How did you hear about Pack Health?

The Pack Health program was offered to me through Coca-Cola United, my employer. I came across a few of the flyers you guy had laid out, and I picked one up in hopes of getting some help losing weight. I’m a plant manager down here in Baton Rouge. Coke is a great place to work, especially when they offer programs like Pack Health.

Do you remember your first conversation with Evan?

Yeah, it was a while back, but I remember it being a great conversation. We talked about expectations. I told him I wanted to lose weight and change my lifestyle. So, we talked about diet and exercise as a baseline and built from there. Everything he talked about was great. Pack Health really helped me keep everything in the forefront of my mind.

Evan told us that you were diagnosed with lymphoma the second week of your weight management program, what was your first reaction to the diagnosis and how has it impacted your outlook on life?

Everything happened so quickly, I went from finding a lump to being diagnosed with lymphoma all in one week.  It’s a lot to take in at once, but you learn to accept it and try to take action as quickly as possible. Things have been going really well so far. I’ve learned along the way that what you’re doing today prepares you for what you’re doing tomorrow. I think back to six months ago, my exercise evolved from walking to walking and running, to meditating and running and being able to think about other things while I was running! I was at the peak of good health and increased the frequency of my runs.  I was in pretty good physical shape, honestly. What I was doing really prepared me for treatment and it prepared me to fight and walk out of here before my chemo wears off. Exercise, and being physically fit, defies a lot of common chemotherapy side effects that people have.

What has been the biggest takeaway from your Friday chats with Evan?

The awareness of sugar and what it does to my body is so important, I’ve learned. Chocolate and sweets in general, are my weakness. I kept hearing what sugar does from Evan. I don’t know if you know this, but when you get a pet scan, they inject your body with sucrose iodine and it excites the cancer cells. Cancer loves sugar and that’s a horrible thing to learn the hard way.  It’s a motivator, a negative motivator, but I’ve learned to stay away from anything sugar.  Everything that is converted to sugar is bad. Even some fruits, vegetables and certain bread and pasta are converted into sugar, so I have to be careful. I’m a slow learner and after the 55th time, change finally sets in with me. I have to have that reinforcing phone call for a breakthrough. Evan sends me great content.  Even with cancer, he’s throwing me a lot of interesting emails filled with articles about causes, treatments, and moving to adapt my environment. We still talk about those damn cookies though — oatmeal is my biggest weakness.

What Tiny Steps did you guys hone in on?

The thing I tried the most was abstinence — I make healthier choices because of Evan — I had a burger today and opted to leave the bun off. I try to focus on small things I can do to make changes but the change has got to come regularly and in small steps. The change that’s coming through Pack Health is going to make me better forever — it changes the way you think.

This is Mike, he’s still working with Evan each week, and making strides to better health!

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