By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Dr. Elisha Poynter... passionate about patient care
Losing 100 pounds not once, but twice with simple lifestyle changes
By Beth Volpert-Johansen

When Dr. Elisha Poynter enters a room, heads turn. The tall, self-assured Eastside Medical Group doctor takes quick strides across the floor and engages those who surround her with eye-to-eye contact that says she is strong, but with a compassionate heart. Her heart has always had a place for anyone who needs help.

In fact, that is why she became a physician. Today, she helps people beyond the walls of her practice by sharing her own struggles with weight and how she has been able to lose 100 pounds not once, but twice with simple lifestyle changes.

Dr. Poynter’s journey began with her simply deciding that being overweight was not fair to herself, her family or her patients. “I love food,” says Dr. Poynter. “It is as simple as I was eating too much of what I love.” As a doctor, it was hard to justify telling her patients that they needed to lose weight in order to gain back and maintain their own health when she was not doing the same. “I knew I needed to do something and I really needed support to succeed.”

drspotner 190Dr. Poynter relied on her husband for the support she needed to help her lose the baby weight she had gained with her first pregnancy. At her highest weight, Dr. Poynter wore size 24 clothing. “I was excited to shop at Lane Bryant because they actually had pretty clothes that fit me,” says Dr. Poynter. “I even wore my maternity clothes for close to 8 months after delivering my children, and that had to change.” Each reduction in clothing size was a victory toward a healthier lifestyle and her own self-esteem.

In addition to seeking support from her husband David, who is a sports medicine physician at the couple’s new practice Loganville Family & Sports Medicine, Dr. Poynter downloaded the free app “My Fitness Pal” to help her be accountable for the calories she consumed and the exercise she chose. “Food can be an addiction, it provides immediate gratification,” says Dr. Poynter. “The app helps me to track my progress.”

Dr. Poynter also uses the app to track the progress of the patients who come to her for help.

“I can check in on them and leave them messages,” says Dr. Poynter. “They hear from me frequently and not just once a month at their appointments.”

Her patients know and understand that their doctor knows what it is like to face what might seem like an insurmountable goal. Losing weight is something people understand will benefit their general health and well-being, but it is exceptionally hard to do alone. Dr. Poynter makes sure her patients never feel they are on this journey alone.

Both Elisha and David Poynter feel that community outreach is part of why they became physicians.

“Neither of us came from a family that already had a doctor,” says Elisha Poynter. “We relied on each other, studied together and went through medical training together; it is why we work so well together.” The husband and wife team find that having two different specialties in the office is of great benefit. “If I have a patient with a muscle or joint issue, I can ask David to consult with me,” says Poynter. “No doctor is perfect, we complement each other.”

Together, they also volunteer time at local free clinics. And together, they made the decision to join Eastside Medical Group. 

“Eastside puts patient care first,” says Poynter. “David and I feel that way too; it was a good fit.”

With the support of Eastside behind them, both Elisha and David Poynter feel confident that their work in the community and support of overall patient health will grow. They are currently developing weight loss support groups. 

“The key to success in weight loss is support,” says Elisha Poynter. “The mental decision is just the brain, help is needed to make it work.”

To say that Elisha Poynter is passionate about the health of her patients is an understatement. Those same eyes and bright smile that light up a room when she enters can focus completely on her patient in order to uncover what is stopping them from successful weight loss. After losing more than 100 pounds - twice! -  Elisha Poynter knows exactly what it takes to meet a weight loss goal and is always open to sharing her story with her patients. It is what makes her real and what gives her credibility when facing a patient who needs to lose weight.

“They know I have done it myself and they trust that I will support them in their own weight loss journey.” Link to: http://eastsidemedgroup.com/about/newsroom/how-to-make-your-weight-loss-journey-successful