Kathleen Anderson of Stillwater had spent the last 20 years of her life trying and failing to shed weight she gained after moving with her family from the East Coast to Minnesota. Osteoarthritis in her knees made it harder to stay active, and she always stopped exercising during the winter.
A year ago, Kathleen talked with her new internal medicine physician and explained that she was motivated but that things like Weight Watchers and support groups weren’t working for her. Her doctor put her on thyroid medication and CPAP therapy for sleep apnea. Kathleen’s motivation grew as she quickly shed 10 pounds and began feeling better.
“The woman who cuts my hair has a lot of long-time clients, and she told me about another client who had had great success with the HealthEast Weight Loss Program at their Stillwater clinic,” Kathleen recalled. “I called and made an appointment. After working with Dr. Jennifer Landers for the past 8 months, I’m really a different person. I have so much more energy and more peace in my life, and my dog is so happy with our new walking routine! It has been lifesaving.”
Dr. Landers, who launched the medically based HealthEast Weight Loss Program – Stillwater in 2014, put Kathleen on a diabetes drug that also is known to help with weight loss. She also connected her with a nutritionist and helped her revamp her diet to include breakfast, the right amount of protein and fewer of Kathleen’s trigger foods, all of which are high in carbohydrates.
“I’m very healthy and I know a lot about nutrition,” Kathleen said. “I’m the most knowledgeable overweight person I know, but this program helped me take that knowledge and apply it in the real world.”
Dr. Landers provides the continuity for Kathleen’s weight loss support team, which includes an orthopedist, physical therapist and nutritionist. “I could talk to her about the things I was learning and the things that bothered me,” she said. “That really helped when I accidentally redeveloped my sweet tooth over the holidays.”
Kathleen describes herself as “totally allergic to exercise,” yet she surprised herself and her friends this year by committing to one-hour walks three times a week through the winter at the St. Croix Valley Recreation Center’s sports dome.
Kathleen, who reduced her weight by about 10 percent over one year, doesn’t have a goal weight. At age 66, she wants to be healthy and strong and put off knee surgery as long as possible. “I also have a closet full of clothes that I’d like to fit into again,” she said.