Paul Haak had steadily gotten heavier since high school. As his weight reached higher numbers and his health became increasingly impacted, he began trying various diets without success. Once he reached 330 pounds, he was hit with the realization that his weight was significantly hurting his health.
Determined to make a change, he found the Center for Weight Loss & Wellness website and made the phone call that changed his life.
In February 2016, he visited the Gig Harbor location and met the Jeffrey Hooper, DO, the medical director for the Center's Medical Weight Loss Program. In the past, doctors had been condescending when it came to Paul’s weight and compared it to a simple math equation of calories in versus calories out. But, thanks to his board certification in Obesity Medicine, Dr. Hooper holds a much deeper understanding of the causes of obesity and first ran blood work to understand potential barriers to Paul’s weight loss.
After seeing Dr. Hooper, Paul saw Medical Weight Loss Program lifestyle educator, Sherry Campbell, RN, who coached him regularly throughout his time with the medical weight loss program.
"She was high energy and incredibly supportive," says Paul. "She helped me believe that my weight loss was possible even though I couldn’t imagine it."
Sherry helped clear up a lot of misinformation regarding nutrition for Paul and was able to explain why every calorie is actually not equal.
Thanks to a new focus on eliminating simple carbohydrates and sugar, Paul started losing weight quickly. By the end of 2016, Paul had lost over 70 pounds and feels fantastic. When he started the program, his Vitamin D levels were low and his ALT level (a test which measures the level of an enzyme commonly found in the liver) was high. After seven months in the program, both tests were normal.
Paul has also been able to reduce the amount of medication he has been taking for his high blood pressure and his joints do not ache anymore. He and his wife recently took a trip to Hawaii, where he enjoyed his higher energy levels and even went snorkeling.
When buying new clothes, he was surprised to find that he had lost seven inches off of his waist. Even better, Paul has found that he can fit back into some of his older clothes that had become too small for him.
With a desk job and a long commute to downtown Seattle, Paul finds it challenging to fit in exercise but tries to maximize his opportunities for movement. He walks to and from the train and tries to take the stairs. Whenever possible, he tries to schedule his trainings at a location up the hill from his office so that he can get some additional walking in during the day. Currently he hopes to start adding in some strength training to further increase his fitness level.
Paul feels that a strong commitment and readiness to make a permanent change in his lifestyle have been critical to his success. He also has had the support of his wife, who has been making healthy changes along with him. While it can seem challenging to start eating differently and avoid foods that he has always loved, he has been surprised to find how much he enjoys eating this way. He and his wife do not feel deprived and enjoy delicious foods.
He plans to eat this way forever to continue and maintain his successful weight loss.
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