2009-05-01 / Top Stories

PHC Facilitates 200 Pound Weight Loss

From 'Cookie Monster' To 'Multi-Grain Man'

Rockaway resident Ernest Thorpe, 38, tipped the scales at 440 pounds when he first was referred to Peninsula Hospital Center's Rachel Hodelin-Wetzel, MSRD, Director of Clinical Nutrition. A self-admitted "junk-food junkie" and "cookie monster," Thorpe had always been known as a "big kid," but reached a weight level in 2006 which he knew was seriously affecting his own health. He also had suffered through the deaths of "nearly everyone who mattered to me" from asthma, and as an asthma sufferer himself, decided it was time to take some serious action. He also wanted to set a good example for his daughter, whom he had raised after his wife passed away.

"When Ernest made the decision to lose weight in April of 2006, he knew he had his work cut out for him. We worked together, analyzed his eating habits, changed his eating patterns and we explained why we were doing it so he understood the reasons for the change. We added exercise - lots of walking and water to his daily regimen as well as a lot of encouragement," says Clinical Nutrition Director Rachel Wetzel.

By April of 2009, Thorpe reached his goal weight at a healthy 230 lbs. "I lost the average weight of another 6'2" man and I feel great! There were times that I got discouraged because I would reach a plateau where I just couldn't lose a pound, but we worked through it and the support I had from the hospital staff was wonderful. I went down 10 sizes and people I haven't seen in a while don't even recognize me!" In spite of his new look, Thorpe kept a tee-shirt (size 6x) he used to wear just to remind him of how far he has come.

In addition to his weight loss success, Thorpe's physical condition has greatly improved. Before the weight loss, he suffered from asthma, couldn't run, used medication frequently and had many attacks. Today, Thorpe hasn't had a major asthma attack for more than two years, can run and only has to use his asthma medication on rare occasions. During the three year weight loss process, he was carefully monitored by physicians in the Family Health Center at Peninsula Hospital who have seen a marked improvement in his overall health. "He has really done a remarkable job and his success is amazing. There has not only been a transformation in his appearance, but in his physical health as well. He is really inspiring!" comments Aaron Nesoff, M.D., who followed Thorpe through the process.

"I actually enjoy shopping for clothes now. Although I still prefer the baggy look, I don't have to wear baggy clothes anymore. I cannot believe how much better I feel," says Thorpe, a professional D.J. "I'm trying to pass on the healthy eating habits to my daughter and my friends - I'm now known as the

multi-grain man'!"

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