Supporting Cathy to a Healthier Lifestyle

By Ashley Baggentoss, Assistant Program Manager

Cathy Otto 3

I’ve only been at Hammer a little over 4 months. But, I’ve already had the opportunity to support the ladies of Sumac through many changes including: a move to a brand new house, welcoming a new housemate, and the introductions of new staff. One of the ladies of Sumac, Cathy, decided to make another particularly big change in her life. She wanted to lose some weight and learn how to create a healthier lifestyle.

After hearing about her cousin’s success with Medifast, Cathy decided to give it a try herself. She gave up some of her favorite foods, especially pizza. Instead Cathy started eating 5 Medifast meals a day along with what they call a “lean and green meal.” She now has some new favorite foods like tomato basil soup, Dutch chocolate shakes, and Peanut Butter Crunch Bars. Sounds pretty good, right?

We have made sure that Sumac family dinners were altered to accommodate Cathy’s lean & green meals. Whether that meant keeping grains like pasta separate, or making sure there was always a salad with lots of veggies, the team helped her make it work. With support from staff and strong personal will power, Cathy was able to avoid many temptations she encountered and stay on track.

Cathy Otto 2

Weekly weigh-ins have been an extra motivation as Cathy has watched the pounds disappear and the inches come off. Since she started in June, Cathy is proud to have lost almost 30 pounds! Shopping for new clothes has left Cathy awestruck that she is down four sizes. She is not only looking amazing but she said she’s feeling “much healthier.” Beyond her incredibly successful weight loss, Cathy’s increased health has also decreased her high blood pressure enough to reduce certain medications.

Cathy has now entered an important transition period where she will work to maintain her current weight through portion control and healthy eating. She can now replace her Medifast meals with foods that previously were cut out. If the past 4 months have been any indication, I know Cathy will continue to do well. Her commitment and dedication have been wonderful, and I am sure others could learn from her example. I’m glad to have been able to accompany and support her on this journey. I look forward to seeing her continued success!


  1. Suzanne

    Woo hoo! Looking good Cathy! What a great story of inspiration AND team work. The Sumac house is lucky to have you on thier side, Ashley.

    • Elizabeth Lee Koltes

      great job Cathy

  2. sharon

    Proud of you Cathy!!!! =) lots of hard work. Lol

  3. Angela Bernhardt

    What a great and inspiring story! Proud of you Cathy!!

  4. Jane Johnson

    Cathy, you have inspired me to eat healthier and maintain my weight too!! I am proud of you.

  5. Kathy Piche'

    Awesome write up about Cathy!!!! I know how tough it is to focus on healthy eating instead of eating old favorite that are high in carbs. Great job supporting Cathy in her efforts also!!!!!!

  6. Elizabeth

    Looking terrific! Best of all you can see how great she is feeling with that million-dollar smile! Very proud 🙂

  7. Elizabeth Lee Koltes

    keep going girl.


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