Quad Cities, IL/IA

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

If You Really Want to Change Your Life: Get a Buddy!


By Rachel Smith, ARNP, Weight Management at The Group, Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialists

Spend much time listening to or reading Dan Buettner’s work on the Blue Zones and you will quickly come to understand the power of community to positively influence health and longevity. This idea is taking hold in healthcare in ways that will surely benefit all of us.

Look around you. Research tells us that we tend to be like those we spend the most time with. I’ve heard it put this way: You are the average of your five closest friends. Ask yourself what kind of impact your communities are having on you. Do you live with people who are trying to live a healthy lifestyle? What about your co-workers? Have you ever considered how your environment might be impacting your weight-loss attempts?

We take the idea of a healthy community very seriously at Weight Management @ The Group. Our patients are encouraged to harness the power of community throughout their time in our program. In fact, when our patients take advantage of our various community building strategies, they are rewarded not just by the increased support and greater likelihood of success; we give them a cost savings as well. For their weekly appointments in our comprehensive weight loss program, they are encouraged to take part in group care. They are encouraged to bring a buddy or family member into the program with them: a built-in support system so to speak. We have seen so many couples succeed in changing their lives using our Buddy program.

Wendy and Bill are one such couple, and this is their story.

I began my journey through the Weight Management Program at The Group on 12/1/16. I noticed a brochure at my regular check-up last November, and the first thing that struck me as different from other weight loss programs was the comprehensiveness of this program. I felt I would have more success with doctor supervision, the guidance of a nutritionist, and with a personal trainer onboard. I do feel that paramount to my success was having my husband work through the program with me. We definitely kept each other accountable, supported one another, and were eating the same food.

Both my husband and I reached our weight loss goal by mid-April 2017. We were definitely nervous about making the transition to “real” food, but I became much better educated on healthy eating and better food choices over the course of our journey, that I am happy to report that both of us continued to lose weight during maintenance, and have now stabilized. Bill and I exercise together most days of the week, and have settled into healthy eating pattern.

My food prep looks completely different these days, and I am constantly searching the web for new recipes, as most of my old recipes were just not healthy choices.

Most importantly, I learned that sugar is the leading cause of inflammation in the body. I had previously been doctored extensively for arthritis, as it was present in most joints of my body. I’m super happy to report that almost all of my pain is completely gone with the weight loss and healthier eating. Previously, I could not even walk a mile, and now I can easily walk five miles or more at a time and can even jog! Who knew?

Making the decision to join The Group Weight Management Program is one of the best decisions I have made for myself in decades. I am so much healthier and happier, and am in a better place physically, mentally, and emotionally than I have been for 30+ years.
For me, there is no looking back, and the natural high I have experienced since completing this program remains my constant companion.

Would you like to find a supportive community where you will have education, medical monitoring, and accountability? The weight management program at The Group takes a comprehensive approach to the treatment of obesity: our multidisciplinary team will help you get to a healthier weight and learn what your body needs to stay there. We have multiple pathways through our program, utilizing New

Direction: a medically managed meal replacement product for those with greater than 40 pounds to lose, or a whole foods dietary approach for those who either have less to lose, or simply prefer to work with real food. Either nutritional path is combined with exercise, education, support, and behavioral modification.

We have been helping men and women lose weight and improve their health for almost two years and our patients continue to write their personal success stories every day. Stay ahead of the curve as we head into the Holidays. Come to our free education session and orientation, every Wednesday evening at 5:30pm at Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialists, P.C. Check out our website: obgyngroup.com.