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Dave’s Story - Doctors’ Weight Management Program

Dec 30, 2016, 14:08 PM by Nicole Young
Dave's Story
Always up to meet new people and greet an adventure with a smile, Dave Davis loved the idea of touring around Turkey with his wife, Jean, and daughter, Nora who taught university classes abroad. But excessive weight meant he could barely keep up and was constantly stopping to rest. “I was this close to having a heart attack in a couple of instances, because I couldn’t walk more than a block before having to sit down,” lamented Davis.

Dave’s diet consisted of hearty breakfasts, big business lunches, and high-calorie dinners. The former college baseball player and lifetime surfer ballooned to 347 pounds, and he could no longer exercise without great distress.

Gentle encouragement from Davis’ wife did little to get him to drop the weight, until his Sansum Clinic cardiologist, Dr. Joseph Aragon, identified two blocked arteries in his heart. Dave would need stents, and then a serious plan for taking off the pounds. “Dr. Aragon basically said, ‘I took care of your plumbing, now you have to take care of the machine.”

Fast forward three years to June of 2015 at Nora’s wedding in Italy, Dave logged 12 miles a day while sightseeing. “No problem,” the 68-year old boasted. “It was just night and day.” What made the difference in Davis’ ability? He had lost nearly 100 pounds and as a result enjoyed several health improvements, which gave him the opportunity for new experiences. Dave spent 25 years as a city planner shepherding projects like construction of the Paseo Nuevo shopping area and the renovation of Stearns Wharf. He then led the Community Environmental Council non-profit for eleven years, working to bring clean energy to the central coast. It wasn’t until Dave read about the dramatic weight loss of his friend, Julie McGovern and her participation in the Doctors’ Weight Management Program at Sansum Clinic that he found the courage to sign up.

The Doctors’ Weight Management Program utilizes the HMR or Health Management Resources diet, which received the 2015 Best Diets designation from U.S. News & World Report. HMR is the leading provider of medically-based weight management
programs in clinics, hospitals and medical centers nationwide. Phase 1 of the program started with a battery of medical tests, so doctors could create and supervise Dave’s personal weight loss plan. The program required him to attend weekly sessions with a health educator, and a support group where he would be held accountable. Dave eased into a new exercise routine with twice daily walks around the block.

After Dave dropped the first 50 pounds, his spirits were lifted by the positive reactions of others noticing changes in his appearance. He no longer needed to take blood pressure medication. He’d walk to meetings instead of getting into his car, and he felt more confident navigating social settings that often centered around food and drink. He’d acquired the tools to permanently integrate the plan for his health into his lifestyle.

By the end of his first year with Doctors’ Weight Management, Dave was a new man, nearly 100 pounds lighter. His counselors encouraged him to begin attending the program’s Phase 2 classes. There, he’d stay the course, learn more about his tolerances and triggers, and learn how to eat a diet full of vegetables, fruits, healthy whole grains and lean protein.

Dave is now retired, but still serves the city on many different planning boards. In addition to his weekly classes, he reports in mid-week to the Doctors’ Weight Management staff, and turns over his food journal, a habit he predicts will become permanent. Getting back on a surfboard allowed Dave to recapture a part of his youth, that for a time, he thought was forever lost. “Reengaging with things I really enjoyed in the past was such a boost to my own personal self-esteem,” he shared. “Now, I am back. And it’s incredibly gratifying.”

Click here to learn more about our Doctors’ Weight Management Program or call (805) 563-6190.