Ken Riley considers himself to be a relatively active guy. He even took part in the 2011 Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City. Yet, a few months back he felt that something wasn't quite right.
"My liver enzymes had grown to nine times the normal rate and I had a lot of tests done, thinking it was hepatitis but found out it was more of a fatty liver, so that caused me to think I needed to do something," says Riley.
Riley was also on blood pressure medication and had problems with his cholesterol levels. That's when his doctor recommended he go to the Healthy Weight Center through Munson Medical Center in Traverse City.
The program is designed to help people make long-term lifestyle changes for their health through individualized programs.
"We recognize that obesity is a significant problem related to a number of health issues such as cardiac disease. we see everything related to that such as high cholesterol, sleep apnea, high blood pressure. So, our goal is to give them some nutritional information to help them make some lifestyle changes," says medical director of the Healthy Weight Center, Dr. Patrick Friedli.
The Healthy Weight Center opened back in 2005 at the Munson Community Health Center. Primary care physicians refer their patients to the program when they realize their weight is affecting their overall health.
"There's three primary areas that overlap with each other: our behavior, our environment and our genetics. We know we can't change our genes but we can certainly influence or modify those risk factors," says Dr. Friedli.
These are risk factors that can ultimately lead to heart disease and other deadly conditions. Now about several weeks later, Riley has already lost 50 pounds and even cut back on his medications.
"I think looking out for my heart has been really important. A couple of things: my heart rate was generally 70's or 80's, it's gone down to 53. My blood pressure medication is now at half and we're close to saying maybe I don't need that anymore," says Riley.
For Riley, it's more than just a plan but instead a supportive team that helps him continue along the road to success.
"I've got dieticians, doctors and counselors and exercise therapists. They're all part of the program helping me so I thought I'd give it a try and frankly I was pretty skeptical. I tried a lot of things and wasn't sure it was going to work. Now here I am nine months later reaching a lot of my goals and really excited to be where I'm at and feeling the difference," say Riley.
Besides weight loss techniques, the Healthy Weight Center also includes dietary plans, exercise programs, behavior modification, and educational lectures Ken Riley plans to complete the weight program on February 28th. For more information about the center click here.