Losing weight, getting healthier leads Vermilion minister to become an example to others

For her entire adult life, 47-year-old Vermilion resident Heidi Strickler has struggled with losing weight. She says every named diet and even a few she made up and named – like her apple diet as a teen – has always failed.

Living with the reality that two of the most important women in her life died at an early age, she was determined to change the pattern. In fact, the realization hit her at the same age her mother died.

“Last summer, I began working on a master’s degree in strategic leadership,” explains Heidi. “In a personal leadership class we were charged to explore the premise ‘if you want to be a great leader and lead others well, you have to learn how to lead yourself.’”

Heidi is an assistant pastor at Harbortown Community Church and felt led to follow a path that would make her a better example to “my nieces and youth that watch me. It matters how we treat our bodies, so I made an appointment with my doctor.” Heidi is a longtime patient of Craig Recko, MD, a family practitioner with Mercy Health – Vermilion Primary Care, a part of Mercy Health Physicians.

“He is the best doctor in the world,” she exclaimed. “He is compassionate, honest and firm.”

Dr. Recko told Heidi that counting calories and the countless other diets she had tried would never work for her. Instead, since he has monitored her health for many years, he believed that another path would help her gain control of her health. Recommending a no sugar, no grains diet has made all the difference in her health. Explaining that the plan is “non-restrictive and easy to follow,” she says it was truly the best option for her. Although she has lost significant weight, the primary goal was to get healthy.

Not only has she lost 60 pounds in nine months, she has been able to discontinue taking cholesterol medication. She incorporated a walking program, advanced to joining a gym and is now training for a half marathon, which is something she never thought she would do.

“I believe that God used Dr. Recko to save my life,” continued Heidi. “I have lost too many beloved family members, and I don’t want to go down that road. I know the purpose for which I was born has not been completely fulfilled.

“Having a physician who will be completely honest with you and supportive is so important, and I can always depend on Dr. Recko to be that strong, guiding force who will look out for my total wellbeing.”

Dr. Recko is one of many high-quality Mercy Health Physicians throughout Lorain County.  To start your journey towards great health, schedule an appointment with a Mercy Health Physician by calling 1-877-930-DOCS.