GOSHEN, Ind. – A three- to four-year weight loss plan seems like a lifetime to some people. But that’s what it can take to lose 150 to 200 pounds on a non-surgery program managed by a doctor. Called medically managed weight loss, the program combines a calorie-controlled diet and exercise with accountability and support from weight loss experts.
Brad Miller considered the time frame a life saver. He wanted the checks and balances from a doctor-directed program as well as guidance on how to change his eating habits and sedentary lifestyle.
That’s why he chose a medically managed weight loss path at Goshen Physicians Center for Weight Reduction, instead of surgery.
“I needed to learn how to eat healthy and get some exercise back in my life,” said Miller. “Otherwise, I knew I’d be back to my former weight – or higher.”
With a team of fitness trainers, registered dietitian and medical staff on his side, Miller took on the challenge to set goals, keep track of what he ate and make exercise really count.
Causes and consequences of weight gain
At a peak weight of 450 pounds, Miller knew he had a long journey ahead of him. Fortunately, his overall health was still in check. No diabetes, normal blood pressure, healthy heart, knees ready for action.
“I had no excuses. None,” said the 57-year-old. The sedentary lifestyle came naturally as Miller worked from home. Between his computer monitor and the TV screen, he lost focus on what was really happening to his body.
Miller’s weight loss team helped him confront emotional realties that shaped his life. He opened up about his clinical depression and medications, as well as frustrations with slow weight loss. That’s when Kathy Meier, Nurse Practitioner and Program Coordinator at the weight loss center, explained how emotional, mental and physical health affect weight loss.
“Everyone at the center keeps on me with such love and compassion,” Miller said. “Sometimes, they have wanted me to succeed more than I did.”
His family also has moved from the sidelines to fully engaged in supporting Miller on his journey.
Celebrating victories on and off the scale
Before a fitness challenge to finish a 5K walk/run, the center’s fitness trainer Leanne Martin encouraged Miller to step up his training program and believe he could go the distance. She also left a note for Miller expressing how proud she was of his accomplishments.
“It said, “Let’s do this’,” explained Miller. “It told me I would have help – that I didn’t have to do this alone.”
That note changed everything for Miller. “I believed I could do it – not just the weight loss, but change my life.”
Not only did Brad finish the first 5K of his life, he ran across the finish line with Martin by his side.
Trusting – and testing – the program
“No one can lose weight on their own,” said Miller. “I just do what my team asks me to do and trust the process is right for me.”
“It has saved my life,” Miller said.
Two years into the program, Miller has lost more than 80 pounds. He exercises five days a week. Meals stay in proportion. He checks in regularly at the center to make sure his vital signs are stable.
Now every time Miller sees the scale go down, he knows he’s gained another six months or a year of life.
Next victory goal for Miller – break the record of most pounds lost on the center’s medically managed weight loss program.
When he does, Miller will have an entire team celebrating with him.
Fitness Trainer Leanne Martin (right) encourages Brad Miller (left) during his workout at Goshen Physicians Center for Weight Reduction.
The simple note of encouragement that Brad Miller recognizes as a major milestone in his weight loss journey.