It’s not unusual for Kaiser Permanente member Mark Davies to strike up conversations with strangers wherever he goes. But one conversation he had while waiting at a Kaiser Permanente pharmacy would end up changing his life. The man he chatted with that day was enrolled in Healthy Balance, Kaiser Permanente’s adult weight management program. Mark had been thinking a lot about losing weight but was afraid bariatric surgery might be his only option. “This guy spoke so highly of the program, and I had just retired so I thought now that I had the time, maybe I should give it a shot.”
Mark went into his first class skeptical, but after a few weeks he got more comfortable and started to look forward to going. He described it as a safe place to share, like talking to family or friends.
“Once I started seeing results, I didn’t want to stop,” he confessed. He appreciated the accountability of the weigh-in each week.
“I was probably drinking 2 to 4 liters of soda every day,” Mark estimated, and said that before joining Healthy Balance he had “eaten a hamburger every single day for the past 20 years.” In the weekly workshops that focus on different aspects of improving health, he learned there are healthier choices that still taste good.
Mark’s mom, Farra Davies, shared, “For months, Mark and I had been discussing his unhappiness with the fact that he really had the need and desire to lose some weight, but he just hadn’t been motivated to do it. He was so discouraged and angry with himself. Once he joined Healthy Balance, our calls were all upbeat. He was enthusiastic and told me how he felt better, was eating healthy, and losing weight each week. I am so proud of him—and thankful to Kaiser for offering the weight management program to motivate him.”
When Mark finished Healthy Balance, he was down 70 pounds. Since then, he has not only maintained that loss but also lost an additional 20 pounds, for a total of 90 pounds since the start of the program. “I have the tools to never put the weight back on,” he said confidently. He claims the difference is like night and day. He’s much more flexible, feels younger, and is light on his feet.
“I felt unhappy and uncomfortable my whole life, but Healthy Balance changed that. Now I look forward to every day and enjoying a long and healthy retirement!”
*Photos show models, not actual program participants.