Weight Loss Success: Dr. Gail

So many of my patients have been kind enough to write a testimonial for The Altschuler Center. I can’t help but be excited when a person transforms their life and realizes a fundamental change in their outlook and actions. So I asked myself, why not revisit some of these powerful men and women, see how they are doing and how have they been able to master the art of maintenance.

A good place to begin is with myself. After all, I am the “first patient”, and the transformation was profound enough for me to change my course as a physician. I know you’ve all heard my story but why not tell it again. As an aside, we all have a story and it’s important we tell ourselves and others just what that story is. I’m proud to say I lost 50 pounds and have maintained my new weight for over 10 years. I won’t say it’s always been easy. But, like you, I’m learning new lessons each and every day. And I’ve learned some of my best lessons from you.

So how do I maintain my weight?  Or as I say, create an environment where the odds of success go up. Number 1, I practice environmental control. As we’ve said so many times, “I can’t eat it if it’s not there”. Number 2, I’ve enlisted my husband’s support. He’s lost weight himself so he knows how important it is to be on my team, and his own. Steven’s big contribution is a weekly soup we can eat at home,  and I can take to work. The same goes for salad. That’s number 3, planning and being prepared.  The more options I have, the more I can roll with whatever circumstances I find myself in. Number 4, I stay ahead of my hunger by having some protein every 2-3 hours.  Shakes work great for breakfast and between meals, especially on work days, and I’m careful to have a great lunch and dinner almost every day. Lean protein and veggies are still my go to’s.

Really, there is so much more.  In this and many ways, I enjoy being part of a community where being healthy is the norm. I enjoy support from Nicole, Heather and Dawn, without whom I would not be half as healthy or have half so much fun. And of course, there are you, my patients, who help keep my commitment strong. Even when it’s hard (and it definitely is sometimes), even when I waver, I know that I will get back on track. Knowing what to do when I slip is just another skill. One that I’ve had lots of practice with, and one that has served me well through the years.

So basically, I work it. I’m always reading, learning, healing as best as I can. I know that there’s a real tendency to regain weight so I’m pretty diligent. If I gain, even 3 pounds, I get more focused, since I know how easy it is for weight to creep back if I’m not paying attention.

As automatic as some of these skills have become, it is only because I’ve practiced them a lot during the past years.  I know that I feel great, that I’m healthier, have more energy and feel better than I did, even 10 years ago when I was carrying the extra weight. I’m grateful every day for the opportunity to do this work and to learn so much about how to be happy and healthy, thanks to you all.

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