Hello! I am Caroline Rowe, and I can’t tell you how honored I am to join Dr. Lange’s team at New You! For a little background on me, I am a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner and a certified diabetes educator (CDCES) with twelve years of experience researching and treating obesity and related medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. My role in Dr. Lange’s practice will be to provide non-surgical weight management care, which may include prescription medications, lifestyle counseling, and educational and community activities (we are going to have some fun!). In addition to seeing patients in the clinic, I will also be contributing regularly to this blog (so check back often!).
I have a unique and personal approach to my weight management practice. That’s because I not only have experience in treating obesity, but I also have my own personal experience of living with obesity. I can very closely identify with anyone who’s had a lifelong battle with weight. My battle started around age 5, and by 2017, I was at my highest weight of nearly 450 pounds. Carrying around that much extra weight had created MAJOR professional, personal, and social barriers in my life. Even though I had struggled since childhood, I myself had never really asked anyone else for help. So, when I finally did ask my doctor for help, it was a triggering event in my life, and that trigger had a lot of power for me. I have witnessed the same power of reaching out for help in the patients I have treated.
I know personally how hard it is to blame yourself for your obesity but then try to overcome your guilt and low self-esteem to ask others for help. I know what it’s like to not get the medical care you need because of weight, either from medical avoidance, physical barriers, or from the provider responding to every condition or complaint by advising weight loss yet offering no treatment options. I know firsthand what it feels like to struggle with basic movement every day yet being called “lazy” by others. Carrying an extra 200 to 300 extra pounds while being a busy single mom and a practicing nurse practitioner is NOT what I would call “lazy.” I also know what it’s like to be held back from activities like travel, exercise, and other events where the size of the seating and the distance from the parking lot were a limiting factor. I know about feeling guilty about holding your family and yourself back, setting an unhealthy example, or causing them to worry because of your extra weight.
Pardon the pun, but the disease of obesity is heavy in so many ways. There are many, many people who have struggled with these same feelings and experiences. The stigma of obesity can be more damaging to the mind, heart, and soul than the risk of obesity is to the body. If you come to me for help, you will not only get my clinical focus, but also you will be treated with openness and respect and without judgement, as an individual with unique needs, with encouragement and motivation, as well as accountability and with goal-oriented protocols. These are values that I hold very dear, and I am proud to be part of a practice that upholds and strives for these values as well. I know that truly healing obesity means not only reducing weight but also creating a healthy and nurturing lifestyle that supports a healthy weight. Reducing weight is only the first step, and the journey to health is a long-term project that will require some time, patience, and a lot of support. If you’ve read this far, maybe you can identify personally with some of these same feelings and experiences and could use some of that support. I hope you will give me an opportunity to help you, and we can continue to heal obesity together.
About Caroline Rowe:
Caroline’s career experience includes over 20 years of clinical research and nursing education. She holds an MSN degree, is an ANCC Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, as well as a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES). Caroline is passionate about helping people achieve their health goals through our non-surgical Medically Supervised Weight Loss program. Her ability to connect with all kinds of people is her key strength. Surprisingly, she is an introvert by nature – a superpower that enhances her ability to form deep relationships with patients.