My patient was 20 months out from surgery and was a success by any measure. She had lost more than 50% of her excess body weight. Her high blood pressure and diabetes had resolved. She went from 10 medications down to a few vitamins. She was more involved in her life. She looked better, felt better, and was better. But, she still had 50 pounds to lose when she hit a plateau. A 6-month lull in her weight loss resulted in an indescribable feeling of frustration. Enter The Genesis Experience.
Successful weight loss surgery is defined as losing more than 50% of your excess body weight after your procedure. Granted, that’s a bit arbitrary, but it’s difficult for anyone to come up with an all-encompassing definition of what “success” means for everybody in all circumstances. One thing is certain, you may still be overweight or obese when you stop losing weight.
If you are 200 pounds overweight at the start of your journey and you lose 120 pounds, you are a success. You likely feel better than you have in years. Your medication requirements are surely lessened. But, you are still 80 pounds overweight. This is the predicament in which my patient found herself.
There are many thoughts on what to do at this point. Many surgeons would simply shake your hand, congratulate you, and tell you to call them with any problems. Some surgeons would offer an additional procedure. While there is a place for contentment or revisional surgery, my first step is a recommitment to a strict diet and intense exercise. This would require mobilizing resources and expertise that was beyond the scope of a single individual. This is how The Genesis Experience was born.
The Genesis Experience was designed from the ground up to achieve a few overarching goals. First, we wanted to bring solid instruction in proper nutrition using the Paleolithic model as the backbone. With assistance from
our friends at Whole 9 Life, a custom nutrition guide was developed and implemented. Second, we wanted to educate on proper exercise techniques using Crossfit at the standard. The constantly varied, high intensity functional movements are perfect for someone wanting to improve their health and lose weight. Third, we wanted to establish a new pattern in people’s lives. We wanted to teach healthy lifestyles.
With these goals in mind, we laid out the requirements. Crossfit three times per week with two additional days of fitness “homework.” A strict diet based on principles found at Whole 9 Life was the backbone of new principles of eating. To ensure compliance, a food diary was implemented with the food logs being checked weekly by a coach.
The inaugural class went to 6 individuals. These people were all a success but all had plateaued prior to achieving their weight loss goals. They varied by age, race, gender, and weight loss needs, but they were motivated to achieve their goals. Some needed to lose only 20-30 pounds, but some stopped 80-100 pounds short of their ideal body weight. Their previous metabolic derangements, health status and life experiences were hurting them. This group represented an extremely challenging group, but we knew that if we could succeed at helping them, we could help anyone.
“My life may have started at birth, but at 40 years old I really feel like I am living, and living better than I could have ever thought possible!”
“I’ve seen positive results: greater strength, greater stamina and endurance, greater mobility, better and steady energy (not high-low energy spikes), greater mental focus…and by the way, I’ve dropped two dress sizes in 8 weeks.”
The functional goals achieved may seem modest by some standards but were mountain top experiences for those achieving them. A first sub 10:00 minute
mile. A first “girl” push-up. Jogging 1/2 mile without walking. 12 inch box jumps. The weight loss goals were impressive- 3.3 to 22 pounds lost over the course of 2 months. However, the inches lost were absolutely stunning. The 6 participants lost an AVERAGE of 17.5 inches. One person lost a total of 25 inches, including 8 inches off her waist alone. All of this in just two months.
The past 8 weeks was an amazing experience that was capped off by a “Paleo Potluck.” We were all able to get together for a last hurrah and share with each other. Although, it was designed to help the participants improve their health, I can say that the greater impact was felt by the coaches. The determination and courage displayed by each of them was inspiring. I can only hope that we were able to do as much for them as they did for us.