National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
HealthPOWER! Prevention News Spring 2013 Walter Hood
You Don’t Have To Be Skinny, Just Healthy: MOVE!® Helps Veteran Walter Hood Get His Lifestyle Back
"Weight took my lifestyle away, so I had to lose weight to do the things I love to do," says Walter Hood, a MOVE!® patient and Vietnam-era Veteran. So he went to the Overton Brooks (LA) VAMC to do it.
Despite years of non-VA care and yo-yo dieting, Walter's weight and diabetes were out of control. When he was dismissed from his provider's care for non-compliance, he decided to make a change. He opted for VA care at Shreveport’s Overton Brooks—the facility he now calls "the best place in the world."
Weighing 353 pounds in August 2008, Walter enrolled in MOVE!® individual care and started taking the weight-loss drug Orlistat. He lost 49 pounds and then plateaued, so he was referred to a psychologist and MOVE!® group care. At his first MOVE!® group session in March 2011, he weighed about 295 pounds. By July 2011, he weighed about 253 pounds and had lost an impressive 100 pounds since enrollment in MOVE!®!
Walter thinks it's important to self-motivate and set goals other than those related to weight loss. He still struggles with portion control and snacking, so he keeps a daily food and activity journal.
Before losing weight, Walter says that by noon, he would be "done for the day." Now he is able to actively enjoy a variety of activities. "Life is short, but you will have a better life if you are healthy," Walter says. "You don't have to be skinny, just healthy."