Life Saver

Medical weight-loss program brings healthy results.

At 56 years of age, Jody Musto is not so far removed from his youth that he can’t remember that time in his life when he was a healthy, 250-pound shot-putter and discus thrower on an area track team.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Jody Musto – AFTER

“I was into physical fitness back then and was always outside doing something,” Jody reveals. “My family lived about two miles from town, but instead of driving or being driven there, whenever I went into town, I always walked. That’s how active I was.”
Jody remained physically active well into his high-school years. It wasn’t until his late teens, after he took a job at a restaurant, that his activity level began to wane. It was also around that time that he began putting on weight. Lots of weight.
“Part of the problem was that once I started working in the restaurant, I stopped eating right,” Jody says. “At first, I tried dieting, and of course I tried all the fad diets, but none of them worked. Then, in 1981, I had gastric bypass surgery.”
Gastric bypass surgery is a weight-loss procedure in which the functional volume of the stomach is reduced. It’s designed to alter the way the body absorbs and digests food. In Jody’s case, those changes didn’t result in weight loss; they resulted in further weight gain.
“The surgery was experimental at the time, and the doctor who did mine more or less botched it,” Jody reveals. “It wasn’t done the right way, so I started putting on more weight. I eventually got up to five hundred and fifty pounds.”
In addition to his weight gain, Jody also developed dumping syndrome, a condition where certain foods, especially those rich in table or fruit sugar, travel through the stomach and into the small bowel too quickly, causing nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.
In time, Jody grew so heavy that several of the vertebrae in his lower back were crushed. That and severe knee pain, also caused by his weight gain, left him completely disabled and eventually forced him to give up his job as a car salesman.
It was after he lost his job and became disabled that Jody began looking for a better solution to his weight problem. He found it in 2003 in the office of Eihab H. Tawfik, MD, who is now associated with West Florida Internal Medicine & Multi-Specialty Group.

Been There, Done That

Dr. Tawfik is a board-eligible internist who, based on his own experience with excess weight, developed a weight-loss program that uses a combination of diet, exercise and proper doses of appetite suppressants and vitamin injections to control metabolism.
“During medical school and my residency, I found it very difficult to lose weight,” recalls Dr. Tawfik. “I was overweight, and once I started practicing, I realized the importance of controlling what I was eating and the size of the portions as well.
“I also realized that a patient should not come to a weight-loss center and see a doctor who is overweight himself. So, I did something about my weight because I want to be an example to all the patients I serve.”

Before image courtesy of Jody Musto.

Jody Musto – BEFORE

Dr. Tawfik’s program calls for patients to spend the first five days eating a very lean protein-based diet. That is followed by another five-day stretch in which the patient eats a higher-calorie protein diet.
“Patients typically lose up to ten pounds that first week, with an average weight loss after four weeks ranging between twenty and thirty pounds,” Dr. Tawfik says. “In addition to the weight loss, this program changes our patients’ eating habits, which supports the development of a longer, healthier life.”
Prior to placing a patient on his program, Dr. Tawfik always meets with and reviews the patient’s medical and dietary history. He measures their weight, body fat index and performs an EKG to help develop a diet tailored specifically to each patient’s needs.
In Jody’s case, Dr. Tawfik’s testing revealed the issues associated with Jody’s gastric bypass surgery. That resulted in Jody undergoing yet another gastric bypass procedure to repair the problems caused by the first.
Dr. Tawfik’s testing also revealed that Jody was pre-diabetic and part of his weight gain was due to a lack of Vitamin B12. Armed with the knowledge gained through his research,
Dr. Tawfik customized a dietary program that worked wonders for Jody.

“Comfortable” Weight

“Once I had that second surgery, the weight started to come off,” Jody reports. “Since I started seeing Dr. Tawfik, I’ve lost about three hundred pounds, and I can gladly say that I’m at a point now at about two hundred and fifty pounds where I’m comfortable with my weight.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

“Since I started seeing Dr. Tawfik, I’ve lost about three hundred pounds, and I can gladly say that I’m at a point now at about two hundred and fifty pounds where I’m comfortable with my weight.” -Jody

“I still have some other medical issues – the dumping syndrome, for example. But Dr. Tawfik does a great job of following those issues for me and making sure that everything in my diet is right so that things don’t get crazy.”
Jody has been following Dr. Tawfik’s diet program for more than a decade. During that time, Dr. Tawfik has adjusted the program to be sure Jody is receiving the right amount of the right foods and vitamins to keep him as fit and healthy as possible.
“He makes it real easy,” Jody reports. “You go in, and he tells you what you need. Another thing I really like is that he doesn’t make you feel guilty if you put on a few pounds or you aren’t exactly doing what’s right.

“Without Dr. Tawfik, I might not be alive today.” – Jody

“He has a very good way of showing you what the benefits of the program are and explaining the success you can have if you stick to it. And he does a great job of monitoring everything so that if you’re deficient in anything, he can take care of that.”
Jody visits Dr. Tawfik about once a month for check-ups, and it was during one of those check-ups several years ago that Dr. Tawfik detected something that gravely concerned him. His concern was warranted when it was learned Jody had kidney cancer.
“Without Dr. Tawfik, I might not be alive today,” Jody says. “Thanks to him, everything has worked out, and I’m living a far more comfortable and enjoyable life. He’s always there for you. It’s like, whatever you need, he’ll take care of it.
“As far as his weight-loss program goes, well, I’m living proof that it works and works well. I know a lot of other people who have tried other weight-loss programs without their doctor’s supervision, and they just don’t do as well on theirs as I do on this one.”

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