Long hours, frequent overseas travel and busy days as an entrepreneur are a quick introduction to our latest success story, Lou R. A married father of three, he and his wife also manage a side business and relish quality time with their family, which includes one high schooler and two older children.
Despite his live-to-work attitude, he often received comments from others on how he always appeared laid back and relaxed. In fact, Lou had this same vision of himself. After all, he loved work and didn’t mind putting in long hours. That meant he was fairly stress-free, right?
Fast forward, and know that stress management was the toughest lifestyle change to implement, but more on that later.
What Lou did want to address, at first, was losing 25 lbs., addressing hormone concerns, and managing his blood pressure (for which he had been medicated for over 20 years).
Weight loss is typically an area of interest to readers, and since it was high on his list as well, let’s discuss how that was addressed: Anya Wallace, PA-C ran a GI Map test, where data suggested that Lou remove gluten and dairy from his diet. Skeptical that these changes would make much of a difference, he went along and trusted the process. She communicated these findings with Lou’s health coach, who supported him on this and more, with regards to food. In addition, Anya implemented various types of peptide therapy that were used in conjunction with lifestyle changes.
Lou’s health coach worked with him on addressing the gluten and dairy aspects, but she also dug deeper into other everyday foods as well as eating habits. His diet included 70% home-cooked foods, a great place to start. This did, however, include a significant amount of meats and starches; Lou was nervous about changing that balance. Not getting enough protein and also being satiated overall were concerns of his. That said, he was open to experimenting with other options, and began increasing his vegetable intake and variety while decreasing starches and meats. He substituted in more plant proteins, and was pleased to find that he did in fact still feel satiated. Lou mastered going gluten-free and dairy-free (including ditching his nightly sugary yogurt before bed) and suddenly noticed that if he accidentally did consume even the smallest amount of either, his bloating returned, which was a regular occurrence when he first came to Companion Health.
Exercise/movement was another area that was addressed. Lou was already working with a personal trainer for weight training with a little cardio mixed in, and he was also incorporating some stretching into his day. He quickly realized that the cardio was getting seemingly easier, so with the support of his team at Companion Health, he increased the duration. He now has a regular routine with all of the above and is currently building in more stretching and has also added deep stretching sessions.
Another new habit that didn’t come so easily was breathwork. Remember when we mentioned not realizing he was stressed out? Yes; if you’re not “feeling” stressed out, it’s hard to imagine how breathwork can help you. After a few months of putting the practice of breathwork on the back-burner, he finally gave it a try. And alas, after he built it into a routine, he noticed he felt more relaxed, or in his own words “felt almost tingly in my head”. Taking things up another notch, Lou started using their massage chair and PEMF mat on a regular basis, and practicing more breathwork simultaneously.
Fast forward to Lou’s six month mark with the program at our functional medicine clinic. His household had increased home cooking to 90% of the time. His weight was down 20 pounds, but he still had more that he wanted to lose.
He took this as an opportunity to set new goals with more breathwork as well as relaxation time. A few months later, he had lost an additional 10 pounds, reaching and exceeding his goal weight, and was thriving in his new self-care areas.
Anya was able to lower his blood pressure medication, and his hormones are in a much more optimal spot than they were. Lou now prioritizes self-care instead of him putting himself last. To his wife’s delight, he’s even working towards retiring in the very near future and spending more time traveling with her and spending time with his children and grandchild. We can’t wait to see what is next for Lou!