The Talking it Up Show with Arlean Edwards is a local production that interviews keynote speakers within the CSRA. I, Dr. Jacome, was invited to join Arlean on set in a series of videos where I talk about what it takes to live healthy. This is the third video we are sharing from this series. You can find the first two videos on Calories and Dieting on our blog. Be sure to stay tuned to see what other exciting topics I cover in the coming months!
Arlean: We’re back and we’re in studio with someone that has gotten to be my friend, Dr. Francisco Jacome, Live Healthy MD in Augusta, Georgia. Welcome to the Talking It Up Show and congratulations on your new segment.
Dr. Jacome: Thank you so much! I appreciate this opportunity. I like to share health tips with my patients and with the community. We are located in Augusta, like you said. Our practice is mainly focused on helping people turn around their lives, especially when it is related to weight. Our particularity is that we have everything that people need. We don’t only focus on their weight or their way of eating but we focus on everything.
Arlean: The holistic approach. Dr. Jacome, I experienced something years ago. I’ve always been fascinated with weight loss, even when I did not have to lose weight, and I know that's crazy. I was a size 6, i think I was about 114 pounds, and there was a weight loss program where they would give you a shot, a half of gram of thyroid, and you had to drink water. They didn’t give me a diet plan, they didn’t give me anything, just those things. And taking the shot, it broke my skin out. So, I didn’t take the shots anymore. And I really didn't want to take a thyroid medicine because I didn't have a problem with my thyroid. I spent money every week to learn to drink water.
Dr. Jacome: It is impressive how our habits have taken us where we are. A lot of the problems that we have with the community is that we don’t know anymore what needs to be done. And we actually pay people the to teach us the basic things like drinking water, staying away from sodas, staying away from fried foods—that has become very common. So people don’t know how to cook anymore either.
Arlean: We were talking earlier before we started taping and when they make the decision to come to you, they want you to fix them. “Fix me! I’m broken, I broke it, I’m not going to go through what’s necessary to fix it, I need you to fix me!”
Dr. Jacome: Yeah and that's the reality. Patients are always looking for a quick fix; are always looking for that magic bullet, for that magic thing that is going to turn everything around. The problem is that a lot of the time, if not every single time, the problem is being created over many years. It's not going to be solved overnight. We can give them the tools to turn it around but the most important part is them being willing to change.
Arlean: Right, and you said the holistic approach—could you list out some of those tools that are in that holistic approach for Live Healthy MD?
Dr. Jacome: So we provide for our patients, not only the nutritional counseling but we also provide the exercise counseling. We have an actual gym within our facility that our patients have access to.
Arlean: Really? Now that I didn’t know!
Dr. Jacome: Yes we have a gym and actually our gym has personal trainers. And the cost of the personal trainers in our gym is a fraction of what it is anywhere else. So once they become our patients, they have free access to the gym without any membership.
We have a psychologist on staff. We have an endocrinologist on staff. We have a medical bariatrician, which is a person who is specialized on education and lifestyle medicine.
Arlean: Right, right. Changing that behavior.
Dr. Jacome: ...Changing that behavior. So he works not only on guiding patients on the diet, but he works on problems like smoking and drinking throughout the entire process.
Arlean: Really? Because what happens is that if they are eating then they smoke, if they are smoking they are drinking, and they all go hand-in-hand.
Dr. Jacome: Yes. it seems like when somebody starts on the program there is always a leading drug. When it comes to food, everything goes hand-in-hand too. You know, a lot of the times the problems that patients have is not only what they are eating itself, but the entire group of activities that go along with it.
Arlean: Right! What is the age range of the patients that you’re seeing.
Dr. Jacome: Well our practice is divided in twos. One we call the surgical weight loss program and we have the medical weight loss program. The medical weight loss program goes totally across the board. We see from children all the way to elderly or adult, very old adult patients.
The surgical weight loss, we are developing a pediatric program which will integrate any young teenageers, 18 and less. But the problem is that the pediatric program has to be very worked up because that becomes a family issue. The entire family needs to be involved. The parents need to have all the psychological counseling and personal counseling as well. But we see patients from 13 all the way to, I think the oldest patient I am seeing right now has to be about 82 or 83 years old.
Arlean: Oh my gosh, that is awesome! I had one patient years ago in New Orleans. We were talking about it; she was 9 years old and she was 303 pounds. And it was hard to see her in that state because she’s a child and I think that the parents, the mother had a reward system in place that had gotten her to the point that she was 303 pounds. So the mother was the problem!
Dr. Jacome: Yes, you know when the child doesn’t have the ability to buy their own food, when the child doesn’t have the ability to make their own decisions, then the parents have to make the decisions for them. If a child is 300 pounds at 9 years old; it is not a child’s problem. It is a problem of the family, it is a problem of who is providing the child with what the child is eating.
Arlean: Yeah and it was unfortunate because the mother was overweight, the 9 year old was overweight, and the grandmother, who was in the house, was overweight. And the little girl was able to be an example to the grandmother, and they were losing weight together. The mother didn’t participate, but those two did. So the family dynamic is important and everybody buying into the change.
Dr. Jacome: Any person that can make dramatic change in their life can become an example for others. What we see a lot with our patients is the mother will come, the mother will have surgery, the mother will lose the weight, and the entire family will lose the weight along with her. Because the mother quit buying all the things the family shouldn’t be eating. So a lot of the times, the mother guides the food on the rest of the children. The mother starts exercising and then the kids follow.
A lot of the times when the father can’t follow closely with the mother, we see the father coming to us for help too. So we have several groups of families that we have helped throughout this process either through surgical weight loss or through medical weight loss. And we see the entire family get healthier and the entire family live a much better life.
Arlean: Wow! That is awesome! I am excited about the opportunity for us to be able to do this segment together. I used to be over 200 pounds. I had my daughter at 37 and it wasn’t because of overeating, it was a hormonal shift. And I was miserable! My ankles hurt, my knees hurt, my back hurt. It was hard to sleep on my side and it was impossible to sleep on my stomach. And I didn’t have anybody, I didn’t have any support. I was on my own. I had to figure it out on my own.
So I started drinking lemon and water so that the water would be alkalined, it obviously was acidic. And it was the start of a journey. And now I’m like 27 years into it and I never picked that weight back up again because I wasn't accustomed to being overweight.
Dr. Jacome: Yeah, it’s amazing how you lose the weight and you feel how good it feels. Patients, as well as all of us, will do whatever it takes not get back to where we were. And that is because of a dramatic life change.
I tell my patients “life is about the little decisions”. It’s not about the big ones. The big ones will take you closer to where you want to be but what really is going to make you be successful are the little decisions that you make everyday. Every day, every moment that you choose to put something in your mouth or every moment that you choose to walk or a moment that you choose to go exercise.
Arlean: Yeah! This is a campaign that to transform lives and I really thank you for what you are doing and have done. My best friend, is one of your patients and I watched the transformation. And her transformation is impacting everybody that is around her! There are people that are waking with her, they can’t keep up with her, but they are walking with her and she shares the testimony how you gave her a life back.
Dr. Jacome: She is incredible. She has been able to follow all the steps. She has done all the right things and she’s been extremely successful. And that's her effort and I’m glad to say that I was her doctor!
Arlean: Yeah...motivator! Someone looking right now at us, getting started what would you say to them that they need to do to get through it. We know that they need to come to Live Healthy MD, making that decision. But what gets them to that point that they need to make that decision?
Dr. Jacome: I think a lot of people need to be sick and tired of being sick and tired! The decision has to come from within. It’s not a decision that I can impose on someone. It’s not a decision that anybody can convince anybody else to do because it requires a life change. And that first step has to come from within. The rest we can help you with everything!
Arlean: ...the rest you can help with everything. And I guarantee you that! We are going to go for a break and we will be right after the break with more of the Talking it Up Show—real talk by real people on real issues—and Live Healthy MD with Dr. Francisco Jacome. We will be right back after the break!
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