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Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital


A MOVE! in the Right Direction

Image; William Oberholtzer's before and after he lost 106 lbs.

Veteran achieves weight-loss with Truman VA program

By Truman VA’s Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Program.
Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Last year, William Oberholtzer, a United States Army Veteran, saw a friend at his church who had lost weight through the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital MOVE! Program. Oberholtzer was so impressed by his friend’s weight-loss results that he asked his primary care provider for a referral to attend the program. At the time, Oberholtzer weighed 330 pounds.

“My weight hasn’t always been a problem,” Oberholtzer said. “However, since leaving the Army I gained a lot of weight. Eventually, it got to the point that if I bent down to pick something up I would fall over because I was so heavy. I also was ready to look down and see my feet again.”

Oberholtzer maintained a healthy weight for the 26 years he served in the Army thanks to physical training and running. However, after his discharge, he found that any spare time he had was spent juggling school and work. Eventually, exercise took a backseat and gradually he gained weight. Although he didn’t understand how to get back on track to a healthier lifestyle, he knew he was physically and emotionally tired of being overweight.

“What I like about the MOVE! Program is that it’s not a diet,” Oberholtzer said. “In fact, I can eat what I want as long as I’m responsible.”

Through participation in Truman VA’s MOVE! Program, Oberholtzer cut out habits like consuming 2,000 calories per meal when dining out, and eating a sleeve of crackers in the middle of the night. Additionally, he maintains a food journal that he uses to monitor his caloric intake and physical activity, which helps him to stay on track with his goals.

Eventually, Oberholtzer’s weight-loss success prompted his wife to emulate his efforts. By working alongside her husband, the two have helped each other. Through regular exercise and the adoption of a healthier lifestyle, she lost 30 pounds.

Since starting the MOVE! Program, Oberholtzer has lost 106 pounds and 10 inches from his waist. In fact, he thinks it may be time to buy a new suit. Also, with the approval from his physician, he no longer requires high blood pressure or gout medication.

“Now, when my wife sees me in a crowd she cannot believe it’s me.” Oberholtzer said. “It’s much easier to do day-to-day chores without having to carry so much extra weight around.”

Oberholtzer plans to continue with the program on his journey to a healthier lifestyle. His advice to other Veterans who may be struggling with extra weight is:

“Get involved in Truman VA’s MOVE! Program today!” Oberholtzer said. “If distance is an issue, there are not only in-person options, but also options through telephone or telehealth. You can do so much more being smaller than bigger. I look back at myself a year ago — walking through this building — and I’m so much happier now.”

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