Article Date: 9/1/2007

A Change in Lifestyle

A Change in Lifestyle

Small adjustments to your routine can make a big difference for your health.


So many of my clients asked for my advice in personal areas of relationships, investments, fitness and nutrition that I added a Life Coaching service, counseling doctors on wellness, nutrition and fitness (WNF), to my consulting menu.

Warning signs

I frequently see these dangers signs in my on-site consulting:

increasing weight. As physicians, we must realize that our body is a billboard. That doesn't mean that you have to be thin and muscular. But, as a professional, you should look healthy and comfortable in your clothes.

skipping lunch. You need this break for your mind, to maintain energy, blood sugar and simply to eat properly. The results are high energy, more fun, less stress, high morale and better weight control.

lack of physical activity/sedentary lifestyle. Schedule your workout just like you schedule your patients. Anaerobic activity, such as weight-training, burns calories for a longer period than cardiovascular exercise and builds muscle, which burns more fat. If you're a rookie at this type of exercise, start with light weights and slowly increase the weight weekly.

Problem Practitioner

Dr. Webb, a client, was 5'10" and weighed 255 lbs. Unfortunately Dr. Webb was still wearing clothing that fit a 200-lb. man. When I've been hired to do ophthalmic consulting, I only mention WNF issues if my client asks for advice or I believe it negatively affects their practice. Dr. Webb didn't project a professional image. His breathing was labored, and he had a tendency to perspire heavily throughout the day. By mid-morning, his skin took on a "greasy" appearance. It was my opinion that a percentage of Dr. Webb's patients found his appearance offensive. As gently as possible, I brought this to his attention. An interview with Dr. Webb revealed he was overweight with hypertension, high cholesterol and blood sugar and was largely sedentary (see chart below).

The plan

I never prescribe a program without confiding with the individual's primary-care physician and you should do the same. The internist in this case immediately prescribed a complete physical and medication to control Dr. Webb's hypertension and cholesterol with the understanding that as his WNF improved, the internist would decrease or discontinue the medications if possible. After working with Dr. Webb for two years on total WNF and great implementation on his part, he decreased his weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and perspiration. This was not the result of a miracle diet or training requirement, it was a lifestyle change that Dr. Webb could live with and implement.

Ultimately, we are responsible for taking care of our own health. As healers, we have an obligation to set-forth the most positive image and lifestyle. OM


Optometric Management, Issue: September 2007