Two visits to the Life Enhancement Center® at Canyon Ranch in Tucson resulted in lifestyle changes, improved health and weight loss for three generations of women.
Life-Share Member Bea Wolper had participated in the Life Enhancement Program® eight times before. In 2012 and 2013, she brought her daughter, Renee Sigman, who had serious health issues, and her 20-year-old granddaughter, Amelia Sigman. All three women had struggled with their weight for years.
Renee – A Mom Who Was At Risk
“Canyon Ranch changed my life,” says Renee. “Four years ago, I had a stress-induced heart attack at 43 years old. I was one notch below diabetic.”
The treatment she’d received at home addressed her heart attack, but not the lifestyle that led to it. At Canyon Ranch, she experienced a major Aha! moment when she learned that muscle plays a vital role in burning fat.
“I was 20 pounds overweight, and all of it was fat. I didn’t have enough muscle to burn the glucose in my system.”
Along with her mother and daughter, Renee filled her schedule with energetic classes. Nutrition presentations taught her how to eat healthier. For the next year, she exercised four to six times a week. She walked, biked, hiked and strength-trained. She also started eating breakfast and cut out unhealthy foods. The result? “I lost 20 pounds of fat, gained five pounds of muscle, and went from a size 10 to a 6.”
She returned to the Ranch with Bea and Amelia last summer for the Weight Loss Program, and learned how to maintain her ideal weight. A follow-up with Ranch physician Param Dedhia showed the result of her new healthy habits. “I’m not in danger of another heart attack. I’m so happy about the new, healthy me.”
Bea – A Motivated Grandma
Bea found inspiration in seeing her daughter turn her health around. “I’ve been coming to the LEC for years, but this time I got to experience the Aha! moment. My yo-yoing with weight loss over the decades has been very frustrating – not just to me, but to my daughter and granddaughter. I realized I didn’t want to be the person who let them down. Renee and I made a pact that we’ll both keep exercising. I haven’t missed 10,000 steps a day since then, and I’ve lost 20 pounds.”
As an attorney, Bea leads a busy, stressful life – but she now makes a point of exercising daily with weights and a recumbent bike. Recently honored with a “Women Who Make a Difference” award by the International Women’s Forum, she’s extending her positive energy into healthy living. When she travels, she uses the hotel weight room. “If it gets to 9:30 and I haven’t done my steps, I’ll march around my house or the hotel until I’m done.”
“The Weight Loss Program was invaluable,” she says. “I learned a different way of looking at the world and how I live and exercise. I had long, meaningful talks with my daughter, and we all enjoyed every second at the Ranch.”
Amelia – A Daughter Solves a Medical Mystery
Twenty-year-old Amelia had always followed a healthy lifestyle, but was frustrated because she’d been overweight from childhood, despite her efforts. “I was very active, played sports in school, yet I still gained weight.” She was aware of other health issues, including fatigue, but accepted them as part of her reality. In the meantime, she continually worked on calorie counting and exercise.
“I loved our week at Canyon Ranch, but I was gaining weight while doing six hours of exercise a day. Why was it working for everyone else and not for me?”
When she returned home, she focused on all she’d learned about exercise and nutrition, running and walking several times a week, but with no result. “I was ready to go back to the Ranch and find out what I should change.”
During her second visit, she and her grandmother mentioned her concerns to Stephen Brewer, MD, after a presentation. “He ordered blood work for me right away. It turned out I have hypothyroidism, which has been the source of all my struggles. I worked with Dr. Param Dedhia, and he completely changed my life. Everything I thought life was – getting teased, being underestimated due to size, having crazy mood swings and feeling different from my whole family – all of it was explained by one thing that could be fixed with one little pill. I lost over 11 pounds within weeks of starting the medicine and I have more energy than I’ve ever had. I finally have a life that I love living. I feel like the me I was always trying to be.”