|Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks |
Dr. Roy Heron and Barbara Gonsalves-Heron at Doctor's Weight Loss Center
ALEXANDRIA, VA - While most young boys are eating hot dogs and potato chips, Dr. Roy Heron was eating vegetables – or at least trying to.
At the ripe old age of seven, Dr. Heron could already see that if he continued to overeat, he would continue to be teased mercilessly. He would also end up with diabetes and high blood pressure – just like his parents and sister.
“This is not going to be me,” Heron pronounced to himself. “I was determined not to be overweight.”
Such a radical decision did not come without a price. Not wanting to upset his parents, he rebelled privately and fed half of his dinner to the family dog. Undoubtedly, that dog’s life was cut short by the infusion of caloric food. However, it was the beginning of a life commitment to losing weight, not only for himself, but for hundreds of other people.
When Heron was 10 years old, he joined the swim team. When he completed high school, he decided to attend the University Of Michigan, Meharry Medical School. Heron completed his internship at Howard University Hospital, Internal Medicine and his residency at Howard University Hospital, Emergency Medicine.
Upon completing his residency in Emergency Medicine at Howard University, Dr. Heron studied nutrition and in 1981, he established Doctor's Weight Loss Centers (DWLC) in Alexandria, Virginia.
At this time, he also created a moderately low carbohydrate diet; this was years ahead of the current trends in weight loss. The Department of Agriculture’s Food Guide Pyramid developed a plan in 2005 similar to the Heron diet plan, validating Heron’s innovative approach to healthy eating. Dr. Heron has prescribed a moderate carbohydrate diet for weight loss and improved health to thousands of patients in Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland.
Learning to diet at a young age, Dr. Heron is intimately familiar with the growing issue of childhood obesity.
“What I’d love to do is institute a childhood obesity program,” said Dr. Heron, who is so concerned about the problem that he has spoken to President Bill Clinton about it. Dr. Heron is hoping that a new health initiative will spend more money on preventive care – saving everybody money in the long run.
The biggest change is in the foods that we are consuming; they are increasingly detrimental to our health,” added Dr. Heron. “Ten to fifteen years ago, there wasn’t a problem with childhood obesity; now it’s proliferating in youth and more kids are having adult [medical] conditions.”
Not only has Dr. Heron spoken to President Bill Clinton; he has also helped Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s brother lose ‘60 pounds in a matter of months.’
A recent article in The Washington Times mentioned that Hillary recommended Dr, Heron to John Coale, the well-known trial lawyer and husband of Fox News host Greta Van Susteren. Since late August, he's lost 50 pounds and has another ‘10 to 15’ to go to reach his goal.
In 2005, Dr. Heron trained and became one of the first Bariatric Specialists in the country to master the laser procedure for the removal of cellulite utilizing a non-invasive laser. Dr. Heron now offers Smart-Lipo at ‘Heron Smart-Lipo Center,’ the newest Laser Body Sculpting technique in the country, making him the most experienced physician in weight loss, laser liposuction and laser skin sculpting. Dr. Heron is a certified member of the Society of Aesthetics in Medicine in Laser Lipo-suction training.
Today, Dr. Heron directs his staff at Doctor’s Weight Loss Centers to counsel, guide and motivate patients of any age to successful and healthy weight loss. Dr. Heron’s program is based on a real food, holistic approach to weight loss. Through a maintenance program, he teaches patients how to eat those foods that you love to eat and attain long-lasting weight loss results without regaining the weight. He has even developed a special holiday menu for his clients.
Dr. Heron’s life is not all about business. Last year, he married Barbara Gonsalves-Heron after meeting her via an online dating service.
Barbara had tried several online services with no success. She found Dr. Heron on a service specifically geared for African American adults.
She send him a note, and said, “This was my last attempt – do or die.”
She didn’t expect Dr. Heron to reply but he did. They met one month later continued a long distance relation for over a year and then married last summer. She now works at the Alexandria office.
“It’s fantastic – amazing even in the recession that people may not have the money to do things they like to do but when it comes to their personal appearance, people want to look their best,” said Barbara.
Dr. Heron agrees, saying, “Business is booming.”
Lipo-suction continues to be popular with close to a hundred cases booked until the end of the year.
Despite all his accomplishments, Dr. Heron say, “There is no greater personal reward than seeing his patient’s joy as they realize their weight loss goals and achieve the figure that they have desired all their lives.”
Doctor’s Weight Loss Center is located at 321 South Patrick Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Call them at 703-549-2626 or visit the Web site @ http://www.drweightloss.com. There is also an office in Reston.