Terri Cole , Clinical Exercise Physiologist In Sovereign Health
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04-17-13 Category: Treatment Center Staff

This month Terri Cole, our new Clinical Exercise Physiologist, joins us for an interview about her road to Sovereign Health, how she entered the field of physiology, and some of her goals for Sovereign Health.

1. What brought you to Sovereign Health?

My association with Deborah McCarthy, MS, RD is what ultimately brought me to Sovereign Health. Deborah and I have worked together both directly and indirectly for over 15 years. Early in my career we pioneered a prediction equation for ED patients that helps to determine ideal lean body mass, and therefore more accurate predicted ideal weight ranges for our patients. This has been an amazing tool for us. I have such tremendous respect and admiration for Deborah and this was an opportunity for us to work directly together again.

2. How did you enter the field of physiology?

I got my bachelor’s degree in Political Science, but I still found myself drawn to health and fitness. While working as an intern in Washington DC I found myself skipping out of my assigned intern duties to exercise by walking the ‘mall.’ It was then that I started to realize that I myself had an exercise compulsion problem. But still determined to use my heard earned degree in Political Science, I joined the US Marine Corps and went to Officer Candidate School in Quantico VA to become a Public Affairs Officer. During boot camp there were a group of graduate students for UC Davis doing research on boot-camp related training injuries amongst officer candidates. I was completely enthralled with what they were doing. I couldn’t get out of boot camp fast enough. Luckily officer candidates can make that decision so I did not have to stay. I left VA, returned to California and enrolled in graduate school the same day.

3. What are some of your goals/ideas to help Sovereign succeed?

I firmly believe that the way to help Sovereign succeed is to help the patients succeed. There is no greater ‘advertisement’ than a success story.

4. You have a lot of experience with Eating Problems and Weight Management – what do you think are the most important things to keep in mind for people who are trying to manage their weight?

I think it is important to let go of the idea of being perfect. We need to focus on progress not perfection. Striving to be our best, healthiest selves, with an emphasis on our own personal health, is the key. We shouldn’t feel obligated to meet other people’s arbitrary standards for our weight.

5. How do you feel your personal struggles have influenced your perspective on working with others?

Having suffered for years with eating and exercise disorders myself helps me to empathize with our patients. I have been humbled myself. I know what it is like to struggle so I am not judgmental. At the same time, I can recognize when someone is stuck or when the eating disorder has ‘entered the room’ so to speak and is doing the talking. So although I am empathetic, I also know when to be a little tough and call someone out on their ED thinking.

Blog Post By: Marissa Maldonado

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