Wednesday, May 22, 2013

QA Medical Weight Loss Donates 4000 Hygiene Items to Seattle's Homeless!

There is something remarkable about watching the human spirit conquer adversity. For those living in poverty, adversity is a daily battle. In Seattle, poverty is around every corner; the streets of downtown are full of those the world has cast aside. It's easy to walk past the harsh realities of these people, unaware of the gravity of their situations. Poverty is mentally and physically crippling, and nearly impossible to climb out of without assistance.

Mark Provenzano, Barb Boni,
and Margaret Provenzano deliver
donations to Hope Place.
Our Weight Loss Program's Medical Director, Linda Gromko MD, volunteers at the Union Gospel Mission - one of many organizations that serve the urban poor.

"I volunteer serving meals at our local Union Gospel Mission about once a month. One night, I rode with UGM's Rescue Van. We delivered blankets and hot beverages to homeless folk under the freeway bridges. Women would come up to us and ask for feminine hygiene products. It was heart-breaking," said Dr. Gromko.
In the Spring of 2013, QA Medical Weight Loss launched the Spring Clean-Up Drive. Along with contributions from our neighbors in the building, we collected 4000 hygiene items for the Union Gospel Mission. Items included toothbrushes and hand sanitizer, and a remarkable array of feminine hygiene products.

The staff of Queen Anne Medical Associates, PLLC, and Queen Anne Medical Weight Loss presented the 4000 items to UGM, and took a tour of Hope Place - the Women's Shelter associated with the UGM. Said Weight Loss Program Director, Mark Provenzano,

"I felt blessed to see where all our donations were going. Hope Place is state-of-the-art, with programs for women and their children. The residents come from all walks of life. They receive care, but are also members of a community, and are responsible for the care and maintenance of the building. It's a great program."
Though our Spring Clean-Up Drive was very successful, there is always a need for additional aid for those in poverty. If you are interested in becoming involved, reach out to either Queen Anne Medical Weight Loss, Union Gospel Mission, or any other organization working to aid those less fortunate. Remember,

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."     -Ghandi

Special thanks to all the donors and supporters who made the Spring Clean-Up Drive so successful!

Remember, we're all in this together.
Mark Provenzano
Program Director

Friday, March 22, 2013

Join our Spring Clean-Up Drive!!

In an effort to give back to the community, Queen Anne Medical Weight Loss has launched a Spring Clean-Up Drive to aid the homeless of Seattle. We are collecting hygiene products that can be distributed by the Union Gospel Mission's Rescue Van or used in their other programs.

What are we looking for?

    • Soap
    • Deodorant
    • Dental Floss, Tooth Brushes, Toothpaste
    • Shaving Products
    • Tylenol/Cold medicine/Polysporin
    • First Aid Kits
    • Ace Bandages
    • Lip Balm
    • Tampons/Pads
After volunteering with the Rescue Van, our Medical Director, Dr. Gromko, reported back the serious lack of the above listed items -  especially feminine hygiene products. Said Dr. Gromko,

"I volunteer serving meals at our local Union Gospel Mission about once a month; it's a grounding experience and reminds me of the fact that I have no real problems. One night, I rode with the Mission's Rescue Van. We delivered blankets and hot beverages to homeless folk under the freeway bridges. Women would come up to us and ask for hygiene products. It struck me that our generous group could do something to help."

The individuals who will benefit from our drive live in the most grave conditions of local poverty; thus, anything helps.

Please find it in your hearts to donate to our cause. Both hygiene items and monetary donations will be accepted. Those who donate will be entered into a drawing for Starbucks gift cards to be drawn on April 1st.

Thank you for participating!

We're all in this together.
Mark Provenzano
Program Director           

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Importance of Hydration

Water is possibly the most important substance needed for the human body to function, yet it receives little credit in most people's weight loss plans. More than half of the body's weight is from water - and every cell, tissue, and organ needs water to work properly.

Loss of water:

Your body is designed to take in water as well as to expel it. Whenever we sweat, pee, or breathe, we lose water. Fear not, these are good things! When your body expels water it also expels excess waste and nutrients - cleansing your body.

Not all water loss is good. When large volumes of water are lost rapidly without replacement, we can get dehydrated. You might see this with diarrhea, vomiting, or extreme perspiration. If you feel dizzy, have less urine, dark (concentrated) urine, dry mouth, or an unexplained headache, fetch a glass of water and see if your symptoms improve. Often, water can be just what the doctor ordered.

How much water should you drink?

The rule of thumb is eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day. In reality, the amount of water you need varies from person to person. If you work out every day for 45 minutes, you should consume 15-20 ounces more water than someone who is sedentary. If you find yourself with regular dry mouth/dehydration, chances are you need to drink more water. The easiest test for hydration is checking the color or your urine: the clearer it is, the better.

Having trouble staying hydrated? Here are some helpful tips:
  • Drink 8 ounces of water for every 20 minutes of physical activity
  • Drink 10-20 ounces of water before and after every workout
  • If you can't remember how long it's been since you had your last glass of water, drink 8 oz.
  • Start tracking your water intake; you may be surprised how little you're consuming
  • Try flavoring your water with low-calorie additives like lemon, rosemary, or cucumber slices
  • Make large batches of iced tea at home. This is an excellent alternative to soda or coffee.
  • Carry a water bottle with you throughout your day.
Mark Provenzano, Program Director
Queen Anne Medical Weight Loss

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Redefining Goals for the New Year

By Mark Provenzano

Many people who have struggled with weight, including myself, have done horrible things to themselves mentally and physically just to see a lower number on the scale. We've starved ourselves to fit into specific size clothes for a special occasion and beat outselves up when we eat more than we're supposed to. This is not dieting, nor is it healthy. What if we adjusted our thought process to non-weight loss specific goals? Less fixation on "I'm going to lose X-amount this week," but rather, "I'm going to take a walk at lunch today." Or, "I'm going to eat more vegetables."

Sometimes not focusing on weight loss can actually lead to, well, weight loss. If we adjust our mindset ever so slightly it can make a difference. The Challenge: I want you to pick a non-weight loss goal this week. Don't attach a number to it. Just pick one of these healthy habits as an example to focus on:

Move Consciously Every Day

You don't have to join a gym, take up running, start Olympic lifting or sign up for a group fitness class. This goal is about making the decision to simply move your body more. The more you use your body, the more it will want to be used. Make a conscious decision daily to do something active and the results will follow.

Cook More and Eat Out Less

Setting a goal to cook more can seem overwhelming at first. There's definitely a learning curve if you are used to eating out on a regular basis, but if you start small it is possible to slowly shift to eating in.

It starts with meal planning. Find a way that works for you. Some people like to plan their meals on the weekends or even cook and have meals prepared. I personally thrive off a stocked pantry ans supplement with small trips to the store for fresh groceries. Whatever style works best for your current situation (because it will change), plan to eat out for 2 fewer meals per week.

Drink More Water 

It's what we as human beings are supposed to drink. Water should be your drink of choice, and it's 100% calorie free. The more water you drink, the less caloric drinks you will consume. Like moving your body, the more you drink water, the more your body will crave it.

Have a Vegetable
EAT MORE VEGETABLES. Just like drinking more water, the more vegetables you eat, the less diet off-setting stuff you will consume. Set a goal to have at least 2 vegetables per day. For extra credit, go to the supermarket and try a NEW vegetable that you haven't cooked before. To find new veggies I recommend going to Uwajimaya in Seattle's International District. I find wild options there all the time. As a reference, use an online recipe website you trust for cooking instructions! Remember that unadorned veggies are the options that are most nutritious!

 Go to Bed Earlier 

This is my latest goal. I'm trying to go to bed earlier at least 3 days a week. Sleep is important and most people don't get enough. Setting a sleep related goal may seem like a small step but sometimes it is those little things - like a good night's sleep, that make all the difference.

The END of Mindless Eating
As a weight los program participant, setting a goal to cut out mindless snacking is crucial. My recommended method in reaching this goal is the food journal. I write it down, type it out, some people even photograph the food. A pause helps me decide if this is something I really want to eat or an unconscious nibble I won't even enjoy.

Be Thankful for the Little Things
You are alive and finding new control over a habit that has likely been a very negative force in your life. Every day that you work closer to your goal is one step towards becoming a healthier, happier you.

Blog Post written by Mark Provenzano, Program Director
Queen Anne Medical Weight Loss

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In a Slump and Need a Kick-Start?

Sometimes life just gets in the way. Lessons we’ve learned are ignored and we slip into a slump. Our slump can take a number of forms: depression, returning to bad habits, and often, we gain weight. No matter what form your slump takes, it’s never too late to throw on the brakes and get back into the proper gear!

If you have found yourself slowly putting on weight over the last few weeks or months, we at QAMWL have some helpful pointers to break your cycle:

1.)    Weigh yourself daily. A 1-2 lb gain can often mean an increase in water weight that will go away naturally. But if you find that your weight keeps going up, make extra effort to control your intake of food. As one of our long-time successful patients says, “The best way not to put on 10 pounds is to not put on 5.”

2.)    Start tracking your calorie consumption:  There are many wonderful online calorie calculators that can help you stay engaged with your food consumption., is an excellent example. Use your average daily energy expenditure as a guide for how much you can consume. If you’d like, come in for a weigh-in on our scale for that information (for existing or former patients only).

3.)    Take a morning and evening stroll. This is a beautiful time of year. Get a few extra calories off by taking a walk through your neighborhood.

4.)    If you really feel like you are sliding down a slippery slope, you can always come in for a kick-start OPTIFAST program at QAMWL. We offer fully customizable short term programs for former patients who find themselves slipping into an old rut.

 Never be afraid to get back on the wagon. The best time to catch and fix a problem is while it is still manageable. If you need a kick-start, don’t hesitate! Take action now!
Mark Provenzano, Director; Queen Anne Medical Weight Loss

Friday, November 2, 2012

Holidays: Making Challenging Times Motivating

The holiday season is built around food and drink; there is no secret or illusion about this. The best way to combat a season dedicated to ruining your diet is to treat it no differently than the rest of the year. You need a solid plan, an organizational strategy, and an easy to follow daily routine.
Let’s start with some coping strategies:
  • Start planning early. The best way to beat the holiday season is to get the jump on it! Make a workout plan. Get recipes together that are low in calories but high in satisfaction. Plan outings with friends and family that don't focus on food.
  • Imagine the holidays as singular days instead of a whole season. The "holiday season" really includes four recognized food-related holidays; 4 days won’t set you back but 4 months will.
  • Emphasize the non-food joys of the holidays. Many people take this time to volunteer, spend time with old friends, work on special projects, read goods books, etc. Holidays are about doing things that make you happy.
After establishing a foundation of positive thinking, pull out your calendar and do the following:
  • Pick a colored pen and circle holiday parties or dates that could be potential pitfalls for your diet. Try not to have more than one a week to best ensure success.
  • In another color, circle fun activities that don't revolve around food. Try to keep your calendar in a 1:1 ratio or better with challenging diet activities.
Build a daily routine:
  1. Weigh yourself daily. Track your weight and take notice of post- holiday party weigh-ins.
  2. Start each day with a healthy breakfast. If it's not an OPTIFAST product, be sure it is low calorie and nutritionally healthy.
  3. Exercise daily. The holiday season is the most important time to stay active in the Pacific Northwest. When the weather turns, it is easy to make excuses to stay inside. Not you, though! Invest in a good rain jacket and continue walks around the neighborhood, or make the trek to the gym. The weather should never be an excuse to quit on your goals!
Mark Provenzano,
Program Director

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Removing "Can't" From Your Weight Loss Vocabulary

One of the most significant barriers to overcome in weight loss is that of the word “can’t.” “Can’t” limits our ability to trust ourselves, to meet our goals, and to redefine the person we are. The irony is that “can’t” has only the power that we allow it to have. In an effort to remove the word “can’t” from our vocabulary we must find its source and develop ways to move away from limiting our own long term success.

The big “can’t” statements:

1.)    “I can’t be a thin person, I will always be big”

2.)     “I can’t exercise. Someone my size isn’t able to”

3.)    “I can’t be on a diet forever”

How to combat these “can’t” statements:

1.)    Thin is both physical and psychological state of existence. It helps to change “thin” into a more measurable concept. If your goal is to fit into a specific pant size for example, allow “thin” to take the shape of the waste measurement for those Jeans. “Thin” is too flexible and allows for too much room to get down on ourselves. If we set tangible, measurable goals we are less likely to use “can’t”.

2.)    When we think of exercise we usually think of sweating, glistening folks in spandex doing “impressive” things at the gym. False! Exercise is NOT a matter of killing yourself or putting your body through hell!  It’s a matter of finding activities that require higher levels of energy to complete. Walking around the neighborhood at pace that causes your body to sweat is exercise.  The more active you are, the more weight you will lose so don’t set limits on what form exercise can take!

3.)    Dieting is a lifelong process no matter if you are eating horribly or perfectly. Diet means “the sustenance you put in your body”, thus you WILL diet no matter what! The word “diet” should not be your enemy. It should instead be a word to describe the control you have over your own eating habits. Say this to yourself “my diet will reflect the life that I want to live. If I want to be healthy, I will eat to reflect health.” 
Mark Provenzano, QAMWL Program Director