Edmonton man loses 20lbs eating right and counting steps

The will to lose

How Copeman Healthcare helped one man succeed in his 35-year battle with weight loss

By his own admission, when Brian Heidecker joined the Copeman Healthcare Centre in 2015 he’d been “pleasantly plump” for about half of his 70 years. And while the Edmontonian had tried numerous diets and exercise regimes, his record for sticking to a specific program was only three days.

“Let’s just say there was definite room for improvement,” says Brian. “When you’re five-foot-seven and over 190 pounds, it’s an issue that shouldn’t be ignored.”

Even though previous physicians had told Brian that he needed to lose some weight, he hadn’t had any success.

“When you only see your doctor every now and then and they simply give you a handout on healthy eating and say you need to drop some weight, the impetus to put in the effort isn’t really there.”

But all that changed 18 months ago when Brian joined Copeman Healthcare.

While he says the previous care he had been receiving was “OK, if a little lacklustre,” the prospect of on-time appointments and a broad, team-based approach held real appeal. It didn’t take long for him to realize he’d made the right choice.

“Right away, I was impressed by everyone and everything,” he says. “The staff are all so professional and attentive, the medical people are up to speed on all the latest research and the facilities are comfortable and modern. Every aspect is just top-notch.”


A new journey toward better health

As Brian suspected, his initial health assessment indicated that while his overall health was generally pretty good, his weight needed to be addressed. And so began his brand new healthy lifestyle journey.

Working as a team, Brian’s physician, family health nurse, dietitian and kinesiologist came up with a clever plan that involved education, dietary adjustments, exercise and, most importantly to Brian, monitoring gadgets.

“They set me up with a Pulse step counter and an electronic scale because, as I found out, if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” explains Brian. “You might think you’re hitting the mark if you’ve had a busy day, but then you look at the counter and you’re only at 5,000 steps.”

Brian admits there have been a few cold Edmonton days when he’s just walked around his house in circles to get to his daily goal of 10,000 steps, but he says the numbers don’t lie and the step counter has worked wonders for him.

“It’s not like the devices are overly technical, they’re just tools to help you stay mindful of what you’re consuming and the effort you’re putting out,” he says. “The best part is I don’t have to count calories or things like that. I just do my best to eat good, high-fibre foods and get in my steps. As a result, I’ve lost about 20 pounds in the last year and a half. The person most surprised by all this is me!”

Pat Wig, Brian’s family health nurse, certainly isn’t surprised by his success.

“Brian came to our clinic with a definite purpose,” she recalls. “He was focused, open to our recommendations, asked a lot of questions and used all the resources he was offered. He was very disciplined in carrying through his plans and found ways to incorporate healthy changes into his life in a sustainable manner.”

Pat says that Brian’s determination, combined with Copeman’s approach, paved the way for his success.

“The personal connection and coaching we provide is another principal element,” she explains. “Clients know they can reach out to us when they’re struggling with changes to their diet or exercise, and they know that we will check in with them regularly to see how they’re doing.”

Brian couldn’t agree more.

“They’ve made me feel like I’m part of a team, and I don’t want to let them down,” he says. “Everyone has been so supportive and accommodating. There’s always someone there with good answers to dumb questions – and believe me, I’ve had a few!

“Copeman has provided the motivation, the discipline and even the gadgets I needed to lose those extra pounds.”

To try a new approach to health care, contact Treena Popowich at tpopowich@copemanhealthcare.com or click here to get started.