Ep #75: How My Client Lost Over 100 Pounds—Without Surgery!

Today I want to share a special interview with one of my amazing clients who has such a great story that I couldn’t wait to have her on the podcast. After gaining a considerable amount of weight during residency, Jill Larson spent her entire 30s dealing with trying to lose that weight before deciding to sign up for my group. She was so dedicated and committed that I knew she would get great results, and now she’s lost over 100 pounds—without surgery!

She’s truly an inspiration, but what’s especially great about this interview is what Jill shares about continuing to lose weight after finishing with our group. It shows that once you do the work and learn to coach yourself, you can continue applying what you’ve learned and continue getting amazing results. Listen in to hear Jill’s inspiring story, as well as her advice for anyone hoping to lose a significant amount of weight.

Listen To The Episode Here:

In Today’s Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • The hardest thing for Jill to deal with when trying to stay on track with her plan—and what really helped her stick to it.
  • Why she decided to join a coaching group.
  • The difference between losing the first 20 pounds and the last 20 pounds.
  • How Jill’s family reacted to her new dietary restrictions.
  • The important realization that changed things for Jill.
  • How she plans to maintain her weight after reaching her goal.
  • Advice for people who have 100 or more pounds to lose.

Featured In This Episode:

  • Interested in working with me? If you’re a practicing MD/DO physician, click here to sign up. 
  • Sign up for my email list!

Get The Full Episode Transcript

Read the Transcript Below:

Katrina Ubell:      You are listening to the Weight Loss for Busy Physicians podcast, with Katrina Ubell, MD, episode number 75.

Katrina Ubell:      Welcome to Weight Loss for Busy Physicians, the podcast where busy doctor, like you get the practical solutions and support you need to permanently lose the weight, so you can feel better and have the life you want. If you’re looking to overcome your stress eating and exhaustion and move into freedom around food, you’re in the right place.

Katrina Ubell:      Hey there, my friend. Have I got a special treat for you. I’m so glad that you have joined me today for this podcast episode. I have an interview with one of my amazing clients, who has literally lost 100 pounds. She is amazing. Her name is Jill Larson. She is a family practice physician, actually really close by. So, she actually knew of my husband because she refers to him. So, she’s actually in town for me. We’d never met until we worked together, though. Actually, after we worked together is when we met in person for the first time. She has such a great story. I couldn’t wait to have her on the podcast to share it with you. So, she started off … Well, she gained a considerable amount of weight during residency and spent her entire spent her entire 30s dealing with trying to lose that weight. And then, as she was approaching 40, finally just decided like this is it.

Katrina Ubell:      What I loved about her was when she decided to sign up for my group, she was so all in. She was just so dedicated, so excited, so jazzed, I knew immediately that she was going to get such great results because of her attitude and her level of commitment going into the process. That’s exactly what she got. She lost a good chunk of weight while working with me. She’s lost a little bit on our own and realized that the emotional component was definitely an issue that needed to be addressed. And then after we finished with our group, she went on and continued to lose more weight. Because often, people think, “Well, if I don’t lose all the weight while I’m in a group with you, then what? What am I going to do after that?” What’s so great about this is this just shows you once you really do the work and teach yourself how to coach yourself, you can continue doing this work and still get amazing, amazing results. So, please enjoy this interview with Jill Larson. I know that it’s going to be so great. All right. Take care.

Katrina Ubell:      Hi, Jill. Thank you so much for being on the podcast.

Jill Larson:          Hello. I’m excited to be here.

Katrina Ubell:      I am seriously so giddy with excitement to have you on. Because how long ago was it that we talked about you coming on this podcast? I said, “When you lose 100 pounds, I’ll bring you on the podcast.” How many months ago is that do you think?

Jill Larson:          I think it was just when I finished coaching, so probably five months ago?

Katrina Ubell:      Something like that. Yeah. Oh, my God. I can’t wait. Here we are doing it. So excited.

Jill Larson:          Yeah.

Katrina Ubell:      Okay. What I want to start off with is you just telling everybody a little bit about yourself, kind of your background with your weight issues and everything, your practice, all of that kind of stuff.

Jill Larson:          Sure. I am family physician who does OB. So, a little bit of a old throwback that way. I practice primarily outpatient, but then do the OB in pediatrics in patients in Waukesha. I have basically been obese, I would say for the past 22 years. Basically, a big athlete in high school and I was very fit and then went to college and was not an athlete anymore. That all crept up on me, so probably gained about 20 pounds in college. And then went to med school, and then even you know more unhealthy and more sedentary and gained probably about 30 pounds there. And then residency was the kicker that gave me a probably an additional about 50, maybe even 60 pounds at that point.

Jill Larson:          When I graduated residency, I was 275 pounds. And then two pregnancies in there where I kind of yo-yoed because I didn’t gain much during my pregnancy. So, I would lose about 30 pounds after having my kids, and then would kind of drift back up again. So, started this journey and have tried so many different things in the past 22 years, like most of us have. Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Count Your Calories, you name it I’ve tried to exercise your butt off. Whatever and could get 20 or 30 pounds off and then would just stall and get frustrated and go back to the old habits and not ever lose the weight. I started what I’m doing now in January 2017, basically was turning 40 the end of 2017, and decided that by the time I turned 40, things are going to look a lot different for me or else I was going to have gastric bypass surgery.

Jill Larson:          And so, started doing some crazy renegade stuff that was never taught in nutrition in med school. And lo and behold, here I am, 105 pounds gone later from … I weigh less now than I did in seventh grade.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah. That is so crazy.

Jill Larson:          Yeah.

Katrina Ubell:      You barely recognize yourself. So, what do you think was happening for you as you’re approaching 40? Because as I was approaching 40, was also when I had my kind of come to Jesus moment. What do you think for you, just like something really needs to change? How was your commitment level different with 40 approaching than it was at other times?

Jill Larson:          I think it was the focus that I had at this point in my life I think as doctors, my 20s were basically spent with my focus on my education. And then my 30s were spent with my focus on raising a family and having a family and getting my career off the ground. I think finally, the time was right for me to put all my energy and all my focus on me and getting myself healthier, and not this external goal that I had been working on for so long. And so, I think that was really the game changer. And being faced with turning 40 and being like, “Okay, well this is happening. So, you can go into this. It’s not going to get any easier the older you get. You can go into the drawing or you can go into this behind the eight ball.” And decided, let’s go into it strong.

Katrina Ubell:      Did anybody ever say to you … Obviously, you knew that 275 pounds was too heavy for your frame. Did a doctor bring it up to you? Did you develop any health problems? Was anything else going on?

Jill Larson:          My first pregnancy, I had mild preeclampsia. In my second pregnancy, I actually developed severe preeclampsia postpartum that then needed some blood pressure meds for about 12 weeks, and thought I was going to end up. But I think that weight loss that I had postpartum actually brought me out of high blood pressure. But then my blood pressure was, again, creeping, creeping, creeping over the last probably year before I decided to lose weight. I was basically faced with blood pressure medicine or make some big changes.

Jill Larson:          My doctor is one of my colleagues at my office. So, she’s amazing. She knows that I know, I need to lose weight. So, did she ever say, “Hey, Jill, you’re morbidly obese.” No. No, she didn’t. But I knew that, and you have all your health screenings. I’m a doctor, I know what my weight is, but I just knew that I needed to do it, but wasn’t the right time for me till now.

Katrina Ubell:      Right. Exactly. You mentioned kind of deciding between gastric bypass and doing something else. What went on for you, when you were kind of going back and forth? Did you give yourself some time? Like, okay, I’m going to try this new thing for X amount of time, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll do the surgery, or what were your thoughts around that?

Jill Larson:          Yes. I had talked to my husband. We talked in December 2016. We had done a lower carb diet before and I’d had some success but kind of stalled out again, and I said, “I really want us to really commit to doing low carb. I want the whole family to do it. I want everyone 100% on board, and I want to do it for six months. And I want to see where we get. If I’m not getting anywhere or I plateau again, then I’m going to schedule a consult.” My husband was always on board. He’s an amazing supportive man, but I think having him really be like, okay, well, wow, this is a big deal.” Really helped too. Same thing with the kids. Getting the kids off the sugar and just really making a big change of the whole family was a big thing.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah. Did it did anybody kind of back that a little bit? How old are your kids?

Jill Larson:          Five and eight.

Katrina Ubell:      Okay. So, how did they respond that?

Jill Larson:          They got a little crabby about the snack cupboard not having goldfish in them. Instead, finding Trail Mix and apples and string cheese. But they’ve gotten used to it now. It’s not like they don’t ever get sugar. Kids get so much sugar everywhere else I’m like, “You don’t need to get it for me.”

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah.

Jill Larson:          Adjusted. Mh-hmm (affirmative). They’ve adjusted. Just saying.

Katrina Ubell:      People are like, what am I doing with my children? I’m like, “I’m not worried that they’re going to be sugar deficient in this day and age”.

Jill Larson:          There’s always a birthday party once a week. So, they’ve already got. But yeah, so I think that him really realizing that and us as a family making that decision really helps keep me going. And then also, at that similar time, I’ve found a Facebook group, the Women Physicians weigh in Facebook group, and actually found some comrades who were actually in the exact same place I was. My fellow Jill, who I will give a shout out to. We are known as the Doctor Jill’s. She’s lost over 100 pounds too. And so, we had some kind of accountability and as we were getting started, a lot of us on the journey too. But that was really good. Not just being me but having some other people in the same boat as physicians doing too. And then also I found your podcast around that same time. The stars just lined up and so, yeah, that started it all and the rest is history.

Katrina Ubell:      So, then you joined one of my groups in May. So, you had been going for about four or five months on your own and had lost how much? Had you lost like 20 pounds, 30 pounds on your own?

Jill Larson:          No, I’d lost about 35. I think I was right about 35. I was kind of at my point where I would usually get to and then was like, “Okay, I got to keep this going, I got to keep this going.” And had been listening to your podcast and was really, really, really into it and applying a lot of the things that really wanted that extra push. So, yeah. That’s what prompted me to do the call with you and join I think your first coaching group, right?

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah. One of my first one. So, we were together for six months. What do you think was different when you’re making that decision to join the group? Why did you think that joining a coaching group would be helpful? Compared to all the other times, there’s so many different ways to lose weight. Could have kept just doing low carb. Because you were really gung-ho ready to do it. What was your thinking around that?

Jill Larson:          I think that I was really gung-ho to realizing that it wasn’t just about the food. I think all the other times I had tried it was focused on my diet and what I was eating. What the group brought to the table that was so different was changing my thinking about the food. And me really having a realization that that’s what had to change in order for me to keep this weight off, and to continue to succeed. I knew that, the podcasts are extremely helpful, but I needed definitely more work when it came to that and more understanding of myself than what I think I could do on my own. And so, that was the big thing, I think that drove me to reach out to you.

Jill Larson:          And then just that external accountability. Again, we never treat ourselves if we have somebody else looking over our shoulder, we tend to be a little better. And I knew that that big hump for me was coming up and that if I think if I had that bit of external accountability, I think that was huge for me, too.

Katrina Ubell:      Definitely. Now, there’s one thing that we have talked about that you kind of had a realization at some point. I’m not sure if it was while we were working together or before that or after that, but you have kind of used the addiction word to describe your relationship with sugar. You kind of identify as someone who’s like a sugar addict, right?

Jill Larson:          Absolutely.

Katrina Ubell:      Or recovering, or whatever.

Jill Larson:          Sugar addict in recovery. Lifelong sugar addict. But, yeah. I definitely find that for me particularly a really sugary things like at this point, I literally can feel the high. When I eat it, I literally get tingly feel happy. Like I’m taking some drug basically.

Katrina Ubell:      Like we might as well just give you some heroine

Jill Larson:          Great. It’s obviously not to that same extent, but I can feel the reaction happening and I can feel the desire just flare right up whenever I do it. I think that was a lot of my issue that I wasn’t I wasn’t necessarily aware of. I was always looking for what am I buffering? What am I buffering? Yes, not to say I don’t buffer. Absolutely, that’s a huge part of things too. But I think a lot of times that was like, “Why do I just want it so bad? I can’t figure out anything underneath this.”

Jill Larson:          And so, I think that realizing it really is. You just want. You just want it so bad. You want that sugar so bad. That was a big realization. I think it was actually afterwards. It was actually probably maybe after Christmas, when I kind of had a Christmas exception day and then was like, “Oh my gosh, this is really bad. What’s going on?” And was doing thought downloads and thought downloads then could not come up with a reason. It was because I had eaten a bunch of cookies and candy Christmas candy stuff that really triggered for me and had to pull myself back from the … Pull the reins back.

Katrina Ubell:      Right. I think that’s so interesting because there’s somebody else in your same group who would talk a lot about all of her emotional issues that were driving her eating… say to you, like what’s behind it? What’s behind it? And you’re like, “No, I swear there’s nothing behind it.”

Jill Larson:          I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know what’s behind it. I just want the food.

Katrina Ubell:      It’s interesting right? It’s just that intense desire. It’s just this urge. It’s very much urge driven then.

Jill Larson:          Yes, very much.

Katrina Ubell:      It’s not like I feel terrible and I want to feel better about eating. It’s like, I was fine and now I have this intense urge and the urge is uncomfortable, and I would like to make.

Jill Larson:          Exactly. Yes.

Katrina Ubell:      Right.

Jill Larson:          And so much driven by hormones too. I have really, really very much realized it’s very much the PMDD. In fact, I just actually I’m trying this month because it’s been so hard, and I’ve been working on my urge, which is my red balloon in my chest that makes me feel like my heart’s beating out of my chest. But I’ve been really working on that but decided to try actually to walk the team during my day 14 to 28 my cycle to see if I can help some of these intense, intense cravings that I get that week before that just are really hard.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah. But don’t you think that knowing what the cause is, it’s not like something’s wrong with you. It’s just your brain coping with this. That already makes it easier. Not that it’s easy.

Jill Larson:          That definitely makes it easier. No. Yeah, that definitely helps. Knowing, okay, well this is just a really strong urge. It’s coming from my brain. It doesn’t have to mean anything.

Katrina Ubell:      And this happens every month.

Jill Larson:          This happens every month, and you’re going to have to Facebook or red balloon multiple times a day. It’s definitely … And then two weeks out of the month, totally fine. Like yep, I don’t need that, I’m good. It’s so crazy. But yeah, I think having that knowledge has been definitely very helpful. And working on the urges now, kind of having some tools to equip me versus just feeling this helpless, like, oh, there’s the urge again. Its back.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah. One of my friends talks about feeling like she’s like an addict sweating in the corner, detoxing. Know that’s that versus truly allowing an urge and just letting it be there as you said, and moving toward it. That feeling like you’re being like pummeled to death by this urge.

Jill Larson:          Yes, right?

Katrina Ubell:      Now there were other foods that you found throughout the course of time did not agree with you at all, mainly flour, right?

Jill Larson:          Huge. Years of irritable bowel symptoms resolved by not eating flour. Yeah. So, really, when I eat flour containing foods, it’s crazy. It’s within 15 to 30 minutes horrible bloating, cramping like a rock sitting in my stomach. Diarrhea…

Katrina Ubell:      Get it out now.

Jill Larson:          Yeah. My body’s like, bleh. This stuff’s toxic, right?

Katrina Ubell:      Right.

Jill Larson:          Yeah. To the point where I don’t even take the communion bread anymore. I literally take the race wafer that little tiny bit, I will be sick. It’s crazy. So, that’s been a great deterrent for the flour now if only I could do with the sugar.

Katrina Ubell:      But I think what’s so what’s so interesting about that is when you eat that, right? Years of irritable bowel, and we’re like, “I don’t know, it’s unknown why I have this.” But when you actually learn to listen to your body and really fine tune your experience of eating specific foods, then you just sort of figure it out on your own. You don’t need to take medication. You don’t need to deal with those symptoms. And, you can anticipate it. Do I really want to have that flour containing thing? This is what I’m trading off like. Is it worth it? I don’t know. It’s like I’ll have to decide. But at least you know. It’s not like you can’t have it, you can do whatever you want. It’s just a trade-off.

Jill Larson:          It sure is.

Katrina Ubell:      Decide if that’s where the two or not.

Jill Larson:          Yeah.

Katrina Ubell:      How did you find, because now it’s been let’s see, when we’re recording this 15 months or so, 15, 16 months you’ve been on this journey. You’ve lost 105 pounds in that time. How have you done with staying on track with your plan, kind of falling off at times, getting back on the plan again, branding yourself in, how has that process been for you?

Jill Larson:          Overall, I think it’s been good. I think premenstrual urges are probably like the hardest thing I struggled with. Been on several vacations and actually did really a pretty good job with that. Went to an all-inclusive in Mexico and I think one day when I drink too much alcohol that I said I wasn’t going to, did I eat things that weren’t what I had planned for. Otherwise, I think the planning ahead is huge for me and just giving myself permission if I want to eat something, but not the permission to go crazy. And then also having the flexibility of knowing that how my plan is and that when I get back on track, it’s going to all click back into place again. Which when you travel, I notoriously just gain weight. Just the stress of traveling, I think. I’ve never maintained. Even when I was when I was 100%, we traveled to my … I remember when I was coaching, we traveled to my sister-in-law’s house and like I stayed law’s and I stayed 100%, and I still gained like four pounds when we got back. And I was like, “What’s going on here?”

Jill Larson:          But you know within two days of me being back in my plan, that four pounds was gone, and I was right back where I started. So, I think that’s the freedom for me, is knowing that if I do slip up a little bit, if you’ll pay giving yourself the grace, thinking about why it happened, what circumstance could I do in the future to not have that happen again like not having so much alcohol or write down exactly.

Jill Larson:          Yeah, absolutely. Learning from what you … And giving yourself the grace to realize I’m human. This is a journey. I’m only 15 months in and I was obese for 22 years. It’s not going to happen,

Katrina Ubell:      Beating yourself up is never going to be the solution to that.

Jill Larson:          Not a bit.

Katrina Ubell:      Right. Now in the past, though, when you would try to lose weight, if you went off or whatever, like on vacation or something like that, would you get typically back on track again so easily?

Jill Larson:          No.

Katrina Ubell:      No.

Jill Larson:          Never. I think one, because the weight wouldn’t come off as easily as it does now with doing intermittent fasting and resetting my fat point. I think that that whole phenomenon metabolically has been huge for that happening. Really, my body knows what weight it wants to be. And it goes back to that when changes happen. Previously, when you’d gain five pounds of vacation, that five pounds was there. And then you’re like, “Oh, great. Now I got to work for two more months to get that five pounds off again that I-” I think that whole mental mindset of just saying “Oh, screw it. I’m not going to do all that work again. Not going to reinvent the wheel.” Now, when it’s like, okay, within a week, it’s back off and I’m back to normal. That’s a whole lot more positive reinforcement to get back on your plan and do what you’ve been doing.

Katrina Ubell:      I also think though, that your relationship with yourself is so much stronger than it was back then, right? Because then, you could come up with all the justifications, versus now, you’re like, “No, I’m the kind of person who doesn’t go off plan on vacation, gain some weight, and then gain more for the next month or however many months, these huge yo-yos. I’m the kind of person who gets back on track again, because when I say I’m going to do something, I do it.” That’s a huge component of this as well, right?

Jill Larson:          Yeah, absolutely.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah, definitely. Tell me what it was like to have 100 plus pounds to lose.

Jill Larson:          Honestly, when I started I never thought I would even lose 100 pounds. When we talked, I remember talking to you and saying, “I just want to not weigh 200 pounds. I want to see the scale have a one in front of it instead of the two.” which me would have been about 65 pounds at that point. And I thought that was like pie in the sky dreaming to get to that point.

Jill Larson:          Really, for me, it’s been much more of an incremental journey than seeing like, “Oh my gosh, I want to be 145 pounds. I have to lose 120 pounds.” I never really thought that way. I thought as, “I don’t want to weigh 200 pounds.” That was goal one. And then when I got to that, it was like, “Huh, okay. Well, now I don’t want to be obese. I’m going to get to 180. That’s my next goal.” Right? And then it was now it’s, “I’m going to get to a normal BMI.” And so, for me, breaking it up made that mountain of 120 pounds much more surmountable and just really taking it one chunk at a time.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah, definitely.

Jill Larson:          Then you look back and you’re like, “Holy crap, I’ve lost 105 pounds.

Katrina Ubell:      Right.

Jill Larson:          How did this happen?

Katrina Ubell:      What do you have for advice for people who have 100 or more pounds to lose who are just thinking … They know they have 100 pounds they want to lose for sure. They’re just like, I don’t even know if it’s possible when that heavy. A lot of people tell me that like, “I’m just I’m sure it’s possible for me.” What do you say to that?

Jill Larson:          Right. Well, I think if anything is possible. I think it’s finding a great motivation to do it. I think that was one of the big keys for me, is that it wasn’t just about the number, it was about getting healthier. It was about being a healthier person at age 40. It was about being a better example for my patients. So, finding something that really drives you to want to succeed versus just I want to lose 100 pounds, or I need to lose 100 pounds. And I think it really is just taking it one day at a time. Each day doing something better for yourself than what you did the day before, and not getting overwhelmed by the 100 pounds, realizing it’s going to take a lot of time, it’s a marathon. It’s a couple marathons and realizing I just going to do it for today.

Jill Larson:          I think about, compare this to when I was breastfeeding and every day being like, “I want to quit breastfeeding. This is too hard. This is too hard. I’m too tired.” And my husband telling me, “You can just do it for one more day. Just do it one more day. And then tomorrow you can reevaluate. And if what you’re doing isn’t working or is terrible, you can always quit. You can always try something else.” And so, I think by doing that, and just doing it one day at a time, one hour at a time, some days, I’m just going to not go to the break room until noon. I’m not going to go eat that doughnut on the break room until noon, right? And at that noon, I really, really need the doughnut then I’ll decide. And then at noon going, “Nope, I don’t need the doughnut. I can make it to the end of the day. Tomorrow. If there’s a doughnut tomorrow, I can get the doughnut tomorrow.

Katrina Ubell:      Right.

Jill Larson:          But really, sometimes it is, it’s like that. When you see this huge 15 months journey ahead of you, that’s super overwhelming and will make you give up, and you can’t. You just take it one little bit at a time.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah. Definitely. And breaking up a larger goal into those smaller goals really does help you, right? Because if you think like, “Oh my gosh, now the scale hasn’t moved in a week and a half and I’ve got 95 more pounds to lose. How much is losing the next life?” Let’s just do that. or even the next one. Let’s get that one done, and from there, set the next goal and break it up into these more realistic or real feeling kind of chunks step that are like, “Okay yeah, in the next month, this what I’m going to do.” And then you’re feeling so much more committed to doing what you’re doing. That’s great.

Jill Larson:          Yeah.

Katrina Ubell:      Tell me more about what your experience was like as a family medicine doctor, working in clinics, seeing patients and a having people see you losing all this weight. What has that whole experience been like?

Jill Larson:          It’s been crazy, I have to say. Especially these past few months when I have people I haven’t seen for a year now coming in. They saw me last February, maybe 15 pounds had lost at that point. And now, I’ve had some little kid patients that don’t even recognize me. I had one little four-year-old, she said, “Where’s Dr. Larson?” I was like, “I’m right here.” “You’re not Dr. Larson.” “Really, I’m D. Larson.” So, yes. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Of course, tons and tons and tons of people saying, “What are you doing? How can I do it? Help me.” It’s been such a satisfier I think for me. The response I’ve gotten from patients. Obviously, everyone loves to be told, my gosh, you look amazing, right? Who are you?

Jill Larson:          But I think the biggest thing for me has been being able to actually feel like I have something to offer that I can help people as a physician lose weight and get healthier. When they’re just like man, they have tried so many things. So much advice that we’ve been given that didn’t work. And we’ve batten our heads against the wall. And so, yeah. My new year’s resolution was I had to make a handout that had all the things that I’ve been doing, because I was getting so behind in clinic talking to all these people about what I was doing. and how they could do it too. And so, yeah, so I have a handout now, and I could give them that, give them the two-minute spiel and say, “Come back and talk with me if you want to learn more or work with me.” That’s been a really, really great thing, I think, is that I’ve had patients working with me.

Jill Larson:          I have several patients now I’ve been working with for six plus months who are doing amazing. One of my patients with… lost almost 90 pounds now.

Katrina Ubell:      Oh, my gosh.

Jill Larson:          She started last April. She had seen me, and I’d taken care of her with her pregnancies. And yeah, she’s feels amazing, and it’s really.

Katrina Ubell:      You’ve had all kinds of people, right? Who’ve been able to come off of medications and all of that. Yeah.

Jill Larson:          Yeah. It’s definitely something that now I feel really passionate about, that I have something to offer and something to help patients if they’re willing to put the … I say, “This is yours for the low low price with no flour, no sugar.” They look at me and they go, “Are you serious?” I’m like, “Yep.”

Katrina Ubell:      I’m joking but I’m not joking.

Jill Larson:          I’m joking but I’m not. Yes, so.

Katrina Ubell:      Tell me about your Press Ganey score. For people who don’t know Press Ganey scores are, Press Ganey is a company that will send out those lovely letters you get after you see your doctor that asked you to fill out a survey about how satisfied you are with your experience seeing the doctor

Jill Larson:          Yes, so my Press Ganey scores had never been bad. They were always fine. Nothing that I was getting disciplined for or anything like that. Patients were always happy to see me. But, since I started working … Really, I will say probably April. So, once I started working with Katrina and working on my thinking, and you know losing weight consistently, my Press Ganey scores they shot through the roof with changing nothing that I was doing. I always had sat down and talked to people. I had always you know given good instructions and gone over their after-visit summaries and all those things. But I think literally just my experience of being happier, changing my thinking about my job, changing my thinking about you know OB call, changing my thinking about myself, my patients experience of me was obviously the same. It’s crazy. Now I’m one of the highest in the whole organization. Go figure.

Katrina Ubell:      Is that the best? I love that. I think it is so amazing. Because we think we’re like, “No, I’m coming across in this great way, right?

Jill Larson:          Yes.

Katrina Ubell:      Even though our internal messaging, our thinking and our story that we’re telling ourselves can be so negative about ourselves. It’s coming towards, like seeping through your pores and people can… This is just such a great way to show how much of a difference it really makes when you are genuinely enjoying your experience of being at work, how the patients pick on that. Not that you are or you are miserable at all, right?

Jill Larson:          No.

Katrina Ubell:      But just they really do pick up on that, and then that improves their experience of getting quality care. Which is probably then going to be more likely that they will follow your instructions. Maybe actually do what you say these are do. All of those other things which is only going to help them. So, it’s really just this whole domino effect just from being committed to changing your thinking and changing your experience of your own life.

Jill Larson:          It’s amazing.

Katrina Ubell:      So amazing. So, now you have a few pounds left that you’re still working to lose. And so, I wanted to ask you what do you think is different between the first pounds, like the first deciding to do this, it’s a new diet plan kind of a thing, and maybe the first 20 pounds and then now these last 20 pounds?

Jill Larson:          Well, the first 20 pounds I think was all about just the giving up. The letting go of the letting go of the things that I thought I needed that I … And so, I think it was much more that than it was the mental work at that point. The last 20 pounds are definitely going to be really the mental work to say, “You really don’t need that much food. You really don’t need to overeat that last bit.'” Because like you say, when you weigh 159 pounds, you don’t need nearly as much food as you did at 275 pounds.

Katrina Ubell:      Exactly.

Jill Larson:          But sometimes your brain still wants to eat that much food.

Katrina Ubell:      It sure does, right?

Jill Larson:          Yes. And so, I think that’s really going to be my focus this last 20 pounds. I know my plan works for me. And it’s really just dialing in how much of it I can eat to get to that.

Katrina Ubell:      That’s always been with a thing with you. With some of my clients, we’ve had to change and try all these different things. And you were always quite steady. I remember messaging you and being like, “Oh, look, when you follow your plan, it works.” And you’re like, “I know.”

Jill Larson:          Right? Oh, look.

Katrina Ubell:      It’s so easy for us to be like, “Something isn’t working. What should I be changing?” It’s like, “The first thing you change is actually following your plan. Let’s do that and see what happens.”

Jill Larson:          Yeah, I was listening to the podcast on plateaus. And I was like, I don’t think I’ve ever had a true plateau. It’s always been, are you following your plan? No. Okay. Follow your plan. .

Katrina Ubell:      Follow your plan. It’s also good to know that really minimize drama. It’s like, Oh, actually, I haven’t been following my plan. And, you can’t just go, “No, but I have been.” You have to actually go back and look.

Jill Larson:          You have to analyze it. Yes.

Katrina Ubell:      And if you haven’t been journaling, then you need to start journaling for the next couple of weeks, so that you actually has.

Jill Larson:          Yap, exactly. Because then you really haven’t been following your plan if you haven’t been journaling.

Katrina Ubell:      If you haven’t even journaled that. My last question for you is, as you’re approaching maintenance, maintenance is always like the big thing. Oh, great. She’s lost 100 plus pounds, but will she be able to keep it off? So, what does maintenance mean to you? What are you kind of anticipating as you get to maintenance? What are your thoughts about that?

Jill Larson:          Maintenance for me, I think is … Yes, it’s intimidating and I’ve never been in maintenance in my life. I don’t even know what that is. But my thought is I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing, and make some small tweaks. Would I like to eat a little more fruit than I do? Yes. So, I probably will try adding in fruit maybe once a week instead of every other week or once a month. Would I like to add in maybe a little bit of sweet potato or brown rice or something? But I think for me, the way I eat now and the constraints that I have and the foods that I make, I like them all. They all taste good. My family eats all of them. I think we’ll probably continue lot of the same things that we do now. It’s not intimidating to me.

Jill Larson:          Patients always say that, “Oh my gosh. Well, what are you going to do when you get to your goal?” I said, nothing. I’m going to do the same thing that I’m doing now. That’s how I know I’m never going back to 275 pounds is because I’m totally fine with that. I can eat this way and I’m 70 and I will be totally happy. It’s very livable and it doesn’t feel constraining. It doesn’t feel like I’m depriving myself at all. When you have that mindset, I don’t think, obviously if I maintain what I’m doing and I’m losing weight, then my body’s going to reach a set point stay there. That’s my theory.

Katrina Ubell:      Right.

Jill Larson:          My mother-in-law tells me I’m going to waste a way up to 75 pounds if I do. I don’t think my body wants me to weigh 75 pounds.

Katrina Ubell:      I do want to just mention though that your body does very well on quite a low carb diet. Because some people are going to be like, “Fruit once a month, what?” There are play fruit more often and definitely more carbs and lose weight and it’s totally fine. It just, your plan happen to be what your body loves is a much more low carb diet, and it feels amazing on that. Whereas that’s not always what everybody else does. I just want to make that little point, because that’s not what everybody does by any stretch. But it’s really then finding that individual plan like that your body absolutely is just so happy when you follow it. And that’s exactly what you figured out for yourself, which is so great.

Jill Larson:          Yeah.

Katrina Ubell:      So fun, and no gastric bypass side effects.

Jill Larson:          No gastric bypass. Nope. Thank goodness.

Katrina Ubell:      Thank goodness. Exactly.

Jill Larson:          I had one patient, she’s like,” I want to see your belly. I don’t believe you that you didn’t have a gastric bypass.” I’m like, “I’m not showing you my family. I did not have gastric bypass.”

Katrina Ubell:      And there are no shakes. I’m not drinking shakes for anything.

Jill Larson:          There no shakes. There’s real food. I promise. Real food. No surgery, real food.

Katrina Ubell:      Oh, my gosh.

Jill Larson:          Yeah.

Katrina Ubell:      You know what’s good when people really don’t believe you that you didn’t do surgery?

Jill Larson:          Well, it’s one of those things like who loses 100 pounds? As a physician, I’ve never had a patient lose 100 pounds without surgical intervention of some kind or some kind of crazy radical 800-calorie that is not sustainable. So, I can see where they’re coming from. It’s just, it doesn’t typically happen. But hopefully with these great changes, we’re going to be seen a whole lot more people losing 100 pounds.

Katrina Ubell:      Definitely.

Jill Larson:          In doctor Facebook group, I think there’s several ladies there who have lost over 100 pounds doing no flour, no sugar, no snacks. It really is wonderful, wonderful way. I’m so blessed that I found this way of eating I think. Can’t say enough good things about it.

Katrina Ubell:      Good. Well Jill, thank you so much for coming on and telling everybody about your experience. The last time I had somebody, I went ahead Angie on people immediately emailed me and said, “I definitely want more podcasts like that.” I was like, “Jill, she’s my girl talk.”

Jill Larson:          I think I talked to you. Yes, I talked to you right after that. I said, “I’m going to be that next girl on this podcast losing 100 pounds. I’m going to do it.”

Katrina Ubell:      Yes, it’s going to be me, and here you are. So exciting. Well, thanks so much, Jill. This is so great. I really loved having you on.

Jill Larson:          Yes. Thank you.

Katrina Ubell:      All right.

Jill Larson:          Thank you for all you do to help us all out.

Katrina Ubell:      Oh, you’re so, so, so, welcome. All right. Take care, Jill.

Jill Larson:          Thank you.

Katrina Ubell:      Bye.

Jill Larson:          Bye bye.

Katrina Ubell:      Thanks for joining me today. If you like what you heard here, be sure to hit subscribe in your podcast app, so you never miss an episode. You can also get my Busy Doctors Quick Start Guide to Effective Weight Loss for free by visiting me over at katrinaubellmd.com.


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Showing 5 comments
  • Beth Schoeppner

    Loved this episode! I have this goal for myself. I would actually love if I could get a copy of thr handout that Dr. Jill Larson has made!

  • Lyssa

    Great episode, Dr. Jill is so inspiring. Would she share the sheet she made for her patients? I

  • elise krejci

    Hi Katrina, I love your podcasts and have gotten so much from them. I am hoping to get into your next coaching group (fingers crossed). In the meantime, I am looking for advice on getting out of a plateau. I food journal with less than 30 g carbs per day about 90% of the time (and less than 50 g 100% of the time), do 18:6 IF each day and have started some 24 hour fasting days (2 so far), absolutely no snacking, working on the thought model, read The Obesity Code, and moving every day. I lost 15 pounds in 3 weeks and now for the past 3 weeks, I have yo-yo’d around 2 pounds. Maybe I am in the processing of resetting my weight set point? I am starting to get frustrated and wondering what else I should tweak. Any ideas?

  • Kelly j Tanenholz

    Love this episode. I think it was this episode where you mentioned how you gave a patient’s mother advice- to “decide not to decide.”
    A few days after I listened to you discuss this– I gave the same advice to a struggling patient– she was struggling with a decision about moving. We have been discussing this for several years- i’m her internist (sometimes like a therapist). The advice really helped her and she decided to cancel her therapist visits since I had helped her).. I was just thinking of Katrina Ubell’s podcast, while I was talking with her.. LOL.

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