Welcome back to our “Healthy Habit Heroes” blog series, where we share members’ stories in their own words about their experiences with Yes Health.
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Andy was always an active guy, but when his weight topped 201 lbs., he got worried. He knew he couldn’t let what happened to his dad happen to him, too. But he also knew he didn’t have all the tools he needed to undo old habits and form new healthy ones. Here’s how Yes Health helped him make some long-term lifestyle changes and—much to his surprise—get back to his fighting weight of 180 in no time.
I’m 57 and I’ve been a mechanic for 35 years. I seemed to gain a couple pounds each year and my weight was creeping up on me. My dad died four years ago from complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). He was 6’1” and weighed 280. He ended up in the hospital after the lines from his portable oxygen device got stuck on a door jam. He broke his neck and his health quickly deteriorated in the hospital. When my weight hit 201 lbs. earlier this year, I decided I had to change the way I ate. I couldn’t let my health go like my dad did.
I got down to 194 lbs. experimenting with Paleo and Keto diets. Then, I signed up for new health insurance in the spring and found out I qualified for Yes Health. The free scale and Fitbit were the push I needed to commit. The coaches helped me create a program that matched my goals. Suddenly, it was like having 10 mothers nagging me every day about what I ate and how much I exercised —which was perfect, because it was exactly what I needed.
I’m joking—they don’t really nag. The coaches are great about giving positive feedback and suggestions. For the first time in a long time, I felt accountable for my own health. I set my weight goal at 185 lbs. Now I’m 180. I haven’t been 180 since the early 90s. I didn’t even think it was possible at my age. My kids and wife joke with me that I better not get too skinny.
I’ve completely redefined how I eat. I’m a routine guy so I have the same thing for breakfast every day—an egg, piece of toast, strawberries, blueberries and diluted OJ. I introduced the egg on the suggestion of a coach so I get more protein. And I switched from sourdough to whole wheat. Otherwise, I don’t deviate.
I also introduced more vegetables into my diet, even though I’m not really a vegetable guy. Once the coaches gave me the okay on a little bit of blue cheese dressing on salads, I was in. And who would have thought a burger without a bun could taste so good? The coaches are still so-so on meatball subs, but I’m working on them. (Ha.) My sugar cravings have also gone away. Now I have a square or two of dark chocolate and I’m good. This is truly a change in lifestyle. And I’ve found it easy to maintain because it’s not a fad or crash diet.
I’ve never seen the inside of a gym. Physical exercise has always been a big part of my job. Now, I make sure I mix it up three or four times a week between a stationary bike, resistant bands, situps and pushups so I can stay in shape and not get bored. I also do a lot of walking at work—about 15-17,000 steps a day. I’m rarely sitting down.
Yes Health came at exactly the right time. I’m a task-driven guy, and once I had the right tools and knew what I needed to do, I did it. There’s a lot of flexibility built into the program. No pressure, just encouragement. I’m still seeing results—which is cool at my age— and it’s keeping me motivated. I have less aches and pains, my muscle tone has increased and I feel better than I have in 15 years.