Creating a Healthy Lifestyle

By Scott E. Kinney, Atlantic News Staff Writer

Atlantic News, Friday, March 21, 2008

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News.]

PICTURE OF HEALTH — Dr. Jennifer Warren of Physicians Healthy Weight Center in Hampton is ready to help you become the slimmer, healthier you that you envision.
[Atlantic News Photo by Scott E. Kinney]

HAMPTON — Dr. Jennifer Warren’s patients are losing it.

But that’s a good thing.

Dr. Warren and her husband, Ron, are the founders of Physicians Healthy Weight Center, a medical office dedicated to not just weight loss, but creating healthy life-styles.

The medical practice has been operating from their Hampton location at 1 Merrill Industrial Drive for more than four years. And they just keep shedding the pounds; the medical practitioner recently celebrated a landmark 25,000 pounds lost since opening their doors.

Warren said she began the practice partially as a personal battle with weight gain and also out of frustration while serving as family practitioner for approximately eight years.

“We were both really overweight,” explained Ron.

While Ron was carrying around an extra 55 pounds of baggage, Dr. Warren was roughly 70 pounds over-weight.

“I was almost 200 pounds,” she said. “I had gained 65 pounds during my first pregnancy. I carried that weight for nine years.”

It was her combined frustrations that lead Warren into the study of Bariatrics, the medicine dealing with the causes, prevention and treatment of obesity.

While the message remains the same — “eat fewer calories and exercise regularly” — Warren said the message that doctors have been spouting for years has been over-simplified.

“You have to get to know the person; know their challenges,” she said. “It’s helping them develop new habits. It’s not that we do anything magic. It’s really common sense. If you want this change it is absolutely possible.”

Through Bariatrics, Warren’s practice points to five steps to success:

• Identifying the patient’s unique Bio-Psycho-Social challenges.

• Creating an action plan.

• Reinforcing and refining the plan through ongoing medical supervision, education and support.

• Support success and avoid relapse by ongoing monitoring, analysis and problem solving as issues change/ evolve.

• Maintenance of new healthy lifestyle with specific action plans for long-term success.

Most importantly, the patient needs to be seen more often than for a mere yearly checkup.

“You need to see them back,” says Warren. “It takes some time and things change along the way.”

Now, Warren couldn’t be happier.

“It’s back to me and the patient,” she said. “I went into this (medicine) to prevent problems. I didn’t want to get into the structure of watching the problem get worse. I went in to this for a reason and it wasn’t to sit there and throw pills at people.”

Warren said it is not her office’s goal to create that Hollywood image, but to help each individual achieve his or her goals.

“Don’t buy into this ‘Hollywood’ image of what you should look like,” she said. “We’re going to help you get as healthy as possible. We’re going to get you off those blood pressure meds. We’re going to get you off the insulin. We’re going to help you accomplish those goals.”