Male – Overweight, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol

Meet David Freeman. One day in April 2015, a switch flipped on and he knew once and for all he would focus on himself, get healthy, and lose the weight he had lost and regained many times before. David began a journey and hasn’t looked back.

People ask him, “What motivated you to change your behaviors and habits to lose all the weight you have? Was there a particular moment or event that triggered all of your changes?”

In 2007, David was hired at the company where he is currently employed. To date, David has lost 225 lbs. He was concerned with the current state of his employment and the economy: “What if I find myself out of work?” There was no way he was going to feel comfortable with his current weight at 415 lbs. He knew he had good working skills and credentials, but in his mind being heavy meant extra costs for any potential employer and a big negative for them as well.

David started Weight Watchers that year at the local strip mall. He then transitioned to a group at work and met with his company-provided health coach who preached walking and exercise. When he started in 2007 on his weight loss journey, he weighed 415 lbs. Throughout the next 6 1/2 years. David was able to lose 109 lbs. and maintain the weight loss for the most part.

This brings him to April 2015. David knew he had lost a good amount of weight but knew there was quite a bit more to go. He knew he was still being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. He was being medicated with blood pressure, type 2 diabetes (2), diuretic and cholesterol medications. Currently, he is only being medicated with a small cholesterol prescription as a precaution.

David was at a dinner at a friend’s home in April 2015 and saw another friend who he hadn’t seen in a year. First off, he told her she looked fantastic and then asked her how she lost all her weight. She told him she sees a doctor who gave her a very strict diet and provided her with drops she takes before every meal. He asked her how often she was expected to exercise. She told him she was not really expected to exercise. He asked again, “Are you sure?” She repeated she was not expected to exercise. He asked if Dr. Beth Bartlett was accepting new patients. She said she thought she was and gave him Dr. Beth’s phone number.

David’s first appointment with Dr. Beth Bartlett was on May 14, 2015. He weighed in at 306 lbs. and was asked by Dr. Beth what his expectation of the weight loss program was. He answered that his goal was to come off as many of his medications as possible and hopefully get down to a weight of 200 lbs. Dr. Beth was optimistic and told him she thought that if he was committed to the SHAPE Program he could achieve his stated goals. He explained to Dr. Beth he had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome and that he was worried about the symptoms he would experience giving up his 6-can-a-day Diet Coke habit cold turkey. He also told her that he had decided to give up eating all red meat as well. Dr. Beth supported all of David’s decisions. He has existed on fish, poultry, all allowable fruits and vegetables per the program, unsweetened iced tea and water.

David has been on the SHAPE Program for 15 1/2 months and has lost a total of 126 lbs. His waist has gone from a size 50 to a size 33. He has lost a total of 134 inches during the same period of time. On September 1, 2015, David will be undergoing surgery to remove some unneeded hanging skin from around his waist.

David would like to thank Dr. Beth for all she has done for him. Without all of her help and insight David feels his weight loss could not have been possible. David also would not have been able to accomplish any of his goals without the support and tireless preparation of meals by his wonderful wife Diana.

During an appointment at his general practitioner prior to his upcoming surgery, his doctor who had not seen him in almost one year said, “You have been able to snatch your life back, congratulations! The real work begins now, for the rest of your life. You are going to have to maintain your current weight.”

He told the doctor that because he lost both his parents from obesity-related deaths at relatively young ages (his father at 62 and his mother at 79), he would do all that he could to try to make sure the weight stayed off permanently.

David wanted to share his story in hopes that if he could help one person, it would all be well worth it. He wanted people to realize that there is no better time than now to start losing weight and getting healthier. He feels the human body is a remarkable machine, he claims he has never felt better physically. It is always easy to find reasons and excuses not to do something that is deemed good for you. You just have to drop all your defenses and jump in with both feet and do it. You have to keep moving forward without looking back. Don’t let anyone stop your momentum; you are the most important being unto yourself.