.tsfl.comBecause you will be part of Take Shape, SJH, you'll have access to the Wellness Program's health coaches, who will act as mentors and provide advice and assistance throughout your weight loss journey. Each St. Joseph's health coach is a health care professional who can draw from years of experience to help participants achieve drastically improved health.

What are the Benefits?

By participating in Take Shape, SJH, you can achieve the following:

  • Lose an average of 2 to 5 pounds per week
  • Improve overall health by losing weight and eating a balanced, nutritionally sound diet
  • Improve fitness by learning more about wellness and exercise from the St. Joseph's Health Coaches
  • Gain control of a variety of diseases and conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and much more

A Health Coach's Story  

Patricia Briest, MS, FNP-BC
Manager, Tobacco Cessation Center at St. Joseph's Hospital
Health Coach, Take Shape, SJH

I am a master's-prepared, board-certified family nurse practitioner. At 4'11” tall, I have struggled with weight issues since age 42, following the birth of my third child. I developed gestational diabetes during that pregnancy, although I hadn't gained excessive weight.

We all deal with patients who do not exercise and eat mindlessly and often excessively, but I was not one of those patients. Since my mother died from morbid obesity and complications of diabetes, and three of my siblings are insulin-using diabetics (one sibling is 340 pounds and another has had gastric bypass surgery), I referred myself to an endocrinologist to seek help. I have been with the endocrinologist for more than eight years now. Initially prescribed Metformin, I took that for a couple of years but became unable to tolerate the drug. Actose caused massive headaches, so I stopped taking that medication. I joined a local gym (now Cicero Family Sports Center) where I enrolled in a weight training program, which I continue to attend twice weekly. I also exercised at least three times a week using the cross trainer and Precor machines. Despite those measures, I had been unable to get my BMI below a 28 or 29.

Diet? I tried Barry Searle's Zone Diet, Mediterannean Diet, and I also tried living on Slimfast bars and shakes, then Special K bars and shakes. Prior to using the Take Shape Medifast products, I was eating 1,200-1,500 calories a day and taking Phentermine which had been prescribed by my endocrinologist. After taking phentermine for about three years, I began to notice vasoconstriction in my feet and mild elevation of blood pressure, which I had not had before. The phentermine dose was decreased, but that did not resolve the vasoconstriction issues. In October 2008, I began Zumba classes at our gym several times a week in conjunction with my weight training program. My inches decreased but my weight did not budge, and I was constantly hungry. I discontinued the Phentermine in November 2009 due to the vasoconstriction, and then my weight began to creep up.

I began the Medifast program on Feb. 22, 2010. Although the program guidelines state that hunger resolves after three to five days, mine did not. On day eight, I considered stopping the program, since I was hungry and felt weak and faint. On day nine, I awoke to a “new world.” My hunger was gone and my energy level escalated. The scale began to move. As of April 30, 2010, I am down 20.5 pounds. I am not particularly hungry and feel great. My BMI is currently 25. At age 58 and post-menopausal for 10 years, I am thinner than I was in my mid-30s. I have recruited two siblings to start the program. I plan to lose another 9.5 pounds and maintain that weight, which will bring my BMI to 23.5. I am enjoying Zumba more than ever, since the “hip-hop” moves are easier on my knees.

Although my total weight loss will be only 30 pounds, on a 4'11” frame that is quite significant. I believe the combination of adequate protein and lower carbohydrate intake has been the key. Although it appeared to me that I consumed adequate protein, evidently that was not the case. I saw a friend this week who I had net seen in about six months. She told me I looked 10 years younger and asked me what I was doing!


"Eating six times a day on the Take Shape, SJH program is really working for me. I am rarely hungry in between meals and I am not thinking about food all the time like I used to."
     --Julie, Take Shape, SJH Participant

“Take Shape, SJH has given me my life back! I have more energy than I have had in years. I am not walking around hungry all the time, nor am I worried about what my next meal will be. This program is great!”
     --Christine, Nurse and Take Shape, SJH Participant

“I love the Take Shape, SJH program! There is such a variety of food choices that it is truly impossible not to find food to your liking. After I take just a few bites, my stomach begins to feel satisfied and I am good for two to three more hours. The food prep is simple and fits right into my busy schedule. My biggest challenge is remembering to eat six times a day! I am losing weight at a fairly good pace and after just two weeks I feel energized and happier. I am a very health conscious registered nurse and I am sold on the Take Shape, SJH program.”
     --Maryjo, Nurse and Take Shape, SJH Participant

Meet the Team

Russell Silverman, MD, FACC, FASE, RPVICardiologist, Heart Care Center
Medical Director, Take Shape, SJH 
Patricia Briest, MS, FNP-BC
Manager, New York State Tobacco Cessation Center at St. Joseph's Hospital
Health Coach, Take Shape, SJH
Christopher Owens, MS, C.A.S. HSMP, ACSM-HFI
Exercise Physiologist
Cessation Specialist
Health Coach, Take Shape, SJH
Mary Eno, BSN, RN
Staff Nurse, Wellness
Health Coach, Take Shape, SJH
Cheryl Smith, RD, CDN, CDE
Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Outpatient Diabetes Program
Health Coach, Take Shape, SJH
St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center
Take Shape, SJH
Phone: (315) 458-7171
E-Mail: TakeShapeSJH@sjhsyr.org
Website: www.takeshapesjh.tsfl.com