In the 12 weeks since she started a weight-loss program run by her GP, Tamara Jones has lost almost 20 kilograms.
And the more weight she loses, the more the 30-year-old Horsley mother of two is determined to lose.
‘‘I started putting on weight after having children,’’ she said.
‘‘My GP, Dr Karm Hyare, said let’s get this under control. I had blood tests that showed my thyroid was playing up. He then put me into the weight-loss clinic.
‘‘That was at the start of August and I’ve lost 19 kilograms since then. I feel better with myself. I have more energy.
‘‘I have two little ones and I want to be here for a long time. I want my kids to eat healthy and to be a healthy family all round.
‘‘The more you lose the more determined you become. It’s a long road but I’ll get there.’’
Dr Hyare, from the FMP Wollongong Clinic, is one of more than 100 GPs nationally who have joined a newly formed ‘‘GP Weight Loss Alliance’’ after concerns that people were unaware of the role their doctor could play in weight loss.
He is supportive of a national campaign to encourage people to talk to their doctors about weight loss and said his practice had been running a weight-loss clinic for three or four months.
‘‘If patients think they have an issue, think they should be losing weight, then that is something they should be bringing up with their GP,’’ Dr Hyare said.
FMP Wollongong takes a preventative and holistic approach to weight loss. The clinic has a dietitian as well as practice nurses who do educational and support work with the patients.
‘‘We are using cutting-edge stuff but doing it in a traditional doctor’s surgery,’’ Dr Hyare said.
‘‘When a new patient comes in, they get an assessment of their overall health and then rather than just reaching for tablets we are trying other things – looking at lifestyle, diet, exercise – where we can make a big difference.
‘‘By doing this, we are realising the central role a GP can play in weight management.
‘‘Rather than seeing it as a last resort, we are trying to get doctors involved earlier.’’
He said patients taking the course had lost eight to nine kilograms on average.
‘‘That makes a big difference.’’