When Bev joined Medical Weight Loss Specialists of Bismarck in May 2017, she didn’t want to just lose weight. She had also been battling high blood pressure, joint pain and tiredness. Unbeknownst to her, blood tests revealed that she also had Type II Diabetes and the beginning signs of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
“We understand that overweight/obesity is a chronic disease, and we individualize our nutrition plan for each patient to treat the underlying cause” says Katie Horner, the Nurse Practitioner in charge of the program. In Bev’s case, they wanted her to not only be successful in her weight loss, but also help her manage or reverse the health problems she was having through dietary interventions.
We’ve been told for decades to eat less, move more, count calories and go to the gym - that’s as easy as weight loss is. We’ve been told it’s our fault for not caring, being lazy, or not disciplined enough. With 3 out of 4 adults in the US being overweight, it’s pretty obvious that this advice and the current dietary guidelines have failed. MWLS of Bismarck takes a different approach to weight loss: fixing the root cause. “The most recent medical research is showing that it’s actually different hormones that drive weight gain, not purely the overconsumption of calories as so commonly believed” says Katie. “Our ultimate goal is to fix the underlying hormonal problems through dietary changes, and give patients the tools they need for long-term success.”
The program focuses heavily on nutritional education, giving patients the knowledge and support they need to make a lifestyle change and not view the program as “just another diet”. Bev loved being able to eat real food. “It is quite different than a lot of programs out there as you’re not drinking shakes, counting calories, or starving yourself. This is not a temporary fix. Weight management is now so doable for me; through MWLS I’ve discovered a whole new way of eating – for a lifetime.”
After shedding 120 pounds in less than a year, Bev has experienced countless benefits, both physically and mentally. “There are really no words to fully express my feelings having lost this weight. I am now able to bend over and tie my shoes, walk without a limp, jump, and even run; all things I couldn’t do before.”
Losing weight has had an impact at work for her too; Bev teaches 7th and 8th grade and used to sit at her desk a lot. “Now, I am walking around the room genuinely enjoying my students and my job. Everything becomes easier when you are not carrying that extra weight around. I am a better (and happier) mother, wife, and teacher."
The health benefits were numerous as well. Bev successfully reversed her high blood pressure, Type II diabetes, fatty liver disease, arthritis pain, and decreased her risk for heart disease. “Mentally, I am the confident person I always wished I could be,” she says.
Her final comments about the program? “I have never experienced a weight loss program where I was not hungry and wasn’t constantly thinking about what I was and wasn’t eating. This program has changed my life – mentally, emotionally and physically. The biggest reason for my success on this program is the staff. They are just what their name states: Medical Weight Loss Specialists. They are health professionals that are extremely knowledgeable and take the time to educate about a healthy diet. They genuinely care about their patients and want to see them succeed. I always felt that weight loss was hard. It’s really not hard if you understand how it all works. Getting educated from people who are professionals in this field is the key. Katie and MWLS of Bismarck were my key.” -Bev, 57, Beulah ND