Patient Reviews and Success Stories

Blue – Lost over 100 Pounds

Blue Before Blue After


I remember last summer saying to myself “I’m not going to leave this earth looking the way I do.” It took me a while (ok, a long while) to get up the nerve to call Dr. Lara’s office. It took me a week to punch those numbers into the phone when I finally did decide. I didn’t want to start something I was going to fail at AGAIN, but I knew I had to push thru the embarrassment and just go for it. I didn’t tell anyone about the doctor visits or dieting. I had already tried dieting so many times, and my coworkers and family had already seen me fail miserably every time. I didn’t even tell my family and I’m very close to my sisters.

When I hit my 50 pound mark, I posted my before and after pictures on Facebook and announced to everyone what I’d been doing for the last 4 months. OMG, the comments were so great and it was just such a surprise to everyone…me included. I knew I’d lost, but oh my gosh, never did I realize how much until I was staring at the two pictures side by side. I posted another picture when I hit 75 pounds and I’m getting rave comments from my friends all over the world.

I visit my sisters for Spring Break every year, and I can’t wait to see them this year. What a difference they’re going to see. The first thing I do every week after my weigh in is text them with my new total loss. I give them a new total every week, and it’s so great to get their responses back. My older sister who is ‘technically challenged’ has learned to text just so she can get my text updates and reply back with her kudos for me. I don’t have any support in my house, so it’s really great having that support through texting and Facebook, especially from people who know how hard I’ve struggled with weight my whole life.

The support I get from my coworkers is wonderful. Today I came back from my weigh in and, of course, I’m always excited about my loss, but one of the girls was so excited for me. It gave me goose bumps to think someone was more excited than me. It sounded like we were having a party. She’s telling everyone what my new total is.

It’s so encouraging to know there are people rooting for me as hard as I am. I was so overwhelmed. This has been an incredible journey so far. I’ve just been taking it one week at a time, and each week propels me to the next one and the next and the next. I feel outstanding and this time I know I’m going to succeed.

PJ – Lost 115 Pounds

PJ Before PJ After

I quickly started to put on the pounds! Twenty lead to 50, then to 80. I did ok the first few years with several diets (mostly Atkins and South Beach) which helped me lose 20-40 pounds, and I thought I had it under control. Upon getting a few years older, the pounds started adding up quickly. Then 10 years since retirement, I decided to go back to combat life, and went to Iraq as a contractor for a surveillance company. I thought I would have no trouble shedding pounds in Iraq, as the average temperature was constantly well over 110 degrees. What I didn’t plan on was the boredom and the sheer volume of calories available, “as much as I wanted to eat” every meal at the dining facility. I quickly put on more and more pounds without paying much attention to it. I found myself with my feet constantly hurting, my ankles always swelling up, and my friends asking me constantly if I was “ok” because my face was so red.

I got up to a HUGE 315 pounds! I had a good friend at work at MacDill talk to me one day in private. He offered to pay my way for a medical weight loss program, as he went through the same thing a few years earlier and it saved his life. I thanked him but couldn’t take him up on his offer. Six months later, after seeing my 5 years or so of steady weight gain on my Facebook photos, an old Aerial Gunner buddy I hadn’t seen since we flew together back in 1983 called me and let me know he was coming to Zephyrhills to skydive, and he would like me to come out to see him as we hadn’t seen each other in so long. After we met at the skydive center, he checked his gear over and said he was good to go for the next day, so let’s go get some dinner. While sitting across from me he asked if I knew why he called me. I was puzzled…He said, “I have seen you gain so much weight over the past few years, I had to come tell you to please get some help with your weight before you die! I love you buddy and don’t want to lose you!!!” WOW! That hit home. I felt like someone just shot the tail rotor off my helicopter! I was blown away. I promised my friend I would do that!

That is when I remembered a friend who lost weight a few years back and kept it off. She went to Dr. Cesar Lara in Clearwater. I made an appointment in mid-April to see if I was a good candidate for this program. After an EKG and a doctor checkup, I was told I could do the program and then was told all the particulars. I had to come in every week to weigh in and check my body fat percentage. This was critical, because I feel accountability is a big motivator and helps with the discipline to keep on track. Every week I would also get an injection of vitamins and amino acids for energy, and an appetite suppressant. I took this appetite suppressant to my family doctor, and checked it with him to ensure it was indeed safe and nothing that was habit forming or bad for my heart. My doctor let me know it was fine to use them. They also recommended pharmaceutical grade, all natural supplements.

The main value I feel from the program is the education you get from the awesome staff, helping you learn what types of foods you should eat and portions. They recommend weighing your portions with a food scale to keep you on track. They also constantly check on your activity as far as how much daily exercise you do and how much water you drink. There are follow-up visits with the doctors on staff at regular intervals to ensure you are proceeding in a healthy manner.

I took this program seriously. I ONLY drank water from the start. No soda, alcohol, or even tea and lemonade…water only for me. I was “allowed” to have unsweetened tea but I wanted to get maximum results! I also stuck to the diet. Only natural sugars from fruits and such. No ice cream, desserts or my favorite PIZZA! I wanted to change my life and I did! It is now the 2nd week of December, and I have shed over 115 pounds! I went from a 52″ waist to a 34″. I have been through dozens of clothes and happily kept buying smaller ones. Even my T-Shirts went from 3X to LG! Lastly, I even went down a full shoe size due to the swelling now gone in my feet. My family doctor was so excited last month, as he came into the room at my annual physical, that he shook my hand and told me I was the FIRST patient in his medical career that he could happily say was CURED from diabetes! I was also removed from all blood pressure and antacid medications. I was also on one for high heart rate and I was removed from that too!

My blood pressure is absolutely normal, pulse rate is fine and I feel AWESOME! I am continuing, as I am now only 4 pounds from the goal I set when I started the program, and with my daily exercise and watching what I eat, I will be there by Christmas! I prayed for good health and now I have it. I took a lot of work but all worthwhile. My wife is also on the program and has lost over 65 pounds herself, and is looking absolutely as beautiful as when we met almost 30 years ago! A new me for the New Year! You can do it too. Just believe in yourself and WANT it!

Lindsey – Lost 83 Pounds

Lindsey Before Lindsey After

My daughter’s wish for her Sweet 16 Birthday was to lose weight. She began her journey on February 20, 2012 by walking into Dr. Lara’s Weight Loss Clinic.

Last month she went to her high school’s Homecoming Dance at 83 lbs. lighter.

Her life has changed dramatically this past year and she continues on her weight loss journey with the broadest smile that a mom could ever wish for across on her daughter’s beautiful face.

Reality hit and she decided she needed, or wanted, to make a change. So at 218 pounds she came to Dr. Lara’s Weight Management for the program that would change not only her personal appearance, but also her whole life!

Cher – Lost 74 Pounds

Cher Before Cher After

I no longer feel a sense of laziness or feeling of being overwhelmed. Dr. Lara’s staff has always encouraged me during my “not so good” and trying weeks. I cannot thank them enough for their assistance in my journey to a better me. I feel healthier. I look healthier and feel great!