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Rockstars of the Month: January 2020

Enara Staff
/ January 23, 2020

Thom is a retired systems engineer. He came to Enara at the suggestion of his primary care doctor at Stanford because he was recovering from heart surgery and needed to lose weight to bring his blood pressure, A1C and cholesterol under control. With the help of the Enara team, he was able to lose 27 pounds and in the process brought his A1C from 6.5 to 5.9. Additionally, his LDL (bad) cholesterol dropped dramatically to slightly under 100, and his blood pressure was reduced to the point where his medication was cut in half. Thom also was the recipient of one totally unexpected benefit: due to the weight loss, his neck size was reduced by a little over an inch, which resulted in his no longer having sleep apnea and, happily, being able to stop using his CPAP machine. Thom gives a lot of credit to the successes he has enjoyed to Dietitian Danielle, Enara co-founder Dr. Bailony, Dietitian Mayble, and, of course his Enara Support Buddy, Michael.

Michael Hollingshead is a retired social work chaplain, having had a 38+ year career in human services, ranging from pastoring two churches, working with emotionally disturbed adults and children, and working primarily with homeless persons at shelters and drop-in centers.  He came to Enara on the advice of his Stanford primary care physician, given his then-status as obese with high BP, pre-diabetic, and more.  Right before Christmas, Michael weighed in as having lost 42 lbs. in 5 months on the Enara program, which has included the VLCD and 30-40 minutes of daily low-impact exercise.  His BP is down, with his doctor considering taking him off his BP medication entirely; he no longer has bouts of sleep apnea; his HbA1c has dropped dramatically; and he is no longer obese.  His favorite parts of the program are the recipes for the great tasting food that’s also filling and having the support team, including Thom as a new friend.

Thom and Michael felt that they needed a support group to help them stay true to the program. So, in August 2019, they were put together by Enara Dietitians Dana and Danielle to act as each other’s “support buddy”. Things went well from there. They met frequently to discuss how they were progressing on the program and helped each other with recipes and ideas to overcome problems that were putting them on the wrong track. As a result, they became close friends and not just Enara buddies. Thom has completed the one-year program and will depart in February for a protracted stay in Southeast Asia, while Michael has several months remaining in his one-year commitment to Enara. They will continue their friendship and help each other to maintain the gains they have made with the help of the Enara staff.

Thom lost 11.1% of of his body weight, and Michael lost 15.8% of his body weight:

Thom and Michael’s Hemoglobin A1c:

  • Hemoglobin A1c measures the percentage of your blood hemoglobin that is coated with glucose (sugar). This test reflects your average blood sugar level for the past 2-3 months.
  • A level less than 5.7 is normal, and a level between 5.7 and 6.4 indicates pre-diabetes. A HbA1c level of 6.5 percent or higher indicates Type 2 Diabetes

Thom’s LDL Cholesterol:

  • LDL is the bad cholesterol.
  • It collects in the walls of blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis which put you at greater risk for a heart attack or stroke.
  • The goal for people with one other risk factor for heart disease (e.g. increased BMI, high blood pressure, diabetes, family history) is an LDL level under 100.

Michael’s Percent Body Fat:

  • PBF (Percent Body Fat) is the percentage of your body that is made up of fat. Everything else is usually referred to as “lean tissue.” This gives a more accurate representation of health, fitness and leanness.
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