Weight loss program provides accountability
Once a month, Kellie Geiger makes her way to the HCMC Clinic in Golden Valley to meet with her physician, Natalie Ikeman.

But this isn't your typical visit to the doctor's office.

Kellie keeps a daily chart of what she eats, and for the past year, Natalie has looked at that list and advised Kellie on where she can make changes.

"It's called the 'Great Slim Down," said Natalie Ikeman, a physician assistant at the HCMC Clinic in Golden Valley. "It's a weight-loss program that I designed over a year ago to help patients work on goals, exercise, healthy eating habits to overall improve their quality of life."

Natalie has about 80 active participants to whom she provides guidance on exercise and nutrition, both in person and online.

"I saw the ad came out about it and I thought, well I do need to lose weight, so I signed up," Kellie Geiger said.

Getting involved in this program was one of Kellie's resolutions last year, and shortly after she started, her daughter, Kelsey joined in.

"Well, together we've lost over 50 pounds, and for me it's been about reducing stress and making healthier choices," Kellie said.

"You can kind of choose what you want to do," said Kelsey Geiger. "You can start out and say, 'I want to choose my meal plan and start logging like my mom does, or you could go more of a fitness route like I do."

All the while, Natalie holds them accountable to help them accomplish their goals.

"I am the cheerleader. I'm helping them along the way and giving them good guidance, and appropriate medical information to help them make these decisions in conjunction with our staff psychologist here in the clinic," Natalie said.

Meanwhile, experts say a lack of accountability is the main reason why people's resolutions fail. But in the case of Kellie and Kelsey, they not only have Natalie, they also have each other to provide support.

"In fact we'll text each other every once in a while in the morning what our weight is and stuff, and just congratulate each other," Kellie said. "And I think she looks beautiful."

Kelsey is getting married in November, and she has no doubt that she and her mom will look their best.

"We have that motivation already, but Natalie just helps advance it," Kelsey said.

As a reminder, doctors say that losing weight can help prevent chronic conditions associated with obesity, like diabetes, fatty liver disease, and sleep apnea.

Delane Cleveland

April 25, 2017


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