Jona Ely stands in her office at 595 Russell St. in Craig, where she runs the Ideal You weight loss program. Ely wanted to bring the program — which utilizes the Ideal Protein system — to Moffat County after she learned of the county's position in the 2012 state health rankings.

Photo by Darian Warden

Jona Ely stands in her office at 595 Russell St. in Craig, where she runs the Ideal You weight loss program. Ely wanted to bring the program — which utilizes the Ideal Protein system — to Moffat County after she learned of the county's position in the 2012 state health rankings.

Finding the 'Ideal You'

Local health care professional bringing weightloss program to Moffat County

Quotable...

“As a healthcare provider, as a resident, it was really disheartening to see that we were at the bottom of the heap in Colorado. It really hit me how few resources Moffat County really has and how little those resources are used.”

Jona Ely, a local resident and Certified Family Nursing Practitioner, about her desire to bring the Ideal You program to Moffat County

With the New Year upon us and resolutions being formulated, losing weight, sticking with goals and taking on new challenges are often at the forefront of many minds.

Moffat County resident Jona Ely, a Certified Family Nursing Practitioner, started working on her resolution back in August: improving the health and well being of Craig and Moffat County’s residents.

After discovering Moffat County was ranked 50th out of 59 Colorado counties in overall health — and last in health behaviors including substance abuse, exercise and diet — Ely took it upon herself to provide a resource local residents actually would utilize.

“As a healthcare provider, as a resident, it was really disheartening to see that we were at the bottom of the heap in Colorado,” Ely said. “It really hit me how few resources Moffat County really has and how little those resources are used.”

Hoping to correct that problem, Ely has brought the Ideal You program — which utilizes the Ideal Protein system — to Craig.

“Honestly it’s the answer to my prayers and my patients problems,” Ely said.

Having dealt specifically with diabetes throughout much of her career, Ely said she no longer has to tell people diabetes is a progressive disease.

Ideal Protein focuses on combating metabolic syndrome, which Ely said is comprised of four different health issues: obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Patients only need to have two of these health issues to have metabolic syndrome.

A four-phase program, Ideal Protein is designed to be a diet that eventually ends and is only administered by and available from healthcare professionals.

“We like to say we provide you lifetime skills, not a lifetime membership,” Ely said. “We are not like Weight Watchers and we do not want you on this (for) the rest of your life.”

Ely said phase one is where participants lose 90 percent of the weight they will lose during the program. The stage takes at least 30 days and involves resetting the pancreas and allowing the liver to get rid of glycerin stores.

“It lets your pancreas kick back and take a break,” Ely said. “After getting rid of all that insulin your body begins to produce healthy cells, which then produces healthy tissue and healthy organs. You really can rebuild yourself.

"We don’t need to find a cure to diabetes, we have it.”

Ely said for the first time in years she’s taking people off of medications left and right.

During phase one participants use Ideal Protein meal replacements, which promote body fat loss while lean body mass and muscles are retained.

In phase three the pancreas is restarted and it's insulin output is regulated at a healthy rate.

Phase four includes a return to real food and real portions, with a free day to eat whatever without fear of gaining back the weight.

“It’s surprisingly easy to stick to,” Ely said. “When your body’s getting enough fuel then it’s not craving things. You’re putting protein in it in a regular schedule and it’s easy to stick to because your body’s getting the fuel it needs.”

Anyone interested in participating can attend a free seminar that includes a body composition analysis. The seminars are offered at 6 p.m. on Jan. 3, 8, 14, 22 and 28 in the basement of Kinder Family Clinic, 595 Russell Street.

“There’s never a bad time to start," Ely said. "There’s no time like now to change your health and which road you want to head down. I would like to see next year’s statistics with Moffat County not at the bottom.”

Darian Warden can be reached at 875-1793 or dwarden@craigdailypress.com

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