Sarasota Memorial Weight-Loss Success Story Makes Headlines

There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution to weight loss. Different things work for different people, but when you find a healthy program that leads to success, stick with it. That’s what Stacey Lukkarila did.

Stacey, a hospitality liaison for Sarasota Memorial’s Diabetes Treatment Services, lost more than a hundred pounds over the past year and a half. She found success with the help of a weight-loss iPhone app and and the support of dietitians and educators at SMH. Stacey’s story was recently featured in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Stacey admits it wasn’t an easy path – She’s tried to lose weight many times. So what motivated her to stick to it this time?

“You really have to want to do it,” she says.

Her turning point came when she started worrying that she wouldn’t be able to fit in the seats of rides during a planned trip to Disney.

“I didn’t want my daughter asking me to go on rides with her and I wouldn’t be able to. But then I realized, if I’m worried about fitting on a ride, shouldn’t I also worry about being there for her 18th birthday? That was my ‘a-ha’ moment.”

You can read all about Stacey’s diet in the Herald-Tribune article, which includes a list of her suggestions to help you eat right and incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Here are two of her tips that you can try right away:

— “I substitute chicken broth for oil when cooking.” Cutting out the oil saves a ton of calories and helps her family eat more healthily. It took some time, but this former french-fry lover changed her taste preferences and doesn’t even miss oil or the fried stuff – She likes healthy foods and all kinds of veggie dishes.

— Her second tip? “I take the stairs all the time, everywhere I can. I haven’t been on an elevator in over a year! I also don’t fight for the closest parking spot anymore.”

Stacey’s commitment and determination led to her great accomplishment, but she also attributes her success to the support and guidance she received from the team of diet and nutrition experts who surround her at work. If you need help with weight loss or diabetes management, contact SMH’s Diabetes Treatment Services program, or our Nutrition Counseling Program. They can help you meet your weight and wellness goals and address any health concerns. Both programs can be reached at at (941) 917-7468.

“They helped me, and I’ve heard so many success stories from other people who’ve taken part in these programs,” Stacey said. “Our nutrition counselor has helped people lose weight when no one else could. And I always hear from patients that our diabetes educators have changed their lives – we receive thank-you notes all the time!”


Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

Hi Lynette – Thank you for taking the time to write. I have passed your name on to Stella Nichols, the Program Coordinator. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to visit the section on our website:


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