Structured living

Three years ago, I spent 2 weeks at the Structure House weight loss program in Durham NC.  They gave me the jump start I needed to start losing weight.  As the name implies, they focus on structuring one’s life for success.  Recently, they asked me to fill out a 3 year survey.  Some of the questions (see below) remind me that I have incorporated most of their suggestions into my daily routine.  Please read closely – they are not all about food and exercise.

7. Please select the response that best describes how often you have used the following lifestyle-based strategies to help you stay Structured in the past 3 months.
I engage in at least one non-food related hobby (e.g., crafts, outdoor activity, attending classes/events/activities related to an interest, etc).
I prepare healthy meals at home (or eat healthy meals that someone else prepared).
I plan my time (e.g., determine how I will utilize non-working hours/days, schedule physical activity, self-care, pleasurable activities, etc).
I seek and utilize social support (e.g., find ways to expand social support, engage in enjoyable social activities, turn to supportive others for help or companionship, etc).
I practice stress management strategies (e.g., breathing or muscle relaxation exercises, meditation, yoga, spend time doing relaxing activities, etc).
I take steps to reduce stressors (e.g., changing jobs or hours, delegating tasks, actively try to resolve problems rather than avoid them, etc).
I address relationship issues when needed (e.g., modify who I live with, spend time with, etc).
I am assertive (e.g., ask for what I need, standing up for myself, say no to requests, state my feelings/opinions, set appropriate boundaries, etc).


Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.


  1. Hi John! We are so thrilled for you that you have truly made some lifestyle changes, and it’s hard to believe it’s already been 3 years since you began at Structure House! Would you be okay with us sharing your blog on our facebook page? We think your story could be an inspiration to those just beginning their journey. Thanks for putting your story out there on the internet so we can all share and learn from each other. Your commitment is proof that it IS possible change a relationship with food and truly structure your life with success in mind.
    -Kelly Rowland, Internet Communications Manager for Structure House

  2. Happy to allow you to do so. Many thanks. Dr. John E. Ellis, MD.

Comments are closed