About Your Program Leaders

About your Program Leaders and Their Philosophies of Weight Loss

Dr. Beth Johnson

Dr. Beth Johnson
Psy. D. Clinical Psychologist
Executive Director

Obesity is privately painful. It is not easily discussed without it causing more pain to the person in trouble. It affects me deeply because several close family members struggled with it. The limitations of mobility and health problems accumulated and took many potential memories. We all felt the loss of hope that we would enjoy all of the things that life could offer with our beloved family members. Given my “fix it” mindset, I pleaded for change; I helped with diets and exercise… My motivation to help others is personal and I want you to know that I have lived with obesity my entire life. I have had to carefully watch my weight since high school—and so developed a strong interest in nutrition and fitness. I am not an exceptional athlete by any means, but my running lifestyle spans almost 40 years. I have replaced running now with yoga and riding horses. I am aware of what I eat and how every day. I gain weight very easily and lose it incredibly slowly. Genetics and metabolism is very real. In 2003, at the age of 36, I had gained 10 pounds because my job is sedentary (I sit and listen all day), and I had not changed my diet. I also wanted to complete the marathon I had on my bucket list. I thought certainly that the training would easily take off the 10 pounds. After 6 months of runs that were as long as 20 miles, I lost 3 pounds!

Almost every adult wishes they could lose a few pounds, and with a little effort and some dieting, most people can lose weight. From clinical experience, I know that overeating and obesity have complex psychological variables that require in-depth exploration to make significant changes. Often identity has been formed around being overweight. Self-concept, self-worth, self-confidence—all of the “selfs”—are interwoven with an image of undesirability. Dieting is only a temporary fix if we don’t work on the identity issues related to obesity. We naturally resist a change in identity, even a negative one. We instinctively fear and resist major identity change, and the work requires an expert outsider to give you tools and help you understand how the “overweight you” developed and persists.

I am not a fan of diets. I never go on them. I conceptualize weight loss only as behavior change. I try to make the easiest behavior changes without feeling that I am hungry or not having any pleasure with my eating. I usually never propose a big reduction in calories. When I calculate weight gain with my clients, we often find out that weight gain has occurred at a rate of about 200-300 calories per day if daily caloric intake is consistent. Eliminating the extra 200 calories a day becomes a daily goal. How can you chip away at it without doing something that you can’t keep up with for a lifetime? I want you to build new habits that you can sustain without feeling deprived.

This program is for truly overweight people. Come along, I promise you do not have to be ashamed!

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Stacy Hoag Licensed Psychotherapist

Stacy Hoag
Licensed Psychotherapist
Assistant Director, Business Operations

Food is as essential to our survival as air and water. It can be pleasurable and painful.

Our Soul Food program aims to do more than help you lose weight. We want to guide you through a new understanding of hunger, your body, and the identity developed around being overweight. In my work with individual clients I see just how much weight concerns impact relationships, self-worth and confidence, parenting, and all other important aspects of life.

I want to help you discover the meaningful information that can help you truly heal, and take conventional wisdom to the next level. If it were as simple as “move more, eat less” obesity wouldn’t be impacting so many thousands of lives. There can be many barriers on the journey of change, and we’re here to help learn from those barriers and provide useful tools for moving them out of your way.

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Lakefront Wellness Center, S.C.

Phone: 262-695-8857
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