If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know just how challenging it can be to stick with it over time. For Jennifer Bodoh, it was a frustrating cycle – lose a few pounds and gain them back. Then repeat.
“You might be doing really well, but then you have a bad day and that’s the end of it,” Bodoh says.
Until a health scare that came up during a routine doctor’s visit forced Bodoh to change the way she approached her health.
“This time it turned out to be nothing – but I don’t want it to ever turn out to be something,” she says.
Bodoh’s doctor referred her to Edward-Elmhurst Health’s Endeavor Health Weight Management Program. Participants work with an interdisciplinary team of providers including doctors, nurses, dietitians, personal trainers and psychologists. Each patient’s plan is individualized and is based on age, gender, genetics, lifestyle, family life and culture.
“Every person is so different when it comes to what contributes to their obesity,” says Kristine Warnes, an advanced practice registered nurse who specializes in obesity medicine with Endeavor Health Weight Management. “We take this into account when setting up each patient’s weight loss program.”
For Bodoh, there were a lot of “aha” moments as she worked through the program.
“I thought I was doing everything right but it turns out I needed to be more deliberate,” she says. “I learned I need to get my heart rate up while exercising and that strength training is as important as cardio. And although I was eating a lot of vegetables, I was also eating a lot of carbs and sweets. So there were a lot of adjustments to be made.”
But the factor that truly made a difference for Bodoh was having the support of Kristine and the Endeavor Health Weight Management team. With this support, she was able to push through any setbacks.
“Kristine was always able to suggest strategies for working through the plateaus and setbacks,” Bodoh says. “She helped me see things don’t always go in the right direction. The important thing is to get back on track.”
“When people lose 10 percent or more of their body weight, a process called metabolic adaptation occurs,” Warnes says. “It’s a biological process that makes it difficult for a person to maintain further weight loss. Many people get frustrated when they hit these types of plateaus so that’s when it’s helpful to have the type of support offered through the program. Our team of providers approach these plateaus from different angles and can help people successfully work through them.”
With the help of Endeavor Health Weight Management, Bodoh lost nearly 100 pounds. These days, she’s more active with more energy and without hip or knee pain. It means being able to do things she didn’t believe were possible before losing weight. For example, Bodoh’s family frequently travels to the Porcupine Mountains in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. During past trips, she’s stood on an overlook and looked down at Lake of the Clouds but told herself she was too overweight and out of shape to walk the trail down to the lake.
“I told myself that someday I’d make it down – and last fall I finally made it down to the lake,” she says. “Without losing weight, it wouldn’t have been possible.”