Gaining more out of life by losing weight one step at a time

04.29.2019

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 timeframe 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.

Genuine fear about his uncontrolled eating habits drove Brad to ask his family doctor for a referral to Goshen Physicians Center for Weight Reduction. He chose a medically managed weight loss path, instead of surgery.

“I needed to learn how to eat healthy and get some exercise back in my life,” said Brad. “Otherwise, I knew I’d be back to my former weight – or higher.”

Causes and consequences of weight gain

At a peak weight of 450 pounds, Brad 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 Brad. The sedentary lifestyle came naturally as Brad, 57, worked from home. Between his computer monitor and the TV screen, he lost focus on what was really happening to his body.

Weighing in on reality

“Lunch after my first weigh-in had three times the sodium I should have for a whole day,” he said. When the center’s registered dietitian Ally Mast, MS, RDN, CD, saw the entry, she gave Brad his first lesson on nutrition basics and healthy eating.

His team also helped him confront emotional realties that shaped his life. Brad 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,” Brad said. “Sometimes, they have wanted me to succeed more than I did.”

His family also moved from the sidelines to fully engaged in supporting Brad on his journey. This time, they knew Brad was serious about changing his life and getting the weight off for good.

“I finally realized I needed the accountability factor,” said Brad. Monthly program “re-ups” gave him a chance to set realistic weight loss goals, monitor habits and make exercise really count.

Celebrating victories on and off the scale

It told me I would have help – that I didn’t have to do this alone.

A fitness challenge to finish a 5K walk/run in 2018 proved a turning point for Brad. Fitness trainer Leanne Martin encouraged Brad to step up his training program and believe he could go the distance.

Leanne wrote Brad a note to let him know how proud she was of his accomplishments.

“It said, ‘Let’s do this’,” explained Brad. “It told me I would have help – that I didn’t have to do this alone.”

That note changed everything for Brad. “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 Leanne by his side.

Trusting – and testing – the program

“No one can lose weight on their own,” said Brad. “I just do what my team asks me to do and trust the process is right for me. “It has saved my life.

Two years into the program, Brad has lost more than 80 pounds. He exercises five days a week. Meals stay in proportion. He checks in regularly at the center to measure progress.

“Every time I see the scale go down now, I know I’ve gained another 6 months or a year of life,” said Brad.

Next victory goal – break the record of most pounds lost on the center’s medically managed weight loss program.

When he does, Brad will have an entire team celebrating with him.

For more information about our weight loss programs, contact us (574) 537-8326.