Success Stories

weight-loss-success-jim (1)Congratulations Jim for losing 50 pounds

I joined the OPTIFAST Program for two reasons. First is because of the convenience of the program. You do not have to weigh out or measure certain amounts of food. You are asked to take a certain amount of shakes per day and eat a full meal replacement bar once a day. This was very convenient for me with my work schedule. In fact after the first week I found sometimes that I was not hungry, I had to remember to keep taking my shakes every two to three hours. Second, I know the key to successfully lose weight and keep it off is that you have to exercise. But with other programs I could not get the weight off by exercising because of osteoarthritis in my right knee.

With the OPTIFAST program you are not required to exercise the first few weeks of the program. I was able to take off over 50 lbs and now I am able to get back into an exercise program without effecting my knee as much now.  There is a third reason, which I discovered after being in the program; the support of the staff at Valley Weight Loss Clinic is fantastic. They are very interested in every client’s progress and answer any questions you may have. With a lot of programs that I have tried, once you are done with the program, you are never asked to come back again. At Valley Weight Loss Clinic, they encourage you to keep coming back to monitor and review your progress. This is called their maintenance program. It is very encouraging to have that feeling that you are not on your own once the program is over; you have that continued support.


weight-loss-success-gailGail 79 pounds lost and counting

I knew I had put on weight, but never realized how much or how I REALLY looked until I started to drop the pounds. I was so heavy that when I was asked if I would do this, I had a hard time finding a “before” photo that was a full body shot because I never let anyone take any!

Due to the nature of my job, there are physical standard requirements. Beginning in October 2009, these standards were changing and were going to be much tougher for me to pass. Passing them is critical to keeping my job. A friend of mine had lost weight and looked awesome. She told me her secret. She had done the Medifast Program through Dr. Hella at Valley Weight Loss Clinic in Fargo, ND. My career and my family medical history were enough incentive for me to check it out. This “before” photo was taken in June 2008. I finally made the commitment to myself to lose weight and I started the Medifast program on April 2, 2009 tipping the scale well over 200 lbs.

This “after” photo was taken in December 2009 and now here I am today, 79 lbs. lighter, well below the initial goal I had set for myself and wearing pants half the size I was wearing when I started. The Medifast Program was easy, I actually like the majority of their food options, and I have never felt deprived. I have never been able to drink the diet shakes you buy at the grocery store or eat the protein bars from the nutrition stores. The Medifast shakes are great and the protein bars taste so good even my kids like them.


weight-loss-success-charles (1)Charles: 409 pounds lost and counting

This is not a typical weight loss story by any means, but we want to share this extraordinary journey with you to show what is possible with desire, determination and skilled medical care. Charles is a 35 year old man who walked into our clinic in June of 2007 weighing 730 pounds. Charles knew that he needed to do something about his weight, fearing he would stop breathing in his sleep. Charles wasn’t using his bed a lot. He said his sleep apnea worsened with his weight gain, so he tried to stay up all night watching television.

In May of 2007, Charles was admitted to the hospital in Fargo for congestive heart failure. He was being treated with diuretics and pills to help his kidneys get rid of excess fluid. Several doctors had already talked with Charles regarding having gastric bypass surgery, but he was too heavy for the procedure. Three weeks after Charles was released from the hospital Dr. Hella re-admitted him back into the hospital for congestive heart failure. Charles had refused the bypass surgery but knew that it was the only way he was going to be able to stay alive. Dr. Hella admitted him into a nursing home.

Charles was restricted to a 2,000 calorie diet compared to his usual 5,500 calorie intake that he had been consuming daily. Charles ended up losing a pound a day during his five months in the nursing home. He was able to drop his insulin dose from 500 units to 150 units per day.

Charles was able to continue to come into the clinic after he was released from the nursing home to visit with our dietitian, who kept him motivated to drop his weight down to 530 pounds. Charles was able to have his gastric bypass on January 22, 2008. In 2013 he has kept his weight down to 285lbs!