Amy Holerud was driving home from work one fateful evening in 2007 when a driver who was texting ran into her SUV. Her Ford Expedition flipped end over end and was hit by a semitrailer truck in the opposite lane, leaving Amy with head and back injuries that resulted in chronic head, back, neck, knee and foot pain. Depression followed when she found she couldn't even kneel down to do simple tasks like gardening or scrubbing the floor.
Despite two years of physical therapy that helped her get stronger and regain function, Amy gained 80 pounds and her headaches and sleep problems became chronic. She tried various weight loss programs without success.
Jennifer Landers, MD, of HealthEast Clinic – Stillwater had been Amy's physician before the accident. At the beginning of 2014, Amy's annual physical revealed that she had developed weight-related pre-diabetes and high blood pressure. Amy was ready and highly motivated to lose weight, so she accepted Dr. Landers' invitation to be the first participant in the HealthEast Weight Loss Program – Stillwater a few months before it was officially launched.
Dr. Landers helped Amy dramatically change her eating patterns. Under medical supervision, she switched to a low carb diet with adequate protein and healthy fats such as olive oil. By the spring of 2015 – just 14 months later – Amy had lost 95 pounds.
"It was very gratifying to me as Amy's primary care doctor to be able to assist with her weight loss," Dr. Landers said, adding that she also began encouraging Amy to join Ways to Wellness, a program customized to help you improve your well-being through changes in nutrition, exercise and behavior.
Amy has maintained her weight and continued with Ways to Wellness. Her sleep patterns finally returned to normal and she no longer needs pre-diabetes and blood pressure medications.
"It has taken a team to get me to health and wellness," she said. "Seeing Dr. Landers monthly was huge. Your concerns go up and down when you're going through something like this. It took me a while to open up, but that is the secret – really being open and honest. When I was at my heaviest I would look at pictures of myself and think, 'That's not me.' This journey has really been about getting myself back."
Amy has taken up yoga, learned new recipes…and is relishing her healthy new life.