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Published on January 03, 2014

Mt. Pleasant Man Gains Improved Health and a New Outlook

Tom IdemaFor 42-year-old Tom Idema managing his weight became a top priority when a visit to his Endocrinologist Loabat Amiri, M.D., revealed that his hemoglobin A1c levels were still running high. Idema was already being treated for diabetes and Dr. Amiri did not want to have to increase his medication dosage. Instead, she suggested that he consider losing weight and referred him to MidMichigan Health’s Medical Weight Management Program.
Upon joining the program, Idema selected the Quickstart Plan, the most aggressive of the weight management plans offered. This four-month, medically supervised plan uses nutritionally complete, portion-controlled meal replacements that limit the participant to consume 600 to 800 calories a day. The average weight loss on the Quickstart Plan is three to five pounds per week.

Working closely with Obesity Medicine Specialist Jennifer Morse, M.D., an exercise physiologist, a dietitian and a behavioral specialist, Idema met with someone from his team every one to two weeks who guided him through the process and kept him on track.

“The staff has been wonderful,” said Idema. “Everyone from Dr. Morse to the outstanding women who greet me each time I come in. They do a fantastic job of making you feel great about yourself! The education that I have received through this program has been incredible. The staff has taught me a lot about changing my lifestyle and providing me the materials I need to be successful.”  

In the past, Idema had tried a variety of diets from low-carb to no-carb to even taking weight loss medications. Unfortunately, none of these options seemed to help him long-term. As fast as he lost the weight it seemed to creep right back.

“The difference with this program is my support team,” said Idema. “The whole team is very positive and supportive.  The very first day my Exercise Physiologist Sara Krebs looked at me and said, ‘You’re going to do great!’ Positive encouragement can go a very long way. I also like that this is not a short term program. After my initial four-months, I am continuing with one of the programs within the Transitions plan. I am hopeful that after 12 months within the program, the things I have learned and my new lifestyle choices will simply become a natural part of who I am.”

Since starting the program Idema has already lost 120 pounds. Additionally, his blood pressure is normal and his latest lab tests show that his A1c number is in normal range. “ In addition to taking a lot less medication, I also have more energy and the persistent pains in my back and knees are nearly gone. It is nice to be able to buy clothes in any store now and enjoy kayaking without worrying about being too heavy for the kayak,” added Idema.

When asked his advice to others who would like to lose weight, Idema said, “It can be done! It’s not easy, but if you trust the process and do what the team tells you to do, you can be very successful. Everyday is a new day. Yesterday is behind you and tomorrow is waiting for you. Go for it!”

In addition to the Quickstart Plan, MidMichigan Health offers a variety of other medical weight management plans. All plans are supervised by a multidisciplinary team that consists of an obesity medicine physician, an exercise physiologist, a registered dietitian and a behavioral specialist. Those who would like more information may call (855) 296-7252.