Male, 33 years old, 5’10” 

Starting Weight: 348 lbs. 

Current Weight: 297 lbs. 

Every practitioner who uses SHAPE ReClaimed knows that success stories abound and most practitioners, including myself have success stories which are even more amazing than the one I am about to share with you. But, before we get to the success story, let me go back to even before this idea came to me when I was selected to share a success story with you. 

Outside of my wife, I pretty much have two best friends in the world, Mike and Sammy. They’re both the type of friends everyone hopes for, the kind of friends who would pick you up in the middle of the night if you were stuck somewhere two hours away.  

Sammy has struggled with his weight since we were in high school, but the problem has grown worse over the past 5 years. He has also been very self-conscious about his weight issues, while also in a bit of denial about them, so approaching the subject with him has always been difficult. Mike and I had talked in the past about sitting him down and talking to him about it, but never quite had the courage to do it. I had the same conversations with his father and his uncle, though nothing ever came to fruition. So, back in November, when I was selected to share my success story in the June newsletter, I had an idea. I would tell Sammy what my assignment was and let him know that he was going to be my success story. 

We planned for him to begin the SHAPE Program in February, do it for two to three months and then I would write about it. He was receptive to the idea. However, as the day grew closer to begin the program, he began to push back. He began to sound just like anyone dealing with an addiction sounds: “I don’t have a problem,” “there’s other things I can do,” “I’ll just start eating better during the week.” I did my best to refute these excuses and was successful in getting him to start day one of Phase I.  

The first couple of days were rough. Actually, the first two weeks were rough. I would check in with him in the evenings to see how he was doing, and frankly, his complaints and his denials would irritate me:  

“I don’t think this is safe for me to do,” he would say (actually it’s extremely safe when we monitor it, you have enough stored body fat that you could live for six months on water alone).  

“How about if you just write up a diet plan for me and I’ll follow that?” he would ask, (we’ve tried that before and it hasn’t worked, this is the program for you).  

“I think this is too extreme. I think I need something that is a slower pace” he said.  

I decided I needed to stop beating around the bush with him like we had been doing for the past five years. The next time he was in the office, we sat down, and I read him the statistics. He had a BMI of 49.9. He was nearly 10 points over the demarcation for morbid obesity. He had an extremely high risk of weight-related disease and premature death. If he didn’t change something, he wouldn’t live to see 45. It was an uncomfortable conversation, but something that had to be done, and it hit home. I didn’t hear one more complaint from him during the duration of the program. A new leaf had been turned over. 

Sammy became healthily obsessed with the SHAPE Program. He began weighing himself daily. He lost 51 pounds on Phase I and has maintained the new Phase III lifestyle since completing Phase I. Although we are not near the finish line yet, he has started on the path towards better health. Our hope is that upon completion, he will be down to around 220 pounds. Hopefully I can be selected to write a success story again next June and I’ll have an even more amazing update to share with you on Sammy’s journey to better health. 

 

Submitted by Dr. Brian Ferguson