As he watched his sister battle an aggressive form of ovarian cancer, Dr. Kevin Gendreau knew something had to change.
“I was choosing to be morbidly obese while my sister fought for her life with innumerable rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgeries,” he said. “I decided that enough was enough.”
He was diagnosed with hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, plantar fasciitis, fatty liver disease, sleep apnea, and depression.
Changing Bad Habits
As a primary care physician, Dr. Gendreau knew very well that he wasn’t setting a good example for his patients, and now he had to be in good health to help care for his sister’s young children as her prognosis turned bleak.
Around the same time Dr. Gendreau moved away to college at Boston University at the age of 17, his father was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. In order to cope with his father’s worsening health and the mounting pressures of medical school, he turned to food, and in particular, to processed carbohydrates.
“I ended up gaining the freshman 50 instead of the freshman 15,” he joked.
Chips, crackers, cookies, pasta and bread were his go-to’s.
“I used these processed foods as an anti-depressant.”
With the right dose motivation, Dr Gendreau was ready to implement change that would last a lifetime.
So, he gave up processed carbohydrates cold turkey and overhauled his diet.
“I’m a black-and-white kind of person,” he said. “It was like ripping off a Band-Aid.”
It wasn’t long before he started reaping the benefits. “Within days of starting a whole food diet, I began to feel younger and stronger. I was more energetic than ever.”
Finding The Right Motivation
Today, Dr. Gendreau tells his clients all the time, that whenever you find the right motivation to take back your health and lose weight, it makes a world of difference and it becomes easy to commit.
“Your reason just has to be profound,” he said. “For some, it’s being diagnosed with diabetes and facing daily injections of insulin for the rest of their lives. For others, it’s a family member with a health scare.”
Through his experience, he’s learned the importance of self-compassion and self-love.
“It’s impossible to be “on” all the time. There will be mistakes, cheat days, slip up’s,” said Dr. Gendreau. “Nobody is perfect.”
“The more you love yourself, the more likely you are to find success.”
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