Helping doctors understand the challenges their overweight patients face and what they can do to improve patient outcomes with weight loss coaching!
Shelley's Story: I was overweight most of my life. But I was relatively healthy, with no chronic medical conditions. After I had kids, I gained more weight, and after I experienced a few surgeries, I gained even more weight. As my weight kept going up, I kept experiencing more medical issues.
I'd get up in the morning, step out of my bed and my feet hurt, plantar fasciitis. My back hurt from muscle spasms; I also had tension headaches. As I was gaining more and more weight, my entire day was filled with some kind of pain from morning to night.
I actually grew quite accustomed to living in pain. I didn't realize how much pain I was in until I got out of it. I knew there was some connection to the weight gain, but I’d think, "Well, I'm getting older." I didn’t know what I could do about it, I slowly grew accustomed to it. It really is like the frog and the boiling water. If you drop a frog into it, it immediately jumps out, but if the water’s slowly heated up, it will just sit there and die. And that's how I felt like my life was going, that I was just slowly declining.
And every time I would go to the doctor to get help for these various issues, I would be treated with medication to ease the pain and I would be told to lose weight, to diet and exercise.
It was so frustrating, I felt overwhelmed, and on the inside, I’m saying, "I'm trying! You don't know how much I'm trying! And if I could, I would, but I don't know how; but I am trying!"
And the more that I tried, the more weight I would gain, the more embarrassed I would feel, and the more humiliated I became, because they were always telling me to lose weight. It was always "You need to diet and exercise."
I would leave my doctor's office angry and ready to find a new doctor.
I got up to 220 pounds, I was 90 pounds overweight.
I was hopeless and didn't feel like I could lose any weight. When doctors told me to diet and exercise, I knew they were right. But I didn't have any way of actually succeeding at it; I would if I could.
Around the same time, my dad was diagnosed with diabetes (years later than he should have been), so by the time he was diagnosed, he immediately had to begin aggressively managing his diabetes. He was bombarded with the doctor's advice of how to manage it, including complicated formulas of counting carbs and all the things he should and shouldn’t eat, and it was coming from numerous doctors, his primary care, the endocrinologist, everyone.
They're all telling him the same thing, but he’s older, and he doesn't like being told what to do. He's being told to lose weight, but he really doesn't even care anymore. He ignored all the doctors’ advice. He rebelled. There's a rebellious spirit in some in being told what to do. One thinks "There's no hope and I can't do it anyways, so screw it!"
So we’re experiencing the same thing - doctors telling us to lose weight. We're frustrated, feeling like we would if we could. We're both in pain in different ways, and pain increases the appetite, so we're both eating more, and gaining weight. Everything's becoming counterproductive to what we want to do, to what we need to do, what we have to do.
My dad's health became a train wreck. What he needed was something simple to help turn that around, because the direction he was going in was spiraling out of control. It's the diabetes, his weight, high blood pressure, etc., his health was a train wreck, and he kept gaining weight.
And I knew everything could just be simply and slowly turned around if he could just lose weight.
The doctors know this and that’s why they advise their patients to diet and exercise.
But sadly, the message is not being received by their patients because they're emotionally blocked from receiving it. It’s because of their own self judgment, because of their own confusion and rebellion, because they've tried and failed so many times before and they're overwhelmed.
Doctors are frustrated; patients are frustrated. It's very unfortunate that what they're telling their patients is 100% right, but their patients are not receiving it, and actually cannot receive it.
Doctors are stuck between a rock and a hard place; they know if their patient loses weight it will result in a better patient outcome. But if they beat a dead horse with telling them to diet and exercise, they will have a hurt and angry patient who may walk out of the office and not return. They don’t know what to tell them to do.
What I've learned as a weight loss coach from my clients, is what my dad and I experienced, is experienced by many. My clients tell me their doctor told them, "You need to lose weight," and they are angry, they are hurt. They want to lose weight, but they don't know how. That increases their anxiety, which then increases their appetite, and so they eat more and they gain more weight.
It's a vicious cycle. Neurologists understand how the brain processes emotions (like anger) through the limbic system, and its role in increasing the appetite. The anger a patient experiences being told to lose weight, is the very thing that will be a catalyst to an increased appetite and further weight gain. It is no one's fault, and no one's to blame. The doctors surely aren't to blame.
I have a lot of compassion for the spot doctors are in. They're damned if they do, damned if they don't. Their patients are getting angry at them, when doctors are only communicating the truth to help their patients. But their patients don’t know how to do it. And it creates a vicious cycle then of unsatisfied customers and poor patient outcomes for the doctors.
At 35 years old, I decided I didn’t want to be one of those poor outcomes. My health was rapidly declining at a young age, and I reached a do or die moment. The truth that I discovered in losing weight was that it was really simple. And this is no secret; everyone learns this in Nutrition 101. Calories in, calories out. So I decided to remove all judgment off of myself and focus on this one simple truth, and as I created a caloric deficit and lost weight, my nutrition improved, and my fitness improved. And now I was doing the very thing the doctors told me to do, diet and exercise!
The weight came off quickly at first and then it slowed down. But I accepted the slowing down as part of it. Over the course of a year and 10 months I lost 90 pounds. That's an average of 5 lbs/month. So it was a nice, slow weight loss, but for the first time, I had the power to do it. It was no longer, “If I could, I would”, it was now “I CAN!”
I've kept it off permanently for 11 years. I'm very proud of my health. I don't have any plantar fasciitis, I don't have back pain, I don't have tension headaches. I have no pain now. When I go to the doctor, I'm very proud of my numbers, my triglycerides are low, my blood pressure is normal, and I’m in optimal health. My weight loss drastically improved my outcome.
I found this success through no products, no gimmicks, just a simple, truthful process I created that respected the simple science of weight loss along with the emotional support I needed. So I created Losing Coach® to provide weight loss coaching.
Doctors are not necessarily trained or have the time to offer continual emotional support that will give their patients true weight loss success.
When a doctor has a patient with a heart issue, they send them to a cardiologist, with a neurology issue, a neurologist. Any issue that they need additional help with, they send them to a specialist. That is what a weight loss coach, like Losing Coach® can do for your patients, who need help losing weight, to improve their outcomes.
Patient Outcomes. That’s the bottom line here.
My clients have incredible weight loss success, but not because they are eating unique or different foods. I am actually giving them the same message as their doctor, good old fashion calories in and calories out. The same message doctors are trying to communicate is now being received.
Why? Because I have the time to remove the judgment off of them and communicate it in love, with boundless emotional support. The truth is… the truth (you need to eat less) is a cold and harsh reality. The only way a cold and harsh message can be received is through continually communicating it with love, grace, patience, time, and trust. This is what a weight loss coach can give your patients.
Losing Coach® trains the brain and heals the heart for weight loss. My weight loss coaching creates the brain/heart coherence to make those day-in and day-out decisions necessary for weight loss. No products, no gimmicks. A weight loss coach is like a specialist that can help your patient. I'm not a physician, so I don't give medical advice. I support the doctor's advice. I empower folks to take control of their weight and have their own success. This creates a better patient outcome.
Losing Coach® is a physician-approved process, approved by doctors, themselves, who have lost weight through the Losing Coach® process.
Bonnie, a Losing Coach Client, can attest to the power of a weight loss coach:
“When they told me I had to have a heart by-pass surgery, I was petrified. That was in 2007. I changed everything…the way I ate, exercising…everything. But I never lost weight. I felt that because I was in my 60’s it was never going to happen for me. Here I am 68 years old and have lost pound after pound over my life, and always gained it back. Through the Losing Coach® process, I’ve lost 56 lbs. When the weight began to fall off, I was astounded. I never believed it would happen for me. But it did come off, and that just encouraged me to keep going. My medical condition is amazing. My doctor can’t believe it. I take a quarter of the diabetes medication I used to take. I take half of the blood pressure medication. I feel great! I exercise 4-5 times a week, for 50 minutes at a time on the elliptical. Everything that I have learned through Losing Coach® teaches me that I CAN do this. This has truly been life-changing for me."
Shelley Johnson is the Creator & Founder of The Losing Coach®.