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Success story: Weight loss of 60 lbs. and counting...

Trib Local/Plainfield and Naperville:

Plainfield man turns to Edward for weight loss help
Posted By Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare, Community Contributor
June 16, 2014

Stephen Blake needed a lifestyle makeover.

It was the spring of 2013. He was concerned about his cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes, and overall health. Through the summer he tried on his own to lose the weight that had accumulated over 20 years of a mostly sedentary lifestyle.

When you're looking at 337 pounds on the scale, however, that's not an easy task. Blake eventually realized he needed help.

"I had to go through a mental process to change that involved realizing, hey, there's a big problem. Whatever it takes, I'm going to find a way. For some reason it took me a lot of years to get to that point," Blake said.

In the fall of 2013, Blake, 59, of Plainfield, scheduled a consultation at the Edward Medical Weight Loss Clinic, supervised by Zaid Jabbar, MD, medical director of the Clinic and internal medicine physician with Edward Medical Group.

In his initial consultation, Dr. Jabbar screens patients for depression, stress and sleep apnea, and checks for thyroid problems. Patients who come to the Clinic generally have a Body Mass Index (BMI) higher than 25, he said.

The Clinic offers a multidisciplinary approach that includes medical monitoring, guidance on nutrition and exercise as well as psychological counseling regarding food and addiction, Dr. Jabbar said. The treatment for patients ages 18 to 65 may include the medically-supervised use of FDA-approved weight loss medications on a short-term basis.

"Stephen is very willing to work at it. He's willing to try different things," Dr. Jabbar said. "He came in with an open mind and is willing to listen and make adjustments."

In the six years Dr. Jabbar has been helping patients lose weight, he has fine-tuned his treatment and has seen many successful outcomes. He stresses that the patient must be motivated and committed to the process to be successful.

Changing the way you eat - and the way you live - is the key to dropping weight, Dr. Jabbar said. It's not a temporary change, it's a new lifestyle.

Dietary changes are the primary focus for weight loss. Dr. Jabbar doesn't tell patients to count calories or track carbs, but provides healthy eating guidelines (such as cutting out certain foods like soda) and allows the medication to dictate how much they eat. Eventually incorporating exercise with the diet changes is "huge," Dr. Jabbar said.

Now down more than 60 pounds, about 20 inches in the waist and seven BMI (Body Mass Index) points, Blake has embraced a new lifestyle. He works out with a trainer, makes healthier food choices and weighs in at the clinic once a month. He also realizes that weight loss requires perseverance.

"You have to eliminate from your mind being impatient with this type of transformation. If you don't see results right away, feeling impatient and being disappointed undermine your efforts. You have to make long-term goals, and keep at it. The many positive benefits for your life, career, and family are big incentives. That is what keeps me on track." Blake said.

Blake is attempting to lose a total of 90 pounds by the end of August. His ultimate goal: stop taking the medicine regulating his glucose level, blood pressure and cholesterol.

"I've gone through several sizes of jeans, so that's been pretty fun," Blake said. "I've got a ways to go. My only regret is that I didn't start at the Clinic sooner."

For information about the Edward Medical Weight Loss Clinic or to schedule a consultation and evaluation, visit www.edward.org/weightloss or call (630) 527-7205.


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