Meet Kim. Like so many of us, Kim has struggled with weight loss. She has tried many diet fads and tricks, only to regain weight each time. In August of 2022, when she set out on a mission to lose weight and keep it off once and for all, with a new holistic approach known as ‘functional medicine,’ she not only crushed her first goal but managed to keep it off and inspire others, too. She did it without medication, surgery, or restrictive dieting. So what is Kim’s secret? I sat down with Kim to talk about how she lost 70 pounds with the help of her functional medicine doctor. She shared her best tips and advice for anyone struggling to lose weight. This one is worth the read!
Kim’s story is relatable to many because it is one that too many of us have experienced. For years, she struggled with various diet plans, finding temporary success in losing weight but ultimately regaining it later. Whether due to pregnancy, life changes, or a hectic schedule, external factors often hinder our progress, leading us to gain the weight back and then some!
Kim told me about the past programs she had tried, which included calorie counting, purchasing expensive shakes and pills, group weight loss meetings, and more. Even though she had initial success in losing weight, “Nothing I did was sustainable.” she told me. No matter what she tried, the weight always came back.
Kim had resolved to lose weight for herself but also had a deep-rooted desire to set a positive example for her two teenage daughters. She aimed to instill healthy habits, a positive body image, and confidence in them from an early age. Kim also knew she needed to stay healthy to match the energy of her two-year-old son, too.
A New Approach
In 2022, after gaining back 50 pounds that she had lost just a few years prior, Kim decided to adopt a new approach. “I knew I needed more than a ‘quick weight loss.’ I was feeling horrible all over my body. I was determined to do things differently and to keep the weight off once and for all.”
Kim’s eldest teenage daughter had started seeing a local functional medicine doctor for her own health at the recommendation of a family member. When Kim saw how successful her daughter’s doctor was at finding and addressing the root cause of her health issue, rather than just treating her symptoms, she knew that this approach to her health and weight loss was exactly what she needed. She scheduled an appointment for herself without hesitation.
“After meeting with the doctor, I could tell that we were a great fit. The visit was unhurried and lasted over an hour. She really listened to me and my needs. She asked me questions that traditional doctors had never asked me before.”
Functional medicine practitioners take a holistic approach to treatment, so it is common for them to ask a lot of questions to identify the root causes of weight gain, including triggers such as nutrition, stress, toxins, allergens, genetics, hormonal, physiological, and microbiome (the bacteria living in and on your body).
“After the appointment, my doctor suggested a 2-week liver cleanse to start. I was really scared to try it, but I decided to give it a shot. Surprisingly, I felt so good that I decided to do it for a whole month.” Kim’s doctor suggested a liver cleanse to help rid the body of the accumulation of toxins from weeks, months, and even years of buildup. Toxins are the root cause of many health issues, such as loss of energy, weight gain, and even things like joint pain, poor sleep, allergies, and skin problems.
“My doctor also ordered a blood test, which helped her understand my A1C levels and Thyroid. She targeted exactly which areas I wasn’t feeling well from the inside & put me on the right supplements right away.” Kim was intrigued that her doctor wasn’t simply using a “one size fits all” method to lose weight. So many unique factors would contribute to her plan to get healthy. Her doctor customized a program unique to Kim and what she needed.
Transformative Power of Functional Medicine
What Kim described to me next were the four foundations of functional medicine that she and her practitioner worked on extensively over the next year to aid in her amazing transformation and 70-pound weight loss.
“My biggest lifestyle change was cutting out packaged foods and carbohydrates. Eating what I ate before my weight loss wasn’t working. I realized the negative effects packaged foods and carbohydrates had on my body. I learned to eat to live, not live to eat.” Kim also incorporated supplements into her daily routine based on the blood test that her doctor had suggested. Once the weight started to come off, these new lifestyle changes became second nature to her. They became part of her daily habits and much easier to keep up.
Stress can creep up on us in unexpected ways. For Kim, being a mother, working, and experiencing weight gain were sources of daily stressors. Yet, as she became aware of them, she found effective ways to manage the stress, incorporating regular workouts, self-care practices, and attending regular sessions with her therapist, both virtual and in-person. Life coaching can also have a tremendous impact on supporting mental health and meeting individualized wellness goals.
“Fortunately, I have always loved fitness and exercising. But after gaining all the weight back from my last weight loss, it was hard to get back into working out. I stayed motivated by taking group weight lifting classes (for gaining muscles/ burning fat) & group combat classes (for cardio) at my gym.” The balance of the two kinds of exercises, strength, and cardio, became a habitual part of Kim’s daily routine. But the format of exercising with a group of new friends and the accountability that came along with it helped, too. “The members have been very motivating and have encouraged me along the way. They would see my weight & compliment me all the time, which helped me stay motivated.”
“Once I focused on better nutrition, started exercising regularly again, and decreased my daily stress, my sleep naturally improved.” Sleeping well is vital to overall health and can contribute significantly to well-being, including weight loss.
After her initial visit with her functional medicine doctor, Kim checked in every 4-6 weeks to ensure she stayed on track with her plan. Her doctor addressed any challenges she experienced, tracked her progress, and set new goals together.
Beyond weight loss, Kim started to notice some unexpected health improvements.
“I had an increase in my energy level. I have more energy to keep up with my two-year-old son and be more active with my family. I even have enough energy to get to the gym every day. I wake up feeling energized, whereas before, I was sluggish and dreaded the thought of working out.
“Another unexpected improvement has been decreased pain under my right rib (gallbladder). The pain I had experienced for years just went away. I didn’t do anything extra. These were just bonuses of healing my whole body from the inside out.”
“Being healthy for my family” has been the most significant driving force for Kim. Being a healthy role model for her daughters and son is a motivation that fuels her daily. Her youngest daughter, now 14, inspired by her mother, has embraced functional medicine too. She has started joining Kim in her daily workouts.
Reflecting on her journey, Kim has said, “I wish I had known about the power of functional medicine from an early age. It’s a lifestyle, and it is sustainable.” She feels blessed to equip her children with the knowledge now, empowering them to make healthier choices early on in life.
How Knew Health Can Support You
At Knew Health, we wholeheartedly support our Members’ unique wellness journeys. We understand the value of functional medicine and strive to break down the barrier of access to alternative providers. Each Knew Health Member receives a complimentary consultation with Vytal Health. This includes an hour-long, in-depth integrative and functional medicine consultation with an expert to take their health to the next level. Members can also take advantage of the following:
- Yearly supplementary allowance for follow-up visits, tests, supplements, labs, etc.
- No-cost and discounted lab work
- High-quality discounted supplements
- Two personalized health or life coaching sessions every year
- Discounted organic food
Call us today at 855-542-0050 or schedule a one-on-one call with our Care Team to discuss how we can support your weight loss journey with functional medicine.
Disclaimer: This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to educate you about how to take care of your body and as a self-help tool for your own use so that you can reach your own health goals. It is not intended to treat or cure any specific illness and is not to replace the guidance provided by your own medical practitioner. This information is to be used at your own risk based on your own judgment. If you suspect you have a medical problem, we urge you to take appropriate action by seeking medical attention.
“Benefits of a Liver Cleanse.” Vvnaturopathic, 1 Mar. 2019, vvnaturopathic.com/blog/2019/1/18/benefits-of-a-liver-cleanse.
“What Is Functional Medicine?” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/departments/functional-medicine/about#:~:text=Functional%20medicine%20providers%20spend%20time,in%20and%20on%20your%20body.