As seen in the Vancouver Sun on May 29th, 2017
Lifestyle change can be daunting. There’s no switch we can flick that will magically turn off our desire for calorie-rich foods or suddenly make us crave hours at the gym.
This is something that Greg Coombs learned the hard way.
49 year old Coombs who is a self-described Type A personality, career-focused individual with a rich social-life and a penchant for snacking, found himself carrying 40 extra pounds and heading towards serious long-term health issues.
The diagnosis? Metabolic Syndrome
With a tendency to take on too much and an inability to fully relax, Coombs was feeling mentally and physically drained. His busy social life and poor dietary choices had finally caught up to him. He watched as his health slowly began to deteriorate eventually culminating in a diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome.
Often a precursor to diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome is a combination of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and poor triglyceride levels. The diagnosis meant multiple medications and an uncertain future.
Despite countless warnings from his doctors, he simply had not taken action.
“For whatever reason, the words were just not resonating with me,” says Coombs. “For years I had watched my health numbers go in the wrong direction. It seemed impossible to stop the decline.”
It wasn’t too late for a change
A profound change for Coombs began when he joined Copeman Healthcare’s LifePlus Program – a comprehensive health program combining the care of a multi-professional team including a physician, family health nurse, dietitian, kinesiologist and more.
Fortunately, for Coombs, it wasn’t too late.
His turning point came when he sat down for an integrative health consultation with Ashley Weissberg, a Family Health Nurse at Copeman Healthcare. With Weissberg’s help and the rest of the Copeman team, he was given tools for sustaining a healthy lifestyle.
“I’d never had it explained to me like that – a whole team of professionals telling me that I needed to change. They made it clear that if I didn’t, things would only get worse.”
He knew it was time to step up and make a commitment to change.
“He developed a positive mindset by focusing on daily habits that kept him happy and motivated,” says Weissberg. “He started to build awareness around habits such as proper food portions to avoid over-consumption, he created personal time where there was previously none, and allowed himself more downtime from his various business endeavors.”
Overall, Coombs believes that this mental shift is where his real transformation started.
The new diagnosis? 40lbs lighter & off medication
Since joining Copeman Healthcare, Coombs has lost 40 pounds. In light of his lifestyle changes, he no longer takes medication for high blood pressure or cholesterol and his risk factors for cardiovascular disease have dramatically reduced.
“He is a walking testament for what it takes mentally, physically and emotionally to start and sustain a healthy lifestyle”, Weissberg says.
If Coombs could offer one piece of advice to anyone trying to make healthy, lasting lifestyle changes, it is to take advantage of the full range of services offered at Copeman.
“It wasn’t until I fully utilized every service included in the LifePlus Program that I began to see lasting changes to my health. I started having regular visits with my dietitian, kinesiologist, and family health nurse to track my progress.
And while Coombs’ story is truly an inspiration, he will be the first to acknowledge that he is still tested every day.
“My healthy lifestyle journey has been the most challenging experience I have ever attempted, and I am still tested weekly, daily and hourly,” he says. “I make no promises for the future, but I am very hopeful I can build on my current momentum because I have my team to lean on.”
And his team at Copeman Healthcare believes in him.