Its time for another Three Healthy Mommas Spotlight and I can not wait to tell you about John. He has made some very drastic health changes in his life and has one inspiring story. He has worked so hard at trying to live a healthy lifestyle that his results speak for themselves. John has lost 100 Lbs in 6 months!! He has accomplished much and now even performing daily life functions have become easier for him. His dedication and hard work are paying off. Thank you so much John for sharing your story with us and keep on living your healthy lifestyle. You are Amazing!
Now here is John:
Briefly tell a little about you.
I’m 36 year-old Utah native. I grew up in Orem and currently live in Pleasant Grove. I graduated from BYU with a degree in Computer Science and currently work for Dell on one of the software products as a software engineer.
When did you decide to make a lifestyle change, and what made you decide to change?
I’ve been thinking of making a change for the past couple of years and finally found a diet program that worked for me in January. Dell’s health insurance provides discounts on our premiums for a healthy lifestyle. Among other things, they require 150 minutes of exercise per week and a healthy BMI. If we aren’t within their guidelines then we have a period of time to lose 1 percentage BMI or exercise 150 minutes per week or we won’t receive the discount. I wanted to lose weight so I could receive that premium discount yearly without having to go on a probationary period. Someone referred me to a diet program and gym. It has changed my life!
Have people motivated you or supported you along the way to keep going? If so, what has helped you the most?
I’m on the HMR diet and have a gym membership at EXL. Both have been crucial in helping me achieve my goals. Every week I attend a class where I report on everything I eat and how much I’ve exercised over the week and receive instruction on how to live a healthier lifestyle based on research from HMR and other medical journals. Plus we share ideas with each other on how to stick to the diet, overcome obstacles, plan ahead, and it has really helped motivate me to stick to it. After all, if everyone else in the class can do it, so can I!
EXL has been great as well because it’s a class of about 18 people with a trainer to tailor individual exercises for our needs and motivate us to challenge ourselves. Seeing someone next to me pushing through the exercises helps me keep going when otherwise I may have stopped. Plus the trainer not only tailors the exercises to our fitness level and need, but also corrects our form, provides additional tips to make it easier, and helps keep us safe.
What have you changed in your life to reach your health goals?
In my weekly diet class we talk about environmental controls. Many things have changed in my environment to help me stick to my diet. I used to eat out several times a week, ate buffalo wings on Friday, Chik-Fil-A or Culvers on Saturday, and all kinds of other things during the week. Since January I’ve eliminated those places from my routines since they are huge temptations for me. Sure I could eat just order a salad, but for me it’s easier just to avoid those places of huge temptation than leave it to my will power to just buy a salad. I also cleaned out my pantry, fridge, and food storage at home to prevent me from eating something not on my diet. When I’m in a social situation, I bring something with me I can have just in case they break out something I can’t.
At work I buy frozen vegetables from Costco and keep them in our break room’s freezer. In my desk I store various entrees provided by my diet program. Not only is lunch easy to manage (I have several choices to choose from and I don’t have to worry about remembering to bring something from home), but I also have something ready to eat as a snack just in case. In my experience, “just in case” moments come up at least weekly. Having something on hand helps me eat things on my diet rather than straying from it.
What has been the most challenging thing and also the most rewarding thing for you in your journey?
Giving up some traditions has been really hard. No longer eating at Wingers on Friday or Culvers on Saturday was a challenge, but not nearly as challenging as going to a super bowl party and not eating anything or passing up Betos when out with friends or popcorn at a movie. If it’s not something in my environment it’s really easy to pass up on; if it’s right in front of me it’s very tough. However, because I’ve passed those things up I’ve lost weight every week except three since I’ve started this diet and I’ve lost 100 pounds in six months! It’s great hearing people comment on how much weight I’ve lost and how I’m going to need to buy new clothes and a new suit because I now look like a kid wearing an older brother’s hand-me-downs. As good as that food may be, it isn’t nearly as good as losing all this weight has felt!
What are your accomplishments thus far?
As mentioned, I’ve lost 100 pounds in six months! This has really had an impact on so many areas in my daily life such as getting off the couch. I know this sounds bad (and let’s be honest – that’s just because it is bad), but I struggled getting off the couch. Sometimes I had to roll off the couch then push myself up rather than just standing straight up. I’m 6’5” and have about 3’ of leg, so I blamed my difficulty with getting off the couch on my couch’s height (or lack thereof)! Now it’s not an issue at all!
I’ve lost about a foot around my stomach and 10” around my hips. I can fit in a chair at the movie theater without raising the arm rest. I can fit in a chair at a sporting event without it pressing against my sides (I even have room to spare!). I can walk up the two flights of stairs to our office without getting out of breath or sweating. There has been a lot of things in my day-to-day living that has improved because of all the weight I’ve lost.
What advice do you have for others who are dealing with some of the same challenges?
Find a support group. Maybe it’s a spouse, family member, friend, roommate, neighbor, or a diet program such as the one I’m on. It has been said, “When progress is measured, progress improves. When progress is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.” My success has come from measuring everything I’m eating, keeping track of it, then reporting it to my class and receiving feedback on what I can do to improve. I’ve hit many a plateau along the way, and if I didn’t make weekly plans, do the plan, check how it worked, and adjust it I probably would still be on a plateau somewhere wondering what’s going wrong! Working with the lifestyle instructor on my diet who has had years of experience helping people lose weight has really been beneficial as well because she’s seen these plateaus in many a person and knew what I could do to get back on track. Her experience has really helped minimize the number of times I’ve gained weight and helped keep me on track to lose somewhere between 10-20 pounds per month.
Regardless of what you’re doing, though, stick with it. It may be hard, but it is definitely worth it!