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Beginning your weight loss journey

(Dr. Deb Doubek is the medical director for Manhattan's Ascension Via Christi Weight Management, a physician-managed weight-loss program.)

Everyone’s journey with weight loss begins and ends differently. The road to weight-loss is filled with physical, mental and emotional challenges. It is no wonder some find it difficult to take that first step towards improved health.

The first step makes all the difference. The acclaimed artist Vincent Van Gogh once said: “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”

Though every step of your journey with weight is important, the first step is different. It is the moment you realize that your weight matters! It matters because it has an impact on your health, and your health is precious. When you take this first step, you have already done something significant. You have recognized the impact weight can have on health. While this is different for everybody, the fact is excess weight puts strain on the body and worsens with time. Weight-loss isn’t important because of appearance or the opinions of others. It is important because it can help you overcome difficult health challenges.                              

Tips for Starting Weight-loss

  • When it comes to taking that first step, you may be thinking: What will that first step entail? Did I do it right? Truthfully, it is different for everyone. However, there are a few “first steps” you may find helpful.
  • Start the Conversation: Talk about your decision and your health goals with someone you trust – a friend, family member, healthcare professional, etc. Open the dialogue. Ask for advice, support and guidance if you feel you could use it.   
  • Set SMART goals: List goals for your health that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. These will clearly define the path you want to take and guide you correctly toward your goals.
  • Keep Multiple Logs: These may include a food log, exercise log or even a log that documents your physical and emotional changes. Logs and journals help you process your journey and record your progress. They are tools to for you to learn from.
  • Remove Distractions: Your refrigerator or pantry could be cluttered with foods that you are trying to cut back on. Perhaps a friend of yours is unsupportive, or you get lost with small changes in your routine. Find what distracts you from moving forward and then work on it.  

If you have decided to make a commitment to your weight and to your health, and to start on the road toward weight-loss, you should feel proud. You have done something important for YOU.

For more information about Ascension Via Christi Weight Management, visit:


About Debra L. Doubek MD

Debra L. Doubek, MD, is medical director of Via Christi LIGHT, a physician-supervised weight loss program in Manhattan, Kansas. She is certified in bariatrics through the American Board of Bariatric Medicine.