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Biggest Losers: Gig Harbor Physician, Wife Shed 200 Pounds Together

Local couple, Francis and Margaret Mercado, lost nearly 200 pounds since they decided to make food choice and lifestyle changes.

With 2013 just around the corner, it’s time to think about our New Year resolutions again.

If you want to lose weight but don’t think it’s possible, think again.  

Gig Harbor physician Francis Mercado, MD, and his wife, Port Orchard physician Margaret Mercado, MD, have gone from talking the talk to walking the walk. Together, the Franciscan Medical Group doctors have lost nearly 200 pounds since they decided to make food choice and lifestyle changes.

Now they feel better, have more energy, and are an inspiration to their patients.

“Some of my patients don’t even recognize me anymore,” said Margaret Mercado, a family medicine physician at Franciscan Medical Clinic in Port Orchard. She has lost more than 75 pounds. “I definitely feel like I can be a good example for my patients who’ve struggled with their weight. I can tell them ‘This is doable. You can do this.’ ”

Her husband, Francis Mercado, an internal medicine physician at Franciscan Medical Clinic in Gig Harbor, said his weight had gotten so high that he couldn’t believe his eyes — he actually thought the scale was broken. He has since lost more than 100 pounds and has never felt better.

Their journey to a healthier lifestyle began in the spring of 2011 when they decided “it was time for us to do something about it,” he said. They embraced a team approach to losing weight and adopting healthy habits. In fact, they decided to see who could lose more weight.

“The competition was very motivating and fulfilled that competitive spirit in both of us,” he said.

The couple overhauled their diet. They now eat fruits and vegetables with almost every meal and closely watch their calorie intake. Also, they have switched from frying to grilling, baking or broiling. They also make exercise a regular part of their weekly routines by working out at home and at a gym. In their free time, they exercise together instead of dining out or watching TV.

Both physicians report a noticeable difference in their health and abilities. She no longer experiences knee and back pain when walking upstairs. When chasing after their children, who are ages 2 and 4, she doesn’t get short of breath anymore. Her husband added, “It gave us the satisfaction of knowing anything is possible.”

Being overweight increases an individual’s risk for high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and other health problems. Most people could probably try a new diet safely on their own, said Jeffrey Harrison, DO, a family medicine physician at the Franciscan Medical Clinic at Point Fosdick in Gig Harbor. However, people living with medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension should discuss the plans with their doctors, he added.

“The more strict or extreme the diet, the more reason to consult your physician,” Dr. Harrison said. Regarding a new exercise routine, he encourages people to talk with their doctors first, especially if a person hasn’t had a checkup in a while and isn’t used to exercising. He also suggests starting slow and being aware of any physical limitations. “It’s always better to adopt a lifestyle change that can be maintained,” he explained.

What’s your new year’s resolution? Tell us in the comments below.

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