Frankie Presslaff, Clinical Director
Frankie Presslaff, co-founder of MDweightWoRx, has an extensive background in business as well the behavior health field. He has been at the cutting edge of creating, developing as well as partnering with a wide range of organizations. He has developed programs that focus on behavior modifications, outreach education and comprehensive risk counseling. One of Frankie’s passions is child advocacy. He has been a member of numerous boards that focus on children’s issues. Frankie has volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). CASA’s are appointed by a judge to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children. He has also been a foster parent to many children over the years. In his free time he enjoys relaxing at his family’s lake house with his better half Kelly and their eight children.
Frankie’s Journey… For years I struggled with my weight, yo-yoing up and down. Like many people I tried almost all the fad diets and national weight loss programs. I hadsuccesses with a few, however, I would always gain back the weight and usually with an additional 10 to 15 pounds.
I have always been a high-energy person. People describe me as a type A personality. I am the guy who takes charge and gets things done. Never sitting still. One would think a person like myself would not have a weight issue, however, at my biggest I weighed 320 pounds. It is frustrating and life is sometimes not fair. I have always tried to eat healthy by limiting sweets, ice cream and I stayed away from “junk foods” and I love fruit and vegetables but I still struggled with my weight. I am what you call an emotional eater. I eat when I am happy and I eat when I am sad.
As one can image with a large family like mine, eight kids total, there is always the opportunity for one type of stress or another, not to mention all the celebrations, family gatherings, and huge holiday meals. In addition, I lead a very active social calendar, dining out with friends and parties and many other activities that all focus around food.
Several years ago my sister was diagnosed with stage four-breast cancer at the age of 36. My job was to hold it together because this is what I do. The doctor gave her six-months to live, however, they underestimated my sister’s determination. She fought on for almost six years. As a family we fought alongside of her and I felt the need to hold in my emotions and stay strong for her and my family. The way I dealt with my pain was to eat and add fuel to the fire during my sister’s illness. The stress and the pain of losing my sister to cancer became too much for my mother. Her heart became weak and she lost the desire to live and died less than a year and half from my sisters passing. I turned again to the only thing that was consistent for me and that was food.
I reach a point that I felt unhealthy. It was becoming more difficult for me to get around. Walking up stairs and playing with my kids became much more of a chore. I realized it was time for me to do something about my weight and it was time to take charge of my health or it would be a good possibility I would not be around to take care of the people I loved most.
With my family history of heart disease I knew I was limiting my time on earth and it was time to stop making excuses. Such as “I’m heavy because I’m big boned,” “I’m to busy” and “I’ll start tomorrow”. I had a huge list of excuses but most of the time I would just ignore my weight by not looking in the mirror or shopping for new clothes. I put everyone’s needs before my own and lived, I thought, happily in denial. But as much as I tried not to I would catch a glance of myself in the reflection of a window or someone would post a photo of me on Facebook or I had to go shopping for clothes and when this happened I was not able to ignore my weight.
Dr. Andry has been my family physician for many years and has helped me with managing my weight. I knew what I needed to do but this time around I wanted to do it for good and I wanted to make a real difference. I wanted to change not only my weight but also change my relationship to food. Long story short I have been successful and I have lost a large amount of weight thanks to Dr. Andry’s philosophy and matter of fact attitude towards weight issues. Dr. Andry’s approach during my own journey was refreshing. He looks at the person. He believes that each of us are unique and we bring are own experiences to this part of the journey. Dr. Andry incorporates the individual into the program not making one feel bad if they have a slip or was not able to stay on program. His approach would be “ok, things happens, all we can do is live in the now and not worry about the past.”
The attitude of “that was then and this is now” approach took a huge emotional weight off my shoulders and it made it easy to walk in the center’s door no matter how good or bad your week was.
Weight management has become my passion; helping others struggling with weight issues because I have been there and understand the difficulties and challenges.
Because of my own struggles and successes with weight Dr. Andry asked if I would be willing to partner with him to help develop and manage MDWeightWoRx. My own journey took me from patient to the Clinic Director.
If you are struggling with your own weight issues I challenge you to make that phone call.