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Lehigh Valley Children's Hospital

Revamped Diet + Exercise Plan = 100 Pounds Lost

Nichole Reich was determined to lose weight without surgery or fad diets

As a high school athlete, Nichole Reich was always active and trim. But after marriage and two pregnancies, the 29-year-old Hamburg resident’s weight crept up, finally hitting 320 pounds. She decided to act.

“I wanted to be an active parent and worried about my high blood pressure,” she says. She also hoped to inspire patients at LVHN Weight Management Center, where she works as an office coordinator.

Going it alone

Reich knew about LVHN’s weight-loss surgery options and medical weight-management program, but decided to create her own plan using guidance from dietitians and physicians at work.

In May 2015, she began walking and running during lunch, lifting weights at home and reducing meal portion sizes. In January 2016, Reich started more intensive weight training at a gym. By April (11 months after starting) she’d lost 100 pounds. She’s now down to 214. “I have more energy and am finally discovering who I am,” she says. Here’s how Reich maintains her weight loss:

  • She avoids weight goals. “I used to aim for a specific number that felt unobtainable and got discouraged,” Reich says. Now she focuses on feeling fit and comfortable in her clothes.
  • She changes up her fitness routine. Reich still runs, but to prevent boredom and keep building muscle, she also runs up and down stairs and tries new weight-training regimens.
  • She makes calories count. Reich’s workouts demand carbs for fuel, but she eats healthier whole grains instead of processed white pastas and rice.

Enjoying a new life

Reich and her sons, 2-year-old Liam and 5-year-old Levi, now regularly visit indoor playgrounds and enjoy workouts at home. Her blood pressure has dropped enough to discontinue one of two medications. Reich also loves sharing her inspiring story with weight-loss patients at work.

“I’m living proof you don’t always need surgery or fad diets,” Reich says. “You need a driving force – I wanted to be healthy for my children. Once everything clicks, anyone can do this.”