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Tag Archives: exercise

Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for Me?

Posted on March 12, 2018 by


As you have read, weight loss surgery is a decision that requires research (like you are doing here), a risk/benefit comparison, an evaluation by an experienced bariatric surgeon and soul searching on your part to make sure you are committed to long term changes.  These changes can drastically improve your health, your ability to live your life to the fullest and potentially extend your lifespan.  This may seem overwhelming but the important thing for you to know is that you are not alone.

There is a delay with regards to documented statistics, but here are the clear trends:

  • About 15 million adults in the U.S. have morbid obesity which is associated with more than 30 other diseases and conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, hypertension, asthma, cancer, joint problems and infertility.  The direct and indirect costs to the health care system associated with obesity are about $117 billion annually.5
  • In the United States, the number of people who qualify for weight loss surgery is increasing as the incidence of obesity and morbid obesity is on the rise.
  • In the United States, the number of weight loss procedures performed each year continues to rise with an estimated 177,600 procedures performed in 2006 (an increase from about 16,000 in the early 1990’s).5 In 2008 the number of weight loss procedures was up to 220,000 and remained there in 2009.  Numbers for subsequent years have not been published as of this publication.


Telling you that you are not alone and sharing these sobering statistics doesn’t solve the problem for you or the general population.  There has to be a need (and clearly there is a need), there has to be a want (which usually results from the pain endured as a result of being obese or morbidly obese) a viable solution (in this case, surgical weight loss with an experienced bariatric surgeon who is passionate not just about surgery but your long term success).  Sounds like a recipe for success but there is an ingredient that is missing.  You can have a need and a want and a viable solution but if you don’t have the commitment and motivation to follow through and create lasting change for yourself, you may never experience the optimal success you deserve.

If you decide that you have the want, the need and the commitment, you are a great candidate for weight loss surgery.  Now you just need to explore the rest of the questions in this book and get started on your path to success.

View our free Weight Loss Surgery webinar now and then click to schedule your conversation with Cat Williamson, our Surgical Coordinator.

Best of CoVa Contest!

Posted on January 21, 2018 by

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We have to admit it.  We know we have the very best patients around!  We drive to work with smiles on our faces. looking forward to helping our patients improve their health by losing weight.  Your success makes us happy!

If you’d like to let others know about Dr. Clark’s Center for Weight Loss Success, please take a minute and VOTE FOR US in Coastal Virginia Magazine’s Best of Readers’ Choice Awards for 2018!

You will find us under HEALTH and BEAUTY in THREE categories

  • Best Gym/Wellness Center
  • Best Specialty Fitness
  • Best Weight Loss Center

You can also nominate/vote for us in SHOPPING

  • Specialty Foods

You can vote ONCE each DAY through Friday, March 30, 2018

Share the Love!

Walk Your Way Healthy

Posted on October 16, 2017 by

So often people want to exercise, but they don’t know where to start. Walking is a great place to start. Walking is typically easy on the joints, can be done anywhere, and all you need is a comfy pair of shoes.

HOW TO GET 10,000 STEPS A DAYfeet on sidewalk
Everyone knows movement is good for the body. The hardest part is often finding the time, especially if you have an office job. However, 9-5 is a long time to be sitting at a desk. But don’t worry, anything is possible with a little bit of change.

Walking is the best way to start adding movement into your day. Walking is typically easy on the joints, can be added in small time frames, and needs no fancy equipment.

If you have the option, I highly recommend an activity tracker. While pedometers and activity trackers are in no way a necessity, seeing your steps add up can motivate and inspire you to keep moving. Seeing your steps also adds accountability. You may think you are getting an adequate amount of movement, but having a concrete number to track will help you ensure you are hitting your goals.

If you are new to walking try to hit 10,000 steps a day at first. That may seem daunting, but think of reaching 10,000 steps in smaller goals. Set a small goal to hit 250 steps/hour or 100 steps/30 minutes throughout the day. Newer activity trackers can often be set to alert you at different times of the day or a well-placed post-it note can sometimes be all it takes to keep your mind focused on your goal. Also start to recognize what activities equal 100 steps. You’ll be more motivated to continue changing your habits if you can see a concrete benefit that results.

If you are at a desk for the majority of the day there are great ways to sneak in steps throughout your day:

1. First, stepping side-to-side does count! Stand and pace as you read your emails in the morning. Are you brainstorming with colleagues? Don’t be afraid to stand and move as you think. The fun thing about counting steps is every step counts! Even if you’re not walking anywhere.

2. Park in the back of the parking lot. This advice is nothing new. But it still stands as good advice. I bet walking into work in the morning from the last spot in the lot can easily get you 100 steps.

3. Do you take an elevator? Change to taking the stairs. If you are new to stairs don’t feel like you have to conquer them all at once. Simply walk one flight up and then take the elevator the rest of the way. Add in the extra flights as you get stronger. Fitness success is about making a lot of little changes over a long period of time. It’s not about making a lot of changes all at once.

4. Rather than emailing or calling a coworker, walk over to their cubicle.

5. Walk the longest path to the bathroom, printer, scanner, fax, kitchen, water cooler, etc.

6. Take a short walk during your lunch break. Instead of spending your time driving to and from a restaurant, pack your lunch and then squeeze in a short walk with the time you saved.

7. Dress for success! Keep a change of shoes, socks, undershirt, etc. in your car during warmer weather for your longer lunchtime walks. In the winter, keep mittens, hat, and a scarf handy.

8. If it’s still too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer you can head to your nearest mall. Walking end to end one time is sure to add up!

9. Be the one who walks the dog, gets the mail, takes out the trash, and picks up the house before bed

10. Make time with your family count. Take a walk after dinner. Start playing Pokemon Go with your kids. Dance in the kitchen as you cook. Start a new hobby like bird watching, golfing, or hiking. Free time is when you’ll really rack up the steps.

Once you start tracking your steps you’ll be motivated to squeeze in more steps and set new goals. More importantly, you;ll be finding more ways to live a happy and long life. Steps don’t just result in better physical health. Walking will give you more opportunities to de-stress and clear your mind. Innovative ways of hitting your step goals will create new hobbies and create family memories. The more you get moving the more life you’ll have in each step.


Join the CFWLS Steps for Success and add your daily steps to our group walks!  It’s easy – just log into World Walking and join the group.  It’s fun and a great way to stay inspired.

If you would like more advice on reaching 10,000 steps a day contact a CFWLS personal trainer or lifestyle coach today.

Spring Teller croppedContributed by Spring Teller, CPT, Group Instructor

The Best Weigh In Routine

Posted on September 25, 2017 by

Dr C with tie croppedShould you weigh yourself routinely or not? You’ll see things all over the map like “You should never weigh yourself” or “You should just go with how you feel” or “If you feel good, you’re good.”  There are a lot of questions out there and I’m going to give you my thought on that whole issue about weighing.  Weighing is the best monitor we have as far as keeping track of your weight and overall health.

Weighing is a good way to look at health because when our weight is stable, we tend to be in stable health. When our weight is changing very quickly one way or the other, potentially there can be changes in health. In a weight loss program we’re obviously trying to lose weight.  So, subsequently then we want to keep track of these things.

Should your weigh in routine be once a week, twice a week, should we step on the scale whenever?? I encourage people to weigh themselves daily and you should weigh yourselves early in the morning.  If you forget to weigh yourself early in the morning, don’t bother.  Wait until the next day. It should be routine weighing.  Why do I say that? Many of the patients I see are very sensitive to carbohydrates.  As we’ve talked about many times in the past, carbohydrates influence insulin level. Insulin is one of the hormones that makes you retain water. It also makes you store fat. If insulin levels go up, you store fat, but the first thing you do is retain water. Subsequently, weight jumps up. So, it’s actually a good monitor to weigh yourself.  Many of our patients are sensitive to carbohydrates and even a little carbohydrate causes a significant weight increase.

If your weigh in routine is daily, it’s relatively easy to look back on the past 24 hours and see what you did differently. Where did you stray?  What happened over the last 24 hours? If your weigh in routine is once a week, it’s hard to look back at a whole week period of time and see what happened differently.  It seems like we’re doing the same things week-to-week. But day-to-day it’s much easier to monitor your weight and notice little changes. And, little changes will matter. If you’re sensitive to carbohydrates, one bad day can cause your weight to jump up significantly. If you wait a week to find that out, you’ll never really know what happened. This goes along with the journaling discussion we’ve had as well. So, write things down and weigh yourself routinely.

I typically like people to weigh themselves in the morning.  Early in the morning is your most accurate weight. As we progress throughout the day, we typically will retain some fluid and weight will go up.  Make it a part of the morning routine.  Get up, weigh yourself, and get on with your day. If you’re someone who is going to obsess about the numbers, understand that the weight does fluctuate day-to-day even when you’re doing all the right things.  Don’t obsess about that number.  What I encourage people to do is to look at what’s happened on average over the past 7 days. But don’t obsess about the numbers because there are lots of reasons to have fluid shifts and fluctuations up and down, and it may not be something you ate the previous day.  It could be that you’re close to your cycle (women).  It could be blood pressure or salt issues. There are lots of little things that will play into that. The biggest thing tends to be the carbohydrate sensitivity. Overall, I recommend you weigh yourself daily early in the morning.  If you forget, wait until the next morning.

Don’t forget to post your weight losses on the Home Page of the website!

The Problems I Faced – Big and Small – Weight Loss Surgery Helped Them All

Posted on July 31, 2017 by

Allen Fabijan 4Meet Allen Fabijan – you may already know him as ‘Some Guy Named Allen’ from US106.1. What you may not know, is Allen chose weight loss surgery as a tool to help him improve his health and quality of life.

Allen has recently completed Weight Management University for Weight Loss Surgery™ here at Dr. Clark’s Center for Weight Loss Success.  He has lost over 130 pounds since he began his journey to lose weight and improve his health. Join him as he shares his struggles and successes along the way!

“I’m radio personality.  I’m out and about all the time. I have to be confidant. I have to exude confidence. I think that the hard part for me was that I was faking it all the time. I was worried about my weight so I would make a joke to deflect.”

“Unfortunately, I’m thin now so I lost all of my fat guy jokes. But I’ll come up with new ones! The confidence that I needed with my job, career, family, and friends was really being impacted by my weight. I was internalizing that and it leads to all kinds of problems. Insecurity is a miserable thing.  I don’t think anyone who is out there dealing with weight issues isn’t insecure on some level somewhere, some time. I don’t think people realize that how the guilt and burden of weight you carry isn’t just on your body. It’s hundreds of pounds on your soul. I don’t know how else to really say that. It’s not just the physical weight that you carry. It’s the weight of shame, guilt, insecurity, that drives from being overweight.”

To learn how weight loss surgery could change your life, watch our free webclass at:

I Finally Said ‘Enough is Enough’! Weight Loss Surgery is My Solution

Posted on July 24, 2017 by

Allen Fabijan 3Meet Allen Fabijan – you may already know him as ‘Some Guy Named Allen’ from US106.1. What you may not know, is Allen chose weight loss surgery as a tool to help him improve his health and quality of life.

Allen has recently completed Weight Management University for Weight Loss Surgery™ here at Dr. Clark’s Center for Weight Loss Success.  He has lost over 130 pounds since he began his journey to lose weight and improve his health. Join him as he shares his struggles and successes along the way!

“I honestly can say it wasn’t one thing that pushed me over.  It was the culmination of everything.  But there is one thing. I woke up in the middle of the night and I thought “what am I waiting for?!” Am I waiting for the heart attack?  Am I waiting for the diabetes? Am I waiting for my kids to have another intervention with me about putting the hamburger down Dad and taking a walk? What am I waiting for?  It made no sense. I saw a pattern of ‘I’ll do THIS after I do THIS’ or ‘when I hit THIS age’, etc…. I recently turned 40 and what was I waiting for?”

“Now that I’m 40 I’m at one of the lowest weights I’ve ever been in my life and what did I wait for? Now the biggest question is why did I wait so long to take this step?”

To learn how weight loss surgery could change your life, watch our free webclass at:

Weight Maintenance Strategies

Posted on August 29, 2016 by

“It’s ironic that we foinspiredcus on weight loss, when the longest phase of your journey is maintenance!”  

Your road to weight loss was challenging and required tremendous discipline.  Now, you’ve reached the Maintenance Phase.  This phase is a bit different than weight loss and requires some different skills. Here are a few weight maintenance strategies to help keep that weight off for good!

The 6 Keys to Long-Term Weight Control:


*Think PROTEIN first because it’s satisfying and harder to digest. Protein also increases the release of hormones that promote weight loss:  growth hormone (helps to preserve lean body mass and keep metabolism up) and glucagon (tells the body to mobilize fat).

*Follow a structured pattern of eating:  Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper with small snacks in between.

*Don’t swear off dessert entirely.  Use the 3-bite rule.

*Avoid banking calories:  It’s ineffective to starve all day so you indulge at your favorite restaurant for supper.  This is a recipe for disaster because going hungry for several hours sets you up for a pig-out.

*The Scale:  Weight yourself twice a week.

*Go back to basics:  If you’ve put on weight, try doing a mini jump start (Weight & Inches shakes).

*Remember the CONCEPT of eating:  “How little can I eat and still be satisfied?”


*We can’t survive without water and should be drinking throughout the day.  Surgical patients, however, shouldn’t drink and eat simultaneously. Staying hydrated with water can prevent mindless snacking/overeating. Carbohydrates and calories in alcoholic drinks add up quickly. Drink in moderation.


*Everyone should take pharmaceutical grade vitamins, especially if you’re restricting your calories.

*1st Tier Vitamins:  Multivitamin and Essential Fatty Acid (EFA’s.)

2nd Tier Vitamins:  B-Complex, magnesium, and Vit. D (about half the population is deficient).


*The most successful patients who have lost weight and maintained get 7 or more hours a sleep every night.

*Sleep is needed to recover from the day.

*Cortisol levels will remain elevated from sleep deprivation and make weight loss even more difficult.


*Exercise becomes even more essential during the maintenance phase of weight loss.

*It helps you preserve lean body mass and keep metabolism up (especially resistance training).

* Concentrate your workouts:  quality is more important than quantity.  Even 15 minutes of out-of-your-comfort-zone exercising can help maintain your fitness level.

*Pick activities you enjoy:  If dancing to Latin music in a zumba class sounds nightmarish, choose another format like Boot Camp or a High Intensity Interval class (HITT).  If you’re an avid outdoors person, find good running/walking trails, go hiking, or biking.


*Make a conscious decision every morning to stay on track and focus on staying healthy.

*Surround yourself with supportive people.

*Reward Yourself:  It’s fun to set personal goals and reward yourself along the way. But, it’s too risky to reward yourself with food.  For every 3 months of weight maintenance, you could go to the movies, buy a new outfit, or take a little vacation.

Weight maintenance is often more challenging than weight loss.  Ultimately, no one can do this but you.  We will help you and support you, but we can’t do the work for you.  If you’re continuing to struggle, call and set an appointment with one of the CFWLS counselors to get back on track.

Boot Camp – A Workout for All Ages and Stages

Posted on February 01, 2016 by

BOOT CAMP BASICSI’ve been a fitness instructor for 27 years. I teach 12 classes a week, 8 different formats, to clients of all ages and fitness levels. Class participants often ask about my favorite class format. I always hesitate because I enjoy all my classes, but my secret favorite is BOOT CAMP! Just the name sounds intimidating to most people. This class is a combo of cardio and strength training and torches fat and calories. But is it really for EVERYONE?

Many people tell me they will come to boot camp once they got in better shape! That seems oxymoronic since fitness classes are meant to get people in shape. The mind set is that the class is so challenging that it can’t be attempted until a certain fitness level is achieved first. Well, I’m going to debunk that myth. First of all, we all have to start somewhere with our fitness level. You challenge yourself and do what you’re able. I don’t expect perfection in my classes. What I expect is effort.

Everyone needs to step out of their comfort zone and attempt the challenges. If it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you. Safety is number one and it’s perfectly acceptable to modify any of the moves. I have a variety of participants from beginners to triathletes in my class.

Boot camp is a great workout because:
1. Burns a lot of calories and promotes weight loss.
2. It’s diverse, yet intense.
3. Most of the workout is timed so you can go at your own pace.
4. All the moves can easily be modified.
5. There’s no choreography. It’s straight-forward, challenging but easy- to-follow moves.
6. Variety—it’s hard to get bored in this class! Different types of equipment are used: balls, Bosu’s, steps, gliders, and more.
7. Built in rest periods.
8. East to check your progress from week-to-week.
9. Comprehensive—you get everything you need in one workout and it’s highly effective in burning calories and fat. It incorporates strength training, cardio, speed, agility, power, flexibility, and more!
10. It doesn’t require much coordination.

The following people may NOT be good candidates for this class:
1. People with hypostatic hypertension or veritigo.
2. People with serious orthopedic problems—knee or back issues.
3. Pregnant women.

Examples of Modifications:
1. Wall push-ups in place of regular pushups (or on the knees).
2. Wall squats in place of standard squats (lower down as far as you can).
3. Stepping up and down on the step in place of jumping.
4. Floor touches instead of Burpees (or extending one leg at a time).

Boot camp classes should be designed to accommodate and challenge all fitness levels. It’s important to trust and enjoy your instructor. Shelly Thomas teaches Boot Camp every Saturday at 8:30 here at CFWLS. The members are thoroughly enjoying the class along with Shelly’s fun personality and expertise. Come join the fun every Saturday. It will be the perfect start to you day!

Arlyne Spalla-Benson, LWMC, CPT

***Watch for word on our Self-Defense Boot Camp course coming up soon!  This will be a 4-week course taught by Shelly Ann Thomas – beginning March 16th!  Sign up in the Nutrition Store or call us at 757-873-1880.  Price for WLF & WMU Members is $20 – Non-Members are welcome too for just $40!***

Summer is (un)Officially Over – It’s Time to get Back on Track!

Posted on September 14, 2015 by

The kids are settled back in school, summer cruises with all-you-can-eat buffets are a not-so-distant memory, garden cucumbers and peppers have ceased production, and cooler weather is on the way. Personally, I couldn’t be happier that summer has passed ( along with the mosquitos) and Autumn is around the corner. Fall is a breathtaking time a year, full of brilliant colors. It’s a perfect time to take long, purposeful walks.

“One’s greatest challenge is to control oneself.” (Kazi Shams).

How far off track did YOU get over the summer? It’s time to get back on that wellness track: healthy eating, consistent exercise, and regular sleep patterns. Getting back to a healthy routine will be especially beneficial when faced with the temptations of the upcoming holidays.

CFWLS mobile appThe first step is to get on the scale and assess the damages. Weigh at least once a week to avoid surprises. Body fat and lean body mass are critical percentages to track. The higher lean body mass is, the faster your metabolism is, which leads to weight loss. Be sure to enter your weights into your CFWLS Mobile app each time!

Back to Journaling! Be aware of how many calories you’re consuming. Along with calories, carefully track Carbohydrates and Protein. Surgical patients should keep carbs at 50 grams and medical patients should consume about 50-60. Your CFWLS Mobile app can take care of that too!

CFWLS Weight and Inches Chocolate Protein ShakeOur Weight & Inches shakes are a tasty and effective means of losing the unwanted inches from summer. Filled with vitamins and minerals, 29 grams Protein, and only 200 calories, they make a perfect meal replacement.

Plan ahead by preparing meals the day before. Prepare enough supper to provide leftovers for lunch the next day. Bringing a packed lunch to work will avoid temptations such as fast food or co-workers’ birthday cupcakes. Fill up on protein which will keep you satisfied longer than carbohydrates (which break down more rapidly in your system).

Don’t forget to take your Vitamins for a strong immune system, increased energy, synthesis of hormones and more! Our Lipo-B injections can help give you energy and burn fat. We’re offering a great deal this month. Only $70 for 4 injections (Call 757.873.1880 to purchase)!

walking_feetExercise not only changes your body, it changes your mind, your attitude, and your mood.  Walking up and down hills at Busch Gardens on the 4th of July, and floating around the Hubba Hubba Highway at Water Country on Labor Day burned some calories, but it’s essential to incorporate movement into EVERY day. 10,000 steps, or 5 miles, a day is an attainable goal. Exercise will increase lean body mass, making weight loss easier. Even 15 minutes a day will make a positive difference.

Sleep deficiency is linked to numerous, chronic health maladies. It can lead to obesity due to increases of blood sugar. Proper sleep fosters creativity, memory, and proper growth and development. Cooler temperatures are more conducive to a good night’s sleep.

Watermelon is a refreshing and popular summer fruit. 92% of watermelon is water, which makes it a good choice to aid in hydration. However WATER is the best option to stay hydrated. Other drinks or fruits can add unwanted calories, carbs, and sugar. The average person should consume 64 ounces of water a day.

“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” (Winston Churchill).

Success should be a habit, not a goal. Make it a habit to eat right, exercise, and sleep well. It’s time to get back on track and put the summer behind you.

Change It Up When You Hit A Weight Loss Plateau

Posted on September 14, 2015 by

changeSuccess is a great thing but it is a rare person who doesn’t experience a plateau somewhere along the way.  You likely know how frustrating that can be!  Plateaus can kill your motivation, so the first thing you need to do is to take your focus off the scale. Your body is highly adaptive and goes through periods of adjustment. This would be a good time to concentrate on your behaviors and use alternative ways to measure your progress (i.e. your measurements or how your clothes are fitting).  If you hang in there, you will find that your inches will continue to shrink in spite of your weight staying stubbornly at the same number.  Just remember the word CHANGE.  You will need to “change it up” to work through your plateau.

With regards to what you are eating, below are a few quick “change” tips for continued success:

  • Change the frequency of your meals.  If you are currently eating 3 meals a day, save some of those calories for snacks in between meals and give your metabolic rate a boost.
  • Try to change what you are eating.  If you are having a carbohydrate snack mid-afternoon, try replacing it with a protein one and try moving your foods around and introducing new ones.
  • Surprise your body with calorie cycling.  While maintaining the same weekly calorie intake, vary it from day to day.  For example, if your daily intake is 1500 calories, try having 1200 one day and 1800 the next.

Combine these eating tips with the right attitude and fitness “change”, you will be happy as the scale soon reflects your efforts.