Veteran lost weight and is keeping it off with VA’s MOVE! Program


shadow

Weingarth’s “before” photo is above.

After giving up cigarettes and alcohol, Army Veteran Mark Weingarth decided it was time to take his health to the next level and lose weight. He was looking for a program to help him make lifestyle changes, not just lose weight. With his faith in God as the driving force behind his motivation to lose weight, he joined the MOVE program at Truman VA.

He encourages other Veterans, who might be afraid to trust VA because of negative media stories, to shut off the television and give the VA programs such as MOVE! a chance to help you reach your goals.

What motivated you to get started with MOVE!?

I decided that I was tired of everything else coming before my faith. I was reflecting on my life and how I had made it to age 59. But, I wanted to live a much longer and better life. My body is a gift and it was time to start taking care of it.

What about the MOVE! Program worked for you?

Before the class, I had no idea how many calories I was consuming on a daily basis. After keeping a food journal and tracking calories, I am much more aware of how many calories I take in and the right foods I need to eat to help me lose weight. I learned what exercises are best at burning calories.

MOVE! helped me realize that the healthy lifestyle changes did not have to stop once the program was over. After MOVE!, I started going to Tai Chi classes and I’m getting ready to join the Whole Health Program because I want the progress to continue.

Army Veteran Mark Weingarth today with the healthy food that helps him keep weight off

Army Veteran Mark Weingarth today with the healthy food that helps him keep weight off

What benefits did you notice?

My blood pressure is lower. I went down a full pant size and I have noticed less pressure on my knees. I’m not as tired from carrying around that extra weight. Even simple things like bending over to pick something up is easier for me now.

How much weight have you lost?

From the time I started the MOVE program in July 2015 until the end of the 12-week program in January 2016, I lost a total of 22 pounds. I still weigh close to the weight I was at the end of MOVE!.

It’s been almost three years since you went through MOVE!. How have you kept the weight off?

My decision making when it comes to food has changed. Instead of eating a candy bar, I will have a handful of walnuts. I fill up on healthier foods as opposed to chips. I also try to aim for variety, incorporating new foods in my diet. I’ve seen the results of my weight loss and I want to continue that journey.


Jennifer Schmidt, Health Promotion Disease Prevention Program Manager and MOVE Coordinator. About the author: Jennifer Schmidt is a health promotion disease prevention program manager and MOVE coordinator.

 

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Michael Buchanan    

    I want to loose sixty lbs. but have no ride to Veterans hospital

    1. G. Garcia    

      They can pick you up. Talk to your social worker or get one assigned to you. They will arrange a ride for you.

  2. Timothy L. O'Neil    

    Does the VA have an exercise program that I can enter at a local gym? I need to be motivated to exercise, MOVE did not motivate me.

  3. jw dant    

    sounds good should provide on-line information on he program, I am too far from any VA office.

  4. Paul    

    How do you sign up and who fo you talk to ?

  5. Bob Corsa    

    As anything the VA does they are located sometimes in the area but most times not. So the veteran Drives !
    Not to motivating in fact a membership in a gym is probably lest than the cost for the veteran to drive to a VA ?

    My membership is about 30 dollars a month My rt cost to my VA is over $80.00 atrip Cost to sponsor a
    gym would be a savings to the VA. All medical care should be local , with the VA its a haul.

  6. Brian Berstler    

    July 2015 to January 2016 is much more than 12 weeks.

  7. Debra Ann Thompson    

    I live in Colorado Springs, Is there a Move program here?

    1. Jack Harper    

      Yes I’m active in move a great group. I have lost over 55 lbs. Feel great move has help me change some bad habits.

  8. Constance Moloney    

    When does MOVE come out on Android?

  9. David Dunlap    

    Humana is no monthly cost to the veteran….ask for that program! It includes a membership to a gym free!

  10. W Johnson    

    Is there a Move program in Nashville TN? Also, can employees of the VA join the Move program?

  11. W Johnson    

    Is there a Move program in Nashville, TN? If so, can VA employees participate as well?

  12. FOSTER E RYAN    

    Is there a MOVE program at the Hampton, Virginia V.A.?

  13. Meag dog    

    So it takes 24 weeks to complete the 12 week program?

  14. Joana    

    How much does this program cost?

Comments are closed.