Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
Healthy Weight Loss Top Priority: Veterans Benefit From Weight Management
At 225 pounds, Army Veteran Ronald Hodges appeared to be in good shape. But with a family history of high blood pressure, he decided to take the advice of Truman VA health professionals to lose some weight. Today, he's now down to 192 pounds, managing to lose 2 pounds even over the holidays!
Hodges, 63, along with his wife Brenda, 60, participated in MOVE, a weight management program for Veterans in September 2011. The 10-week program is designed by the Veterans Health Administration National Center for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention. The program’s goal is to help Veterans, like Hodges, lose weight, keep it off and improve their health. Truman VA’s MOVE! clinical team is made up of a dietitian, a health psychologist and the Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Program Manager. The MOVE Program provides Veterans:
- Tips for behavioral change;
- Nutritional information;
- Activity recommendations.
"I would encourage Veterans to take advantage of this program," says Hodges. "Not only do I look better, I feel better. This program… it sure made a difference to me, and I didn't think it would. It doesn't have all the flashy lights, but it works! At first, it didn't seem like I was going anywhere. I was losing a half pound a week for several weeks. Then, I realized… that added up. Now I was 6 pounds closer to meeting my goal (which I set for myself of 190 pounds)." Hodges also gives some advice to Veterans starting the program, "Don't let yourself get discouraged! And try to get your family involved –let them know what you are trying to do; Brenda came with me, so she knew what I was trying to do and how to do it." Hodges says his best 'tip' for Veterans' trying to lose weight is to drink water before every meal, reporting, "I didn't believe it, but I did it – and it worked! It helps you start to feel full," but also says that using a smaller, 9 inch plate has been helpful too.
When asked what he liked most about the program, Hodges says that he liked the information presented because it was to the point, and he also liked the 'side talks' about other people’s struggles and what worked for them. Says Hodges, "I felt like I wasn't alone."
Visit our web calendar for a current listing of MOVE Classes and other classes offered at Truman VA. Veterans who are interested in the MOVE Program should talk to their primary care team.
Brought to you by the Health Promotion Disease Prevention Program