Since its inception, our MOVE (Managing Overweight/Obese Veterans Everywhere) program has had many success stories. Clearly the most dramatic has been seen in Ernie Lohmann.
Ernie has struggled with his weight most of his life and has tried multiple weight loss programs with very little success.
Ernie’s progress began 4 years ago with his first MOVE class. His initial motivation for coming to the class came after an illness that included acute renal failure; "I thought I was going to die." He admits that his original goal was to go through the motions to qualify for bariatric surgery. Now, nothing could be further from his mind. In addition to losing 225 pounds, Ernie has been able to discontinue all three of his diabetic medications. His life has improved in many ways. He sleeps much better since his sleep apnea has all but disappeared and he is able to walk and get around much easier. This in turn has improved his quality of life. He was only able to leave the house for an hour at a time, but now he can stay out all day if he wants to. "It’s like a whole new life." Ernie attributes much of his success to the MOVE program that he participated in at our Sarasota CBOC.
He feels that the multifaceted approach assisted him in changing his lifestyle and his keys to success have been accountability, keeping a diet log, and thinking about what he is eating. He also felt that it was important to weigh himself at each visit to the clinic. He continues to keep a diet log and weighs in at each clinic visit.
Ernie still enjoys food, but makes smarter choices. "I still crave a pizza with everything on it," but he acknowledges that he has to make wise choices. Ernie has not enrolled in any specific exercise program, however since his weight loss, his activity level has increased immensely.
Ernie has also helped other veterans with his advice and successes. He has spoken to our MOVE classes and provides first hand insight from his weight loss experience. He says, "find what motivates you...like this class.” Ernie now volunteers with our MOVE program."
MOVE (Managing Overweight/Obese Veterans Everywhere) is a national program designed by the VHA National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, a part of the VHA Office of Patient Care Services, to help veterans lose weight, keep it off, and improve their health.
If you are overweight or obese, you are at increased risk for a number of health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, sleep apnea and gallstones. The best way to manage your weight is to keep a balance between what you eat and drink and how active you are.
The MOVE! Program has been tailored to meet the individual needs of each veteran. MOVE! provides guidance on nutrition and physical activity and allows you to set the pace through goal setting and a stepped approach. Our MOVE! healthcare team will provide you with lots of support and follow-up.
The MOVE! Program is designed for enrolled Veterans who want assistance with managing their weight. Typically, the program is offered to Veterans who are overweight or obese. Talk with your VA healthcare team today about MOVE!