Together, mother and daughter lose almost 140 pounds
Article Date: May 7, 2013

Karen and Emily Reed

Talk about a Happy Mother’s Day…

Karen Reed just wanted to feel better. Emily Reed was tired of being heavier than her friends. "I was obese," she said. "My clothes didn't fit well. I dreaded summer. I hated to go shopping."

So mother and daughter decided to lose weight together. They'd heard about the Alegent Creighton Health Weight Management program at Immanuel Medical Center and liked the fact that it was medically-supervised.

Emily, 25, and 58-year-old Karen signed up. "I needed to do it," mother Karen said. "But I was afraid I'd have to give up so much."

Both were pleasantly surprised. Phase one was 13 weeks long and 80 to 90 percent of their groceries were provided by the program: weight loss meals, shakes and bars. They bought their own fruits and vegetables.

"You go literally from having all the choices in the world to having no choices," the daughter said. But she knew it was what she needed. Their meals became healthier and the program taught them how to change behaviors and lifelong habits. "I learned so much, the younger Reed said. "I always thought, 'I can eat whatever I want.' I never thought about what I was putting in my mouth"

They met weekly in classes with assigned health educators. Under the program, diet and exercise plans are customized with individual coaching. Physicians, dieticians and exercise science experts are also available to participants.

"You have to report in to everybody what you're eating. You know if you cheat, you will set yourself back," the younger Reed said.

"For me, it was the accountability that made it work," the mother said. "Accountability to the class, to the health educator, to yourself and to your family. And when you achieve a little bit, you get so excited, you keep going."

They watched the pounds fall off. "It feels amazing. It gives you the momentum to keep striving," the daughter said. "I can show you my Facebook page. Whenever I made a goal or posted a new picture, I'd get a lot of 'likes.' People would ask, 'How did you do it?'"

Mother and daughter leaned on each other a lot. They planned meals together. Once, when she was at a Christmas cookie exchange, the younger Reed called her mom. "I told her, 'Give me three reasons why I can't eat that cookie!' Losing weight is a lot about support. There's an emotional side to losing that much weight. It's good to be able to talk about what you're going through emotionally."

Her mother lost 55 pounds, dropped from a size 1X to a 6 and went off her medication for high cholesterol. Daughter Emily lost 80 pounds and went from a size 14 to a 4. Her body fat fell from 50 percent to 26 percent. Today she does circuit training with high-intensity cardio workouts.

Mom goes for long walks for her exercise and reads labels before she'll buy anything at the grocery store. She prides herself on her colorful plates, which always have vegetables on them. "I have a different outlook on everything in general," she said. "I'm not as irritable. I'm happy. When my sisters from out of town saw me, they started crying. They hadn't seen me so small in 25 years."

"You literally are what you eat," said her daughter. She knows a lot of people who lose weight end up gaining it back. "I am not going to be a statistic. I learned so much about how to eat. I'll never go back to where I was," she said and looked at her mother. "Plus we have each other."

Their plans for Mother's Day? "We'll probably grill out, with lean meat, of course!"

Alegent Creighton Health Weight Management programs are more comprehensive than any other weight loss program in the area. They're medically monitored to ensure safe and effective weight loss. The programs offer customized diet and exercise plans, weekly meetings, individualized coaching and long-term maintenance support.


This article originally appeared in the Alegent Creighton Health enewsletter. Subscribe now and get the latest health and wellness information delivered to your inbox..


Reader Comments
Posted: May 9 2013 11:02 AM CST by Christy Todd

Karen and Emily look amazing! I know how hard they worked and am so proud of them. Keep it up ladies!




Posted: May 9 2013 3:40 PM CST by Jessica Barlow

You look amazing, Em! Your hard work and dedication shows. That's very cool you did it together with your mom!




Posted: May 9 2013 3:42 PM CST by kate mcauliffe

Nicely done you two!You both look awesome and very very happy! Good for you both! Enjoy Sunday and everyday! kate




Posted: May 9 2013 4:48 PM CST by Lee Ann

What an awesome story. Just imagine the things you can now enjoy that you never even thought of before. It is only food and it will always be around. Eat the things you want in moderation and exercise for a healthy life... Live it...Congratulations. What an awesome gift you have given yourself...




Posted: May 9 2013 4:59 PM CST by Seanna O'Connorr

Congratulations on your new selves!!! Quite the accomplishment!




Posted: May 9 2013 5:08 PM CST by chanel Nave

GO LADIES!!!!! Emily and myself talk all the time and she is such an inspiration!!! You are something truely amazing! You ladies look great, keep up the good work. I am totally with Lee Ann, do it YOUR way but in moderations. Inspiration for us all.




Posted: May 9 2013 6:25 PM CST by Sarah Marty

Congratulations!! You both look great!




Posted: May 10 2013 7:55 AM CST by Donna Rausch-Wilshusen

Great job ladies - Happy Mother's Day to you both!!!




Posted: May 10 2013 10:52 AM CST by Julie Weber

Congrats! You both look wonderful! I have four daughters and my oldest one lost over 100 lbs! Such an accomplishment! Keep up the good healthy eating habits. This warmed my heart as a mom too. Happy Mother's Day! :)




Posted: May 10 2013 10:58 AM CST by DeAnna Williams-Langabee

Emily, you and your mother look fabulous! Congratulations!




Posted: May 10 2013 12:13 PM CST by Kendra Cooper

You both looks great I'ts so nice to see mother and daughter work so hard together, what a team!!!!




Posted: May 10 2013 1:38 PM CST by Melanie

Karen & Emily - I stand in awe of your success! Florence Nightingale once said "I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse." I can imagine you created a 'no excuses' environment in your journey as well! Congrats!!




Posted: May 10 2013 3:05 PM CST by Mary Siebels

Congrats to both of you!! What an accomplishment! Love that you could do it together; you both look beautiful!!




Posted: May 12 2013 10:08 PM CST by lr md

karen is a wonderful gal , a great nurse and a pleasure to work with. She always has a smile on her face




Posted: May 13 2013 12:54 PM CST by Cindy Duggin

Congratulations to both of you. Thanks for sharing your success with us - it's very motivating! Keep up the good work.




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