Nora Chaus' Story
"Now, when I look in the mirror, I like what I see."
When Nora Chaus, RN, BSN, joined Bronson Methodist Hospital as an employee four years ago, she had no idea what a life changing experience the new job would hold.
"That was a milestone for me," says the now 60-year-old who had battled weight since her freshman year at college. It was then that Nora's doctor, Steven Pollens, MD, Bronson Family Medicine Downtown, encouraged her to participate in the New LEAF Program, a medically supervised lifestyle and behavior change program. Participants in the New LEAF Program focus on medical weight management, nutrition, exercise and behavior change.
Though Nora chose not to participate in the New LEAF Program, it planted an important seed in her mind. She decided to use the principles of that program to piece together her own self-directed weight loss program using the services of Bronson Medical & Surgical Weight Management.
With access to medical experts and counselors - and with the help of her Bronson wellness dollars, an employee benefit - Nora developed a program that fit her lifestyle and health goals. "I started working with an athletic trainer and I started working with a counselor," she says.
Then, when a co-worker underwent gastric bypass surgery and lost as much weight in six weeks as Nora had lost in three years, Nora considered surgical options herself. Bronson offers a comprehensive bariatric surgery program that includes both laparoscopic and open techniques for gastric banding, sleeve gastrectomy, and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
"I signed up for the surgical weight loss program and went through those classes," she says." The Bronson Pre-surgery Program is similar to the classes offered as part of the New LEAF Program. Nora decided, after all, not to have surgery. "I felt I'd gained enough skills from working with the medical/surgical weight loss team that I could continue [losing weight] on my own," she says. "And I have."
The Self-Directed Weight Management program is one of many weight loss options Bronson offers. It allows participants to choose only the parts of the program they need. "If you have other pieces in place that you're comfortable with -like I did -you can get the remaining pieces at Bronson," Nora says.
Nora compares her efforts to those of the tortoise in the Tortoise and Hare fable. "All told, I've lost about 85 pounds," she says, demurring when asked her before and after weight. "I'll always struggle and my journey is far from done. But I'll never put that weight back on because of the classes I took at Bronson."
Nora continues to see her counselor and dietitian periodically to ensure that she stays on track with her goal of living a healthier life. She eats healthfully and aims to exercise six days a week.
"Now, when I look in the mirror," she says, "I like what I see."