She was the most active she had ever been in her life. It was 2011, and Linda Hodges, DO, ’05, was working nights in a critical care unit in St. Louis. After getting off work, she would go for a trail run and then head to her local Crossfit gym. However, she gained 20 pounds in four months and couldn’t figure out why. Then, she had a conversation with her Crossfit trainer that changed her life.
“She asked me how many carbohydrates I was eating,” says Dr. Hodges. “That was something I had never even considered. I came from the era where you followed a low fat diet; carbs weren’t an issue in my mind.”
After that day, she decided to learn all she could about nutrition, diet, and weight loss. She read everything she could get her hands on and began giving talks about paleo and low-carb diets in the St. Louis area.
In 2015, she became certified as a diplomate by the American Board of Obesity Medicine. This designation represents the highest level of achievement in the medical specialty of obesity and weight loss medicine. After becoming certified, she opened Exceptional Health & Weight Loss Solutions PLC in Hiawatha, Iowa, a clinic to work one-on-one with patients to achieve their weight loss goals.
While working with her patients at the health and weight loss clinic, she noticed a large number of her patients were on medications for mental health, which was hindering their success in weight loss. Having struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression in her own life, she desired to take that type of pain away from others. In 2017, she opened Iowa Ketamine Services PLC. This clinic uses ketamine infusions as a valuable treatment tool for those suffering from refractory conditions such as PTSD, depression, and chronic pain.
Today, Dr. Hodges continues her work at both clinics, passionately working with patients to help them find success. She wrote a book, “Weight Loss that Works: Secrets to Restoring Confidence and Reclaiming Your Body.” In addition, she recently created an intensive, eight-week online program with nutritional counseling, behavioral counseling, and mindset training similar to what she offers at her clinic.
“Every part of my career has fulfilled my need to make people feel deserving,” Dr. Hodges says. “I don’t ever want anyone to feel unworthy. That’s probably the worst feeling I’ve ever felt, and that’s what drives me.”