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Patient Success Story: 100 LB Weight Loss Journey

Patient Success Story: 100 LB Weight Loss Journey

Matt Johnston knew he needed to lose weight, but the idea of trying a new fad diet or exercise program left him feeling overwhelmed. Add in a 60–70-hour workweek, and the idea of a healthier lifestyle just seemed too far out of reach. It wasn’t until Matt’s little sister came for a visit that he realized just how much those extra pounds were impacting his quality of life. “We were at Sky Zone, and I jumped into one of the ball pits,” recalled Matt. “To my embarrassment, I couldn’t pull myself out. I needed someone else to help pull me out.” From that moment on, Matt was ready to make a change.

A partner by his side at his next check-up, Matt’s provider, Audrey Crandall, CNP helped him realize that he didn’t have to go on this weight-loss journey alone. Dr. Crandall referred him to a Clinical Dietitian at Henry County Hospital. “At that point, I was 293 pounds with a goal weight of 190. I was so overwhelmed, it didn’t feel possible,” said Matt.

“I learned to take it one day at a time.”

— Matt Johnston

“Together we worked to create a few milestones. As I accomplished each one, my excitement to establish new ones grew.” Matt continues to meet every 2-3 weeks to check his progress, ask questions and continue to make manageable changes to his diet. At his first appointment, Matt

committed to limiting fast food and soft drinks. Over the months, those two changes grew to a list that included:

  • Limiting fast food to twice a week
  • Drinking more water and fewer soft drinks
  • Buying individually wrapped ice cream treats instead of buying tubs of ice cream
  • Eating more veggies, starting with simple options like carrots and celery
  • Eating more fruit, starting with simple options like apples and oranges
  • Taking a short walk a few times a day or longer bike rides when the weather is nice

Still going strong

Six months later, Matt has lost almost 50 pounds. This is approximately 17% of his total body weight, and he has no plans of slowing down. “At first, losing 2-3 pounds each week seemed like nothing,” said Matt. “I started in August, and by September I noticed my clothes were too big. I used to wear size 4XL.

Today, I am down to an XL.” Determined to meet his goal weight of 190 pounds, Matt is no longer overwhelmed by the idea of changing his diet and improving his health. “Before working with Henry County Hospital, I thought that I would have to give up all the food I love,” said Matt, who has a ferocious sweet tooth. Instead, he realized that it was all about moderation. “I can still eat foods like ice cream and lose weight. I just can’t eat them all the time.”

It also helps that the small changes Matt has made so far have improved his overall mental and physical health. “I feel amazing! I can do my job without huffing and puffing, I have a lot more energy and I am sleeping better at night,” said Matt. “I actually like eating vegetables now, and I want to exercise more!”

Ready to make a change?

Henry County Hospital Clinical Dietitians create individualized health plans, specific to each patient’s goals and health needs. By working with primary care doctors and other specialized physicians, they help patients maintain a healthy diet, properly manage diabetes and improve heart health. The first step is to talk with your primary care provider and ask for a referral to dietician services at Henry County Hospital. If you do not have a primary care doctor, you can visit to schedule a new patient appointment.