Meet Sean Miller

10:18 AM

For Sean Miller, what started out as a weight-loss effort has morphed into a life-changing transformation that goes far beyond the physical benefits. "I've changed my outsides and improved my health, but I feel remarkably changed on the inside too," says the GBMC COMP patient. "I've become strong-willed and motivated. I set goals and go for them without the same old struggles."
Sean with fellow COMPto5K participant Lisa
Sean had been overweight for his entire life, seemingly trying everything under the sun to shed excess pounds, but the weight always came back. At one point, he even lost 150 pounds, but like many who experience tragedy, Sean turned to food as a comfort following the traumatic death of a parent. He felt unmotivated, heavier than ever and close to giving up, but decided to pursue weight loss surgery instead. Sean felt an immediate connection with GBMC.

"I was at ease and comfortable with GBMC right away," Sean says. Due to issues with his schedule, he got the opportunity to be a patient of both Elizabeth Dovec, MD and Gustavo Bello, MD. "I've never met doctors with so much personality and compassion," he says. "They are just both so fantastic that I wish they could be my primary care doctors."

Part of what has impressed Sean so much about the doctors is their responsiveness and desire to make the weight loss program truly comprehensive. Dr. Dovec and Dr. Bello have joined patients in the weekly COMPto5K trainings on Saturday mornings.

As participants train for GBMC's annual Father’s Day 5K to benefit the NICU, they improve their health and athleticism right alongside their doctors, while forming a support community along the way. "We exercise together, progress as a group, make friends and celebrate each other's victories," Sean says. "It's a fun group. Everyone brings their families and I love the camaraderie."

"I love the camaraderie," Sean says.
In addition to improving his race time and hitting new weight and fitness goals, Sean has unexpectedly found himself becoming a role model for others. "I've had struggles and pitfalls, times when I didn't know where to turn," he says. When he reached out to other COMP patients, whether in person or on their Facebook support group, he was met with encouragement and advice. "They gave me the pushes I needed along the way, and now I'm seeing myself as a mentor in return," he says. "People look to me for inspiration and tips. I never knew I could influence others in positive ways. It's eye-opening."

As the COMPto5K group moves toward the finish line, constantly meeting and exceeding milestones, Sean is sure to encourage every person who attends the trainings. He has been known to complete the race course and then go back halfway so that others moving at a slower pace don't have to finish alone. "I know what it's like to be there," he said. "So, from the first person who crosses the finish line to the last, everyone gets a high five."

"We are folks from all walks of life."
Sean prides himself on the inclusiveness of the group, for people of all different fitness levels, whether pre-op, post-op or just thinking about the idea of surgery. "We are folks from all walks of life," he says. "No one here is judgmental. We do things to make all feel welcome. Everyone in this group matters to me."

Thinking back on all the weight he's gained and lost, and the different bumps and victories along the way, Sean says he wouldn't change a thing. At one point, he was even being considered as a contestant on the Biggest Loser, but he's glad life led him to GBMC's COMP program instead. "Hands down, if I had to do this all over again, I would choose this group, this experience," he says. "I really love the practice here and have never experienced this level of care. Everyone is just so genuine."

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