Success Story-Chris Thomas


What do you do when you’re hopeless?  I have struggled with my weight all my life, and at age 46, I was at my wit’s end.  Nothing had worked long term.  I felt horrible about myself and felt helpless to change that. 

My doctor at Gill Family Medicine, suggested their weight loss program as an option just to try out, so I gave it a shot.  But 500 calories a day?  How in the WORLD would I do this?  But I decided it was time to take a drastic step, and this seemed to be right, with doctors, a nutritionist, and nurses, not just me and my weak will. 
So over the last 2.5 years, I have stuck to it.  It has been a transforming experience for me.  I have lost 100 pounds, no longer have high blood pressure, don’t need my sleep apnea machine anymore, and still going!  I attribute all of this to the complete system the weight loss clinic has developed.
First, break the habits.  500 calories for the first several weeks.  Get your body into fat burning mode.  That may sound horrendous, but actually Carrie and team guided me to make tasty healthy choices that helped me survive.  I wasn’t out there hanging—they were there to support me every week.  Yes, they prescribe phentermine—SHRIEK—but, before you reject this approach out of hand, consider what I think it did for me.  It was a key enabler to help me change my habits—those ways of eating that had been with me all my life.  I needed some help during those temptation times to break that rigid mold I had developed, and the phentermine was a short term aid.  Also, some have said “what about the side effects?”  Well, what about the side effects of being 150 pounds overweight?!?!
Truly, the first 3 weeks were the most difficult, after that, I could feel habits being formed that helped me.  And once I started seeing progress, I didn’t want to go back.  NO WAY!  Especially after I started buying new clothes that weren’t in the 3XL range. 
I look back and I see several keys to this journey:
1)      The program the Weight Loss Clinic has—a holistic approach--that doesn’t just take your money and send you starving.  I truly felt like I was being cared for.
2)      The accountability I had going in every week, facing them, to see if I had made progress, and share struggles.  Yes, it’s not free ($22.50 per week), but these days, that’s 2 calorie packed meals, so why not use that money to help keep you on the path you really want to be on?  They don’t beat you up at all….they support, help, encourage and celebrate!
3)      Weigh everyday at home.  I know some may not agree with it.  But for me, I wanted the daily feedback to help me remember to be careful.  If I started ignoring because I didn’t want to know the damage of yesterday’s eating, then I am headed right back to where I was.
4)      Eliminate carbs.  I admit, this may not be for everyone, but I finally came to grips with the fact that I was addicted to carbs—bread, pasta, sugar, etc.  During the first several weeks of the diet, these are off limits as they interfere with fat burning.  But when it was time to let them back in, I decided to not go there.  I literally think of it as an addiction.  During my overweight years, I truly binged on carbs, to the point of extreme discomfort.  I just decided I could not risk falling off the wagon again, so I have been carb sober for 2.5 years!  Believe it or not, I don't miss them now! Maybe not for everyone, but during this process, take note of your weaknesses that might take you back to that bad place, and slam that door shut, nail it closed, barricade it, make sure you don’t go back there!
5)      Exercise with my gadgets.  I never was one for exercise, but I found a way to make it fun for me….walk briskly with a book on tape.  I set my watch to record my activity, hit start, and go into another world for 45 minutes.  When I’m done, I’ve had multiple benefits!  Maybe this isn’t for you, but find something to stay active, it takes your mind off the temptations.
6)      Find YOUR healthy foods and recipes.  For me, I have my short list of comforts.  Things that are healthy that I love and enjoy!  For me, it is coffee with stevia, low cal vanilla greek yogurt, sugar free wintergreen mints, turkey sausage, a great chicken salad with low cal dressing, etc.  Whatever it is for you, find the tasty, healthy choices, then look forward to them.  Savor them.
7)      Beware that even healthy foods can corrupt.  About 1.5 years in, I started abusing even the “good” foods.  Grapes, almonds, and cheese.  Good foods, but I was close to binging on them, and saw weight loss stall.  So beware of that…habits are still there—for me, bingeing.  Stay vigilant, and under no circumstance just let it happen.  Take action if and when you sense you are losing the fight. All those good things that have come about after losing, you DON’T WANT TO LOSE THEM!
8)      Recognize that some of this is very mental and emotional.  I didn’t realize how much of my outlook on myself was based on my weight.  I feel so much more confident now, not that I am a different person, but I think I view myself differently.  Others likely do as well, hopefully not just because I am not overweight now…hopefully they see my self confidence has grown.
In short, I would highly recommend the Weight Loss Clinic to ANYONE that struggles with weight loss.  Their program is well balanced and effective, and their people are caring and supportive.  With them on your side, and your motivation to change, YOU TOO can have victory over this struggle!

-Chris Thomas

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