Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Mary Claire Haver.
Dr. Haver, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I moved to Galveston, Texas for my medical residency in OBGYN at UTMB in 1998. My husband (a California native) and I fell in love with Texas and the island and decided to make the Houston area our home. While my husband worked for Chevron as an engineer, I first practiced medicine in the Memorial/Katy area, then decided to head back to Galveston as I missed the academic aspects of medicine and the island life.
While I enjoyed a busy practice and teaching residents, I was becoming burnt out with the increasing administrative burden in medicine and the tough hours as an OBGYN. Finding balance between raising our two girls and a dual career household was becoming increasingly difficult. Keeping track of my own health was becoming more and more difficult.
Once I turned 40 keeping my weight in check became a little more difficult, but I could do it by adding more cardio to my workout routine and keeping tighter tabs on my diet. Towards my late 40’s, however, the minor struggle started turning into a battle. My brother was diagnosed with end-stage liver disease, declined rapidly and died rather suddenly. We were very close, and he had an extraordinary relationship with my children. In my grief, I lost track of my nutrition, literally gorging on processed food and a few too many glasses of wine, which led to more poor choices.
I even stopped working out…I just didn’t see the point.
It took several months and some work with a therapist, but I was finally able to leave the overwhelming grief behind and get on with my life. But I found myself out of shape and about 20 pounds overweight. After a lot of realizations and a little self-reflection, I decided I was ready to get my life (and health) back.
As a board-certified OB/GYN physician, I had been taught to counsel patients that to lose weight you had to exercise more and eat less. Sounds logical right? Put more out than you take in. It had always worked for me before so I assumed it would work again.
I hit the gym, downloaded the “MyFitnessPal” app to track my calories and developed a plan to lose the weight over 3-4 months. I worked out regularly and ate less.
…and I worked out and ate less and worked out and ate less.
I would lose a pound or two, but it would come right back on even though I stuck to my plan. I became obsessed with the scale, weighing myself at least once a day and sometimes more. I was angry and frustrated and horrified with myself. I was certain that something had to be wrong with me. I had my labs checked for thyroid disease, asked all of my colleagues, and even consulted Dr. Google to no avail. In the end, my labs were normal, and the weight was still not coming off.
I felt terrible for myself AND for the thousands of women I had counseled about weight gain in this stage of life. Years of telling my over 40 patients to exercise more and eat less was not working for them–and it certainly was not working for me either!
But I was determined that I was NOT going to let this beat me.
As a scientist, I knew the answers were out there; I just had to find them. So I hit the books. I began researching nutrition articles and medical journals looking for studies done on women at the end of their reproductive years. It shocked me to see how little research was done specifically on this special group of women.
I did discover some incredible information that looked specifically at using nutrition to lower inflammation levels, and how weight loss seemed to be a “side effect” of this technique. I also discovered fascinating research done on intermittent fasting and its far reaching health benefits, including improvements in neurodegenerative diseases, better cognitive function and, yes, weight loss. I finally looked into research done on enhancing our bodies ability to burn fat through better nutrition.
That’s when I started to get excited! Maybe caloric restriction was NOT the only answer. Maybe WHAT we are putting in our bodies and WHEN we do it was as or even MORE important that strict calorie counting. Maybe if I put all three of these concepts together, they could work synergistically for better health and maintaining the optimal weight.
With myself as guinea pig, I started experimenting. I was shocked at how the pounds I had struggled with for months simply melted off, and I wasn’t starving at all! In fact, I had never felt so satisfied while trying to lose weight. I was sleeping like a baby, my brain fog disappeared and best of all, I felt like a million bucks!
I told my girlfriends about my lifestyle and dietary changes, and a few jumped on board. They had similar results and some of them even began to notice a decrease in hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. I started sharing the plan on Facebook with even more friends and developed private groups women who continued to test the program with me. I listened to their feedback, implemented changes, and refined my program. A little over a year later and with thousands of people in private groups, I developed the program into what it is today.
I took a huge leap of faith – resigned from my “traditional” OBGYN position so I could focus on helping women utilizing The Galveston Diet.
To date, The Galveston Diet Signature Program has helped over 20,000 participants, mostly women, but a few good men, too, lead healthier happier lives!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The decision to leave the security of my OBGYN job in pursuit of a “passion project” was very difficult. There were many aspects of my job that I loved – my patients and coworkers topped that list, but my heart was telling me that I was meant to do something different with my life. Entrepreneur life is definitely an adventure! There are “ups and downs” I was not anticipating, – and I am constantly having to learn new things about marketing and social media. I am constantly pushed out of my comfort zone!
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Galveston Diet – what should we know?
The Galveston Diet is an online wellness program. It is the first wellness program developed by an OBGYN physician that focuses on nutrition and inflammation, specifically for women in the midlife transition.
We now have over 20,000 students enrolled in the program. The reviews and feedback are fantastic. Women are feeling like they have their lives back, they are losing weight, sleeping better, have more energy and less brain fog.
I believe it is the greatest contribution to Women’s Health that I have ever made.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
My students tell me that I am personable and easy to relate to. I also have a gift of being able to explain complicated medical information in layman’s terms. The combination of those two have likely been the key to the success of the program.
- The Galveston Diet Signature Program: $49 (one time fee, no subscription, 30 day $ back guarantee)
- Website: https://www.galvestondiet.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thegalvestondiet/
- Facebook: https://business.facebook.com/thegalvestondiet
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHFffg5HmfoId6E8WTVOc5Q