Married Physicians Set Heartwarming Example of Weight Loss

Married couple and Franciscan Medical Group physicians, Margaret Mercado, MD, and Francis Mercado, MD, have gone from talking the talk to walking the walk.

The Mercados have lost close to 200 pounds together since they decided to make food choice and lifestyle changes. Now they feel better, have more energy and are an inspiration to their patients.

“Some of my patients don’t even recognize me anymore,” said Margaret Mercado, MD, a family medicine physician at Franciscan Medical Clinic in Port Orchard. She lost more than 75 pounds. “I definitely feel like I can be a good example for my patients who’ve struggled with their weight. I can tell them ‘This is doable. You can do this.’

Her husband, Francis Mercado, MD, an internal medicine physician at Franciscan Medical Clinic in Gig Harbor, said his weight had gotten so high that he couldn’t believe his eyes — he thought the scale was broken. He has since lost more than 100 pounds.

Getting fit, feeling better

The Mercados’ journey began in the spring of 2011 when they decided “it was time for us to do something about it,” he said. The Mercados took a team approach to losing weight and adopting healthy habits. In fact, they decided to see who could lose more weight.

“The competition was very motivating and fulfilled that competitive spirit in both of us,” said Dr. Francis Mercado.

The couple overhauled their diet. They eat fruits and vegetables with almost every meal, closely watch their calorie intake and have switched from frying to grilling, baking or broiling. They also make exercise a regular part of their weekly routines, working out at home and at a gym. In their free time, instead of going out to eat or watching a movie, they exercise together.

Both physicians reported a noticeable difference in their health and abilities. Dr. Margaret Mercado said she no longer experiences knee and back pain when walking upstairs. When chasing after her children, who are 2 and 4, she doesn’t get short of breath anymore. Her husband added, “It gave us the satisfaction of knowing anything is possible.”

Losing weight safely

Both physicians recommend that people consult their primary care doctors before embarking on a new diet and exercise regimen.

Dr. Margaret Mercado noted that your doctor can help you navigate through the maze of diet fads and make an informed choice. It may be especially important for people with diabetes or heart or breathing problems to consult a doctor before starting a new physical activity routine.

“Before starting any diet or exercise program, you really need to talk with your doctor to make sure what you’ll be doing is safe, especially if you have a medical condition,” Dr. Francis Mercado said. “I firmly believe that diet and exercise can often be more valuable than any medicine we can provide.”

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The Mercados 13
The Mercados