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A New Me!

In 2002, my doctor was on the verge of putting me on blood pressure medication, and he did start me on drugs to get my cholesterol down. He urged me to go out and buy an automatic blood pressure cuff, record the numbers for a few weeks and “prove to me that I shouldn’t put you on medication.” At that time, I weighed 195 pounds, and I wasn’t doing much for regular exercise.

At about the same time, a nurse came to me and indicated that she needed to lose some weight. She asked if we had a weight loss program at our hospital. In the process of discovering that we didn’t, I learned about the Weight Watchers at Work Program. If we had a minimum of 20 people signed up, they’d run the program for our employees at our hospital.

After getting the word out, we were one person short of the minimum required. Though I’d made half-hearted attempts to lose weight, I’d never really made a commitment. So to support the other employees and to get healthy, I became the 20th participant.

To give myself a chance at achieving my goals, I started cycling. Before long, I was doing 150 miles a week along Coast Highway. Though I hadn’t eaten breakfast for years, I started doing so, and a multi-grain hot cereal with fresh fruit became my daily routine. I fell in love with good salads, and I came to really enjoy cooking healthy stuff. The challenge for me was avoiding overeating and keeping track of the points. But with a wild group of cheering colleagues urging me on, I achieved success.

After 12 weeks, I returned to my doctor for a check-up. When he observed that I’d lost 25 pounds, my cholesterol numbers had improved dramatically and my blood pressure was excellent, he declared, “You’re healed!”

Even before that appointment, I already knew I was “healed.” I had energy, my body felt stronger and I felt better about myself than I could ever recall.

by Chaplain Ron Hyrchuk

April 10, 2008