Change in Action

Last year, with the encouragement of Dr. Bashar Elali, nurse Barbie Daily (57) took the leap toward a better life. Amid family trauma and increasing responsibility, Daily was finally spurred to make a change.

“When everything else was in turmoil, I realized that managing my health and what I put into my body became the thing I could control,” she shared.

After losing those close to her, she knew she wanted to be around for her grandchildren. “Knowing that my family history would make that more difficult,” Daily shared. “I told Dr. Elali that I was ready to try the program and make a change.”

Daily was a part of the pilot program, an approach that couple OptiFast meals with an integrated health-care team approach. “Sure, I could’ve done it by myself,” Daily shared. “But, without the weekly meetings with a dietician and counselor who taught me why I overeat, what my stressors are, how to shop, and what to stay away from, it would’ve been much more difficult.”

Her new knowledge has helped her to stay at her post-diet weight of 138 pounds (down 100 pounds) for over a year. “Karlee taught me how to shop on the outside of the store, which means buy fresh, leafy vegetables, fruits, and lean meats,”

Daily said. She still indulges on treats, like skinny Oreos, occasionally, but remembers to stay balanced in her approach. “I eat the OptiFast bars in the morning because they’re easy and I know they have everything I need. I also pack my lunches so I know I have something healthy,” Daily shared. “If I want a treat, I have one, but now I see food as fuel for my life and don’t feel like I need to overindulge.”

Daily’s family, like many, has a history of high-blood pressure, hypertension, and diabetes. But, she has made the decision not to let her family history or her busy life as a nurse and working mom to stand in her way. This year, her triglyceride numbers are down, her blood pressure is down, and all of her other co-morbidity factors are completely gone because of her weight loss and new exercise and eating habits.

“No matter what’s going on in your life, and I had some difficult things going on when I started, it’s never too late to start a program,” Daily advised. “We all have stuff going on that can stop us if we let it. I suggest giving it six months, and then seeing where you are. In six months, you may have just gone down a path that changes your life forever — it did mine.”