To our valued patients,

We wanted to correspond with our patients and notify you that we are making some positive changes in our practice to improve availability and service. We intend to expand our practice and improve patient satisfaction. You may have seen the Omaha World Herald article about our association with Think Whole Person Healthcare. We are currently working with the Think management team to improve our services with expanded staff, additions to existing staff training and expanded hours assuring timely appointment availability for new and existing patients and improved patient satisfaction.

We are making these changes in anticipation of our move to our new healthcare facility currently under construction at 72nd and Center. We will be joining other independent practices to form a larger team of 24 primary care doctors and we will open in the summer of 2015. This exciting venture will transform how healthcare is delivered in Omaha. Our mission is to create a more accessible and better service, better healthcare outcomes and ultimately lower costs. The center will be owned by the doctors themselves and led by an excellent management team, and will offer patients same-day appointments, longer opening hours, night-time coverage, shorter waiting times and access to a wider range of specialists such as pharmacists (with an in-house pharmacy), counselors, educators, nutritionists and physical therapists, all under one roof. The ability to deliver these much enhanced service levels is made possible by technology and the economies of scale of having this greater number of like-minded doctors working together in one center. Despite being a large center, it has been designed with careful detail to create a warm and comforting atmosphere filled with a friendly, highly skilled staff. We are confident you will love this change.

Our Gretna Family Health clinic will continue to operate unchanged with the same providers in its present location and is accepting new patients.

Lastly with our expanded hours and staff, we are accepting new patients - so if you know anyone needing a Primary Care provider we encourage you to refer them here. If you have further questions please contact us by phone or at your next visit.

William D. Weeks, MD
Mark W. Woodruff, MD

Developing A Healthier Relationship to Food Mark W. Woodruff, MD

How long has your weight been more a focus than you would like? Do you think about food too much? Do you feel guilty about what you eat at times? Do you negotiate with yourself about eating?

For about thirty years I’ve been doing all these things. I’ve been dieting all that time, yet last year I was 70 lbs heavier than when I started. I’ve lost 100’s of lbs over the years, but I’ve gained more. I’ve literally run thousands of miles, 35 miles a week for over 10 years, and ended up in the same place I started. Does any of this sound familiar?

But I have made progress in the journey. This is the last year I am going to diet for the rest of my life. I have learned a lot along the way, I’ve made a lot of lifestyle changes, and I am free from the food obsession I described above. My goal for this blog is to share some hard earned lessons in the hope that you can find some freedom as well.

Let me start by telling you a little of my story. I come from a family of the 60’s with the typical behavior patterns around food from that generation: we were told to clean our plates, remember all those starving children in Africa. We didn’t get desert unless we ate everything else first. We were rewarded with treats. Despite growing up in California, we ate a lot of prepared rather than fresh food. Both my parents worked so we ate fast food more often than other families. My father had a zest for life, including food, and fought his weight just like I have. He was never obese but would go up and down 20-40 lbs at a time. He was very physically active but he loved to eat. He worked too many hours and was always too busy so his dinner was consumed in less than the national average of 7 minutes(time your family or personal dinner next time; its shocking how fast most people eat). Then he would start eyeing my food, so I had to hurry and eat it before his wandering fork started helping itself to mine. Complicating all of this I had a sibling with a serious weight problem that became a major focus of our family life, and meant at times we were deprived(of sweets especially), making me want them more. When I visited my grandparents, they always had sweets for us, and I felt loved there. We always had special meals there, and my grandmothers(and one of my grandfathers) spent extra time in the kitchen making even regular meals special, and food became connected to love and caring.

As a teenager and young adult, I rewarded myself with food. My father died suddenly when I was 14, and my mother became somewhat withdrawn in her grief. I was left to comfort myself. And food was a major source of comfort. I learned how to cook. I got lessons from my grandmothers. I also had trouble with the long hours of study required for my premed and then medical education, and I would reward myself with treats: read a chapter, have a candy bar. Or get a bowl of pretzels and a soda to consume while studying. Because I was physically active this wasn’t too much of a problem, but once I entered my internship and residency, the long hours crowded out exercise, while the increased stress and sleep deprivation led to more eating, and I started putting on weight. And so the 30 year diet cycle began.

You have your own story. It may help you to write it down. Think a little about the influences that have gotten you to where you are. What behavior patterns have caused you to gain weight or kept you from losing it? Describe your relationship with food? What are your thoughts and feelings about food? Insights in this regard will be helpful going forward. Changing how you relate to food is probably as or more important to success as changing what or how much you eat. This is particularly true for keeping the weight off once you lose it. Most people have had at least some success losing weight, but almost all of them sooner or later gain it back. Lifestyle change is the key to breaking that pattern once and for all.

Below is a list of ideas you can try to start the process of changing your relationship to food. Pick one and see if you can start doing it as you begin the next chapter in your story. A story I believe is going to have a happy ending.(info pendng until 3/17/15, sorry for the delay)