Radical Changes

By Mitch Sagers

OBESITY.  It’s an ugly, ugly word.  For years it has perched on the top of my medical record problem list.  As a Physician Assistant, I knew the Body Mass Index criteria (>30) for obesity.  I knew the increased health risks associated with it: hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, degenerative joint disease, cancer, gall bladder disease, gout, and obstructive sleep apnea just for starters.  But despite the knowledge and personal experience treating the illnesses, I had failed to make any significant lifestyle changes to help reduce my own risks.  Sure, I worked out 5-6 days a week, but as Father Time marched on, my exercise would not be enough to move the scale in the right direction.  I knew weight loss was pretty much a math problem: get rid of more calories than you take in.  However, I had failed to make a detailed action plan.

I knew some friends who had great success with 3010 Weight Loss for Life.  Along with their successes, I also learned about their out of pocket costs-some as high as $3400 for the program.  Now, I can think of a lot of other ways to spend that kind of money-some smart and most others not so smart.  As I contemplated pulling the trigger, I remembered hearing about a medical weight loss program which had opened near Whole Foods above Station 31, ironically (or sadistically) located next to Jersey Mike’s Subs!  On the Rainier Medical Weight Loss website, Dr. Valerie Sutherland, M.D.’s personal story was inspiring.  As a Primary Care Physician, she was devoting much of her practice to treating chronic medical problems (most of which are the same ones I listed as a being associated with obesity), and she realized if she could reduce obesity, her patients’ health could be vastly improved.  Achieving Board Certification in Obesity Medicine, she opened her practice right her in UP.

Dr. Sutherland offered a free drop-in session to learn about the program and her successes.  Here was a n exclusive medical weight loss practice which takes the time to investigate your medical and family histories, medications, blood chemistries, your previous weight loss attempts and successes, AND bills most insurance plans!  I really liked the science behind the program and that a medical specialist was guiding my specific plan.  Also, exercise was going to be an integral part of the plan.  The program requires lots of daily water, a few supplements, pre-packaged foods as meal replacements and snacks throughout the day; and depending on the amount of weight loss needed, maybe even cooking your own once-daily, lean and green “grocery-store meal”, most often for dinner.

I have been extremely pleased not only with my weight loss, but with the vital education along the way.  I better understand nutrition labels on foods.  I know the evils of excess carbs, my understanding of good/bad fats is much better.  I can make good choices while eating out, and I’m much more interested in resistance/strength training than just cardio.  In fact, I had to reduce my cardio to help prevent muscle loss.  The Rainier Medical off staff is very positive and genuinely interested in your success.

This program has been life-changing for me, and those I have encouraged to give it a try are seeing great results as well.  As the pounds continued to drop, my motivation grew.  This is not a diet; this is a paradigm shift for life!  I remember the phrase we often live to eat, but we should eat to live, and now I get it!  I don’t have all the cravings for the tasty, processed, carb-laden foods.  I am down 45 pounds, my BMI is now ‘ever so close” to the normal range, my cholesterol levels are incredibly good, and I have reduced my percent body fat into an “acceptable” range for men.  I sleep better, have more energy, my joint pain is improved, and I got to buy lots of new clothes!  Although maintaining my weight loss will require constant vigilance, I feel I have acquired the knowledge, motivation, and made key lifestyle changes to continue this wellness journey into the future.

If you want to make some radical changes in your health and work from a detailed action plan, take a look at Rainier Medical Weight Loss and schedule a complimentary visit.  They recently celebrated their one-year anniversary and have helped patients lose over 9500 pounds!  Your successes can contribute to the next big number!!

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