Joan Heuer led a busy life as a working wife and mom in Oakdale, raising two boys and holding down a demanding job as a clinic manager. A social person, she loved to travel and spend time with family and friends.
Late in Joan’s career, everything changed. Her husband died suddenly at age 62, and Joan’s “stress eating” increased. She would get fast food on the way home rather than cooking dinner. When it was time for her to retire at age 65, Joan said she realized she didn’t want to sit around at home, eat and watch TV. When her weight reached 334 pounds, she decided to take action. Her primary physician referred her to HealthEast Clinic – Stillwater.
Over 14 months as a participant in the HealthEast Weight Loss Program – Stillwater, Joan lost 90 pounds. She is determined to lose 70 more. Less than one year into her weight loss journey, she felt much more active, energetic and confident. As an added bonus, her cholesterol dropped 48 points and her acid reflux problem disappeared.
The clinic’s program works closely with HealthEast Ways to Wellness, uses medical supervision and includes a holistic approach. The components are: a health and behavior assessment, nutrition and other counseling and education, personal training, support groups and wellness coaching. The Weight Loss Program – Stillwater also used a phased approach that moves from active weight loss through transition and finally into maintenance and relapse prevention.
“In my lifetime I had done it all, from Jenny Craig to Weight Watchers, losing weight each time and then gaining it back,” Joan said. “I didn’t really learn anything with those programs, but I have learned so much from my doctor about things like portion control and ordering more wisely in restaurants.”
It hasn’t always been easy. Joan recalled: “There were so many points where I’ve felt like giving up or there was something I was dying to eat. They gave me tips like just wait until tomorrow when I had a strong craving. The next day, you find you usually don’t want it anymore.”
Joan credits the team at HealthEast Clinic – Stillwater with motivating her to achieve her goals by getting to know her and always offering positive, encouraging comments and advice.
Feeling more agile and better about herself, Joan went on an Alaska cruise with her sister and found she was able to be more active on her annual trip to Las Vegas with her best friend.
“In 2013 when we went to Vegas we had to use cabs because it was so hard for me to walk,” she recalled. “The next year, after I’d started losing weight, it was easier. This past fall I walked the whole Strip.”
At age 67, Joan continues to meet with her doctor once a month and the pounds continue to come off. She uses a treadmill and stationary bike at home, swims at a club, stretches and does other exercises. She has plenty of energy to visit and enjoy her five grandchildren in Milwaukee and Michigan.