Tag Archives: weight loss story


Obesity Health Problems: Why All Doctors Don’t Think the Same

Buffer Share

… you just need diet and exercise.

… referring you to see a dietician.

… do you think you have an eating disorder?

… you need to diet harder.

How many times have you heard lines like these from your family doctor?

In my case, I simply lost count sometime after trying to get my fourth doctor involved in my obesity health problems. As an obese kid, I heard these stock phrases from my pediatrician first, then a sports doctor when I went out for the high school wrestling team. A college physician on campus hit me with the same stock phrases, as did my fourth doctor… and the fifth… and the sixth!

In every instance, I consulted one of my doctors when I found myself stuck in a dieting “limbo” – losing weight slowly, or stuck simply maintaining my weight despite the fact that I was dieting like a madman. But not once did a doctor take a personal interest in my obesity beyond telling me to “diet harder”, or referring me to a psychologist for an eating disorder or a dietician to offer me a new “wellness plan.”

I’m guessing that I’m not the only chubby guy or gal out there who has heard the same thing when they consulted with their doctor, right?

And time and again I kept failing at diets, gaining back the weight, and then a bit more than I lost. I’d try a new diet, hit limbo again, talk to my doctor and get no answers – and inevitably fail at my diet. And this went on for years – more than 35 years to be exact – until I found a doctor who took my obesity health problems seriously.

That was Dr. Sam.

When I first went to see Dr. Sam in 2013, I had ridden the diet-fail-diet-again rollercoaster all the way up to 526 pounds! But my experiences with this new doctor were nothing like what I had dealt with when I visited all my previous physicians.

Dr. Sam asked me detailed questions about my obesity history – from my dieting habits and the types of diets I had tried, to how much weight I had lost at one time and how often I ended up in dieting limbo. We discussed how much I exercised, the types of foods I ate and how much I snacked in a typical day.

And then he did something not one of my previous physicians had done, no matter how many times I told them dieting just never worked: He ordered a small series of blood tests to check for obesity-causing syndromes!

Honestly, I was a little surprised when Dr. Sam told me they were testing for medical issues associated with obesity. Not one of my previous doctors had even hinted that there might be something wrong with my body – other than the obvious one of being obese – which might be causing me trouble losing weight.

So you can imagine my surprise when I learned I didn’t have just one medical issue related to obesity and weight gain – I had three!

Thankfully, all these obesity-related syndromes were easily treatable. And so when I started up a new low-carb, high-protein diet last year, while finally under treatment for those syndromes, I really started losing weight. A lot of weight – like 217 pounds in 13 months!

And I’m still losing!

So before you let your family doctor tell you that you only need to diet and exercise, or a new diet from a dietician, or to see about your “eating disorder”, make sure there isn’t something more to your weight control issues. Consulting a medical specialist in obesity/weight loss issues might well make the difference between another failed diet or a new healthy you!


Weight Loss Success: 50 Pounds Lost & Learning to Lead a Healthy Lifestyle

Buffer Share

This is a guest post from Shelley Tessmer, a patient of Dr. Sam’s who he successfully helped lose weight.

Hi, I’m Shelley, a 47-year-old woman who has been married for 25 years and has a 17-year-old son. I’m a finance professional who works 40+ hours a week and volunteers five days a week at our local animal shelter.

I first came to Dr. Sam’s office on August 26, 2009 weighing 171.5 pounds with a body fat percentage of 38.6. At that time, I was 43 years old. Today I am very proud to say I weigh 118.5 pounds with a body fat percentage of 22.4.

Here are my before and after photos. One taken when I started with Dr. Sam and one taken recently at the Zac Brown concert with my son and his girlfriend. Big difference, right?


shelley before








shelley after








The secret to my weight loss success is due to Dr. Sam and his staff. I find that being held accountable is how I have achieved my continuous and steady weight loss. Along with checking in with Dr. Sam, regularly using the weight loss/maintenance products he prescribed is how I maintain my weight.

Each day, I rise at 5 a.m. and exercise. This is key, everyone must exercise! I have always exercised. I have run 19 marathons in my lifetime and competed in several half ironman competitions, yet I let my weight get out of control through my obsession with hanging out with my friends and drinking too much wine over time. I learned that no matter how much you work out, bad habits will continue to add pounds, as evidenced by my beginning weight when I went to Dr. Sam in 2009.

As I mentioned, I start my day at 5 a.m. and exercise by running with my two golden retrievers or on the treadmill. Then I drink an Optifast 800 shake at my desk as I work. I eat a healthy, light lunch, which is well balanced. Throughout the day, I snack on protein bars or fruit. My favorites are the Chocolate Almond and Peppermint Cocoa Crunch. I drink three quarts of water a day at my desk, as well. I used to drink several Diet Cokes a day, but now I don’t. This is the result of adding Topamax to my diet regimen.

A huge contributor to my weight loss success has been the addition of Topamax. Topamax has made the taste of wine horrible. Like I said, I’m a fan of wine. I also have a large network of friends who drink wine and socialize. The first time I took Topamax and had a glass of wine, I could hardly stomach it. The taste was literally unbearable, so much so that I poured out the bottle thinking it was bad. I tried a different bottle the next day, and the same thing happened.

A few days passed, and the desire to drink wine was gone. By adding this medicine to my weight loss program, I have lost the last of my “back fat”. You know what I mean, the fat that is “old fat” – the fat that hangs on until the bitter end.

Now, I have no more fat left on my body to lose. I am down to a size 2. None of my clothes fit. My friends cannot believe the transformation! People who haven’t seen me in years or even months are shocked at my weight loss. I have always been a size 12, or at times in my life, even bigger.

Now, look at me! I will never go back to what I was. I have learned what it takes to lose weight in a healthy way thanks to Dr. Sam and his staff.

I still go out with my friends. I still go to the bar and out to dinner, yet I do things differently now. You can, too.

I am a regular 47-year-old with a full-time job. I am also a mom, a wife, a volunteer and super busy with a full schedule that keeps me on the go constantly. If I can successfully lose weight with limited free time, anyone can.

I am a huge proponent of Dr. Sam’s work and owe him my life. He has saved me from a life of obesity and ill health! Thank you, Dr. Sam!