When member Anthony M. joined Pack Health, he was 215 pounds and juggling prescriptions for diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, and trouble sleeping. Now he’s 179 pounds, and off all his medications. His HbA1c went down from 6.2 to 5.4.
How did he do it? We interviewed him to find out:
Can you tell me a bit about how you started your journey to better health?
Well, I was working at Enterprise Rent-a-Car and I got laid off. I was 215 pounds at the time, and I was on a lot of medication. The doctor told me I had to lose 40 pounds, so I said fine, I’ll do that. I didn’t have anything else to do. Of course, the doctor was helpful, she made suggestions, but when I went back there again, she didn’t follow up. You know how doctors are – they’re always in a hurry.
I saw Pack Health online and I joined it. I got matched with my Health Advisor, Joy, and having Joy really helped.
I had a lot of questions about dieting, about what I should eat and not eat, what size my portions should be Joy guided me through the process. Thanks to her, I was able to lose more than 44 pounds. I started walking twice a day. And now I’m 179 pounds and off all my medications!
That’s so great to hear! It sounds like you’ve made amazing progress. Can you tell me a bit about what motivates you?
You know, the medications were giving me side effects – I wasn’t sleeping well, I was getting headaches, especially in the mornings, and I had no energy. I said to myself, now that I have some time on my hands, I’m going to get this under control.
And I could feel myself making progress. I had more energy, I woke up and I was able to do things instead of being tired, sitting around I was able to get motivated to go to the gym 3 times a week and walk more. It felt good!
Wow! So what obstacle was the hardest to overcome, and how did you do it?
I couldn”t eat all the food I wanted to eat, mostly I had to watch my sugar. I cut out soda, I cut out fast food, I cut out Subway, everything like that… no more pizza.
With Joy, I learned to read all the labels before I bought things. I also got a diabetes menu guide and I followed that – I still follow that. I don’t really cook anything fancy but I make steak, chicken, and I eat green beans, corn, fruits – my favorites are watermelon and cantaloupe. For lunch I have Tuna fish and salad sandwich.
You make it sound so easy! Were there any other challenges you faced?
You know, Joy sent the Pack in the mail. The Pack was a challenge because I’m not great at following instructions. I’m very impatient sometimes, so I don’t necessarily read everything that I get thoroughly. So I have a problem with that, I get confused.
What really helped me was the weekly calls, that encouragement I get from Pack Health – I live alone, my daughter’s in school, so I don’t have anyone to talk to during in the day. That guidance from Joy keeps me on the right track, so I don’t drift off or get lazy. Because of course I don’t want to put the weight back on and of course I don’t want to get back on the medication, but it helps to have someone to talk to and who reminds me of that.
Do you have any recommendations for members who are new to Pack Health?
Yeah, you know, you’ve got to find the willpower.
And I tell my daughter this, because she goes to school, and she gets busy. When you’re young, you don’t necessarily realize these things are going to be a problem. And you might not notice it as it’s happening, but when you’re unhealthy, you’re feeling it.
I developed that willpower because I wanted to get better. I didn’t want to be tired all the time, to sit around watching TV I realized I wanted to get back out there and work. I realized it might take 6 months to get where I want to be but as long as I can make progress I’m going to stay with it.
And sometimes you need a push to stay with it. Sometimes you need a reminder of why you’re doing it. The thing about having a Health Advisor is then you have someone to remind you, someone to talk to. Joy put me through the process and helped me along the way. But I had to text her. I had to pick up the phone.
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