Jennifer Dobson started seeing Tracie to jumpstart weight loss. “I was working with a personal trainer who was familiar with Tracie and her work. Since my weight had long been a struggle, and I was starting to see some long term effects of being obese for over 15 years – for example fatigue, increased blood pressure and joint pain – the trainer thought I might benefit from meeting her and getting some nutritional structure.”
She decided to try it, but wasn’t truly convinced it would make a difference. She’s seen nutritionists before, and has tried Weight Watchers and other programs several times. She’s had the all-too-familiar yo-yo diet and weight-loss experience so common in our society. Even so, she made the phone call and was impressed by the initial contact; so she signed up for an 8-week one-on-one package. “The whole great-grandmother thing and balancing our blood sugar levels made sense. Additionally, the scientific explanation of the processes especially resonated with me. Reading labels, paying attention to ingredients, combining food for maximum health . . . all of these things add up.”
As is often the case with weight loss clients, however, working with Tracie made Jennifer realize that many things going on in her body were having an impact on her weight, as well as other aspects of her health – like energy, depression, attention and overall well-being. “I was also suffering from IBS, which was relatively new for me, and was surprised at Tracie’s confidence that her plan would help that, too. Funny, right? That we’re surprised to learn that working with a nutritionist can help us not just lose weight, but can help us heal? When did we become so disconnected from our food and our bodies that the idea of changing our diets could make us better – without drugs?”
As a first step, Jennifer had a typical slate of blood tests run to see where she was metabolically. Tracie noticed that her TSH levels were slightly high, but that her Vitamin D was extremely low. While Tracie is not a big proponent of supplements, she does recommend people take vitamins when their levels are particularly low, when their own diets aren’t providing the necessary amounts or their bodies aren’t processing nutrients properly. Vitamin D is important for many crucial metabolic functions in the body, and many women don’t get enough – only one of the many reasons, in Tracie’s opinion, for the explosion of thyroid issues in our country.
Almost immediately after starting a Vitamin D regimen and incorporating some of Tracie’s other recommendations, Jennifer started feeling better, though no weight came off at first. “It was the best I’d felt in what seemed like as long as I could remember,” she says, “and after a while, with Tracie’s unwavering faith and encouragement, I realized two things. First, that even if I never lost a pound, just feeling as well as I did was better than losing all the weight, feeling sick and lethargic. In other words, my health was worth more than being thin. And second, I’d always believed that I couldn’t feel better until I lost the weight, when in fact feeling better has helped me lose the weight. It seems obvious now but that was a huge ‘aha’ for me, and it’s been a big part of working with Tracie. She’s kind of like a personal coach in that way. She’s not afraid to discuss other issues that might affect your health, like emotional blocks or how a spiritual life can impact the journey. She’s amazing. I just love her.”
Despite a slow start, Jennifer has lost 25 pounds since early last fall, when she started seeing Tracie. “The weight really started dropping when I went gluten-free,” she notes, commenting on how that really made her pay attention to labels. “Just because it’s gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s healthy.” Following the program also significantly reduced her cravings for the very foods that were high in gluten – particularly breads and sweets – making it easier to eat healthier and better. She adds, “I never thought I could give up gluten but it was actually easy.”
She’s also gone off the pill, which she’d been on since early adulthood due to intolerable menstrual cycles, with debilitating cramps and symptoms that would take over her life during her period. Another unexpected positive side effect to Tracie’s program she’s grateful for.
“Tracie’s so accessible and understanding, not to mention completely knowledgeable about the body and nutrition. It’s a knowledge that comes from study and research, but also from her own experiences, which consequently makes her more accessible and approachable. She’s ‘been there, done that,’ you know? She can talk to you about what you’re going through, because she went through it too. She really listens and she’s completely non-judgmental, which is kind of unusual in the health & fitness industry if you’ve interacted with many trainers or nutritionists – or doctors for that matter.”
In fact, one of the things Jennifer has found so surprising and discouraging about the experience is the backlash she’s had from people who don’t believe in Tracie’s work. “You know how they say, ‘Never discuss politics or religion’? Well, I’ve added ‘nutrition’ to that list. Goodness, it’s like you’re committing a crime if you tell someone you’re eating a diet rich in fats and proteins. I mean, butter, whole milk? That’s a sin, right?” She’s very tongue-and-cheek about it, but she echoes the disappointment Tracie and many of her patients feel when discussing health and wellness from this perspective. Taking this road is definitely going against very heavy traffic in the opposite direction.
But her answer is similar to Tracie’s, too, and that of many of her patients. “I feel better than I have in about fifteen years. I’m eating whole, healthy foods and my labs are stable. Oh, and I’ve lost over twenty pounds in less than five months. You simply can’t argue with results. I’ll stick with Tracie, thanks.” She smiles.