For as long as he could remember, Don Burrows had been trying to lose weight. He was caught up in a vicious cycle of getting motivated, starting a weight loss plan, dropping 25 or 30 pounds, and then gradually gaining every pound back, plus a bit more. In 2020, Don retired from his work as an electrical engineer, and a change in his insurance coverage led to selection of a new primary care physician. It was during an annual physical with that new doctor that a true turning point took place.
“We spent a lot of time talking about my weight and how none of the programs I had tried over the years had really worked well for me, or produced long-term results,” said Don. “He told me about CoreLife and explained how and why it is different than the other programs I had tried. It sounded promising, and I was definitely interested in trying a new and better approach.”
CoreLife focuses on a combination of nutrition, exercise, and behavior modification to guide patients through a weight loss journey that is never considered a diet, and instead structured as a process of healthy lifestyle transformation. Don met with a nurse practitioner and dietician who helped him establish daily calorie counts and a long-term weight loss goal, and promised to hold him accountable, with support and encouragement every step of the way.
“One of the most important messages I came away with was that it was possible to lose weight without depriving myself of all of the things I like to eat,” said Don. “It’s all about prioritizing your choices and being careful about portion control.”
Don’s breakfast used to consist of four to six eggs with sausage or bacon, and a few slices of toast. Today, he opts for two eggs, one piece of toast, and fruit salad. Lunch was previously made up of sandwiches filled with deli meats, cheeses, and condiments, served with a large portion of chips. Now, Don enjoys tuna or chicken salad on top of a bed of greens, and finds himself every bit as satisfied. A lifelong Diet Coke drinker, he has made a conscious decision to have just one diet soda per day, and otherwise fills up on water. He is diligent about measuring portions and tracking calorie counts to hit his daily nutritional targets, and he has learned that occasional rather than constant splurges are the key to his success.
“I have an appointment at CoreLife every two to three weeks, and every single time I have weighed in, I have seen a drop on the scale,” Don said. “I learn something new every time I go in.”
Don weighed in at 302.7 pounds during his first CoreLife appointment, in March 2022. By October, he had dropped 65 pounds, and was within eight pounds of the goal he established at his first appointment, which was to see 230 on the scale. In addition to improving his own health, Don’s journey has inspired his wife to take important steps to better her health, as well. Although she does not have a need to lose weight, Astrid has become a CoreLife patient, too, relying on the team for guidance and support as she aims to reduce and better control her cholesterol.
“CoreLife uses a very methodical approach, and everything centers around where you are versus where you want to be, without judgement,” said Don. “As I’ve lost weight, life has become easier and happier.”
Don lives on a farm and spends long days outside working. Whereas he used to easily become winded and tired, now, he feels an abundance of energy, and can continue working all day long without the need for repetitive breaks. Additionally, he sees a big difference in how he feels during day-to-day activities that were once difficult. For example, before losing weight, Don recalls holding his breath when he had to lean down to tie his shoes. That is no longer necessary, today.
“I feel so good and I am so thankful for the people at CoreLife who have helped me get to this point,” said Don, who lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland. “I am finally in a good place.”