Kris Follmer was an overweight kid, topping 300 pounds by the time he reached age 16. “Most of my extended family is overweight, and I think it’s in our genes although that’s not to say we also don’t have issues with food,” he said.
In August 2015, Kris had a check-up and discussed some health concerns that he felt were weight-related with his HealthEast primary care physician, who mentioned positive reports about results patients achieved through the HealthEast Weight Loss Program – Stillwater. Kris’s health was top of mind at the time because he and his wife, Rebekah, were expecting their first child.
“Berend was born in September; we call him Bear,” he said. “I want to be able to see him grow up, and play and do things with him.”
The 31-year old food safety professional joined the weight loss program in Stillwater, and lost 85 pounds in the first eight months. “Their message really resonated with me,” Kris said. “I’ve been told I needed to lose weight by many doctors in the past, who usually just handed me a brochure. This program is much more than lip service.”
The Stillwater clinic’s medical weight loss program includes medication, which Kris said helped him deal with cravings when he switched to a 1,600-calorie-a-day diet that includes 120 grams of protein. He said it was incredibly helpful that Rebekah participated in his appointments, ate the same foods and joined him in exploring new lower-carb recipes that they both enjoy. She has lost a significant amount of weight, as well.
“At the beginning I was embarrassed to have her come along, but she said she needed to learn how to help me,” Kris said. “You can’t do it alone or in a vacuum. If your family’s not eating the same, you can’t succeed.”
Rebekah likes running and has gotten her husband to run with her three times a week, plan for some races together and lift weights on alternate days. Kris said he wasn’t enthusiastic about exercise before but “it’s growing on me.”
These days, Kris eats quite a bit of cauliflower – his least favorite vegetable in the past – and cooks dishes like chicken and sweet potato curry. He continues in the HealthEast Weight Loss Program and says he has “a number in mind” for his ultimate goal.