Pat and Judy are besties. They’ve been friends since second grade. Growing into adulthood, motherhood and now in their 70s, they’re weight loss partners.
“As Pat said, we need to be healthy. That’s the number one goal,” says Judy Parsons.
Lee Physician Group launched a new behavior modification weight management clinic to address the issue. Led by a nurse practitioner, it’s covered by Medicare.
“One of the driving forces behind this, is the fact that obesity is linked to worsening of several major health conditions that are actually worse in the older populations,” says Arlene Wright, nurse practitioner with Lee Memorial Health System.
To begin with Pat and Judy meet weekly with nurse practitioner Arlene Wright. What sets it apart from other weight loss programs; it coexists with current health conditions.
“I have a lot of different things: I have diabetes, I have had sleep apnea, I’m definitely overweight and Arlene has always been right there with me,” says Pat Rogers.
There is a huge population who are eligible for this program. To begin with, they have to be 65 or older, have a BMI of 30 or higher and be referred by a doctor. There’s also a stipulation to lose at least 6 pounds in 6 months. To most, that’s small change...to begin with.
“I would like to lose about 45-50 pounds and whether that’s realistic I don’t know but I know I can do it if I take 10 pounds at a time,” says Parsons.
“I’d like to be able to go into a store and instead of going to the back of the store where they have all the larger sizes I’d like to be able to shop at the front of the store,” says Rogers.
A medical weight loss coach does more than monitor the scale, they provide accountability.
“Having to write things down; keeping journal. We also have them write down 12 reasons ‘Why I want to lose weight’ it makes them understand the process and more apt to buy into it,” says Wright.
So these two friends have a shared vision- and plan to be together through thick and thin.