Robert Miller has worked in the food, entertainment and convenience store industries for more than 30 years.
While it has been a fulfilling career, he says, easy access to calorie-laden snack and fast food restaurants has had a negative impact on his weight and overall health.
“After years of not taking care of my health and making the wrong choices for meals and snacks, I suffered a heart attack — which resulted in two heart stents,” says Robert, a district manager for a national convenience store chain. “I was scared and knew that I had to do something to prolong my health. I began this journey at 345 pounds and the goal is to get down to 195 pounds.”
Having dropped slightly more than 100 pounds in just five months’ participation in Ascension Via Christi’s Weight Management and the HMR program, he is already two-thirds of the way toward meeting that goal.
“I am 53 and I really need to think about my long-term health,” says Robert, in order to achieve his ultimate goal: Enjoying a long and healthy life with his wife, Sandy, and their two dogs. “I know I can do it!”
To begin, Robert met with program coordinator and educator Leann Moore, who described what the program had to offer in the way of support along with what would be expected of him.
He quickly decided that it was the program for him. Robert began meeting with Moore face-to-face once a week and replacing his previous daily diet with one that included HMR entrees and nutritionally balanced shakes and far fewer calories.
At the end of his first week, he was down 11 pounds.
“You lose weight quickly at first,” says Robert. “Then the weight loss slows down and it feels stagnant, but it’s not.”
Once Robert got accustomed to counting calories and developed a better understanding of his relationship with food, he opted to add walking and other forms of exercise to his daily routine.
“I did it for me so I can feel physically better and reach the goal I want quicker, but also to break long-term habits and create new ones I can use every day,” says Robert, who now has more energy and a greater sense of self-esteem and mental well-being.
“Leann is wonderful because she’s kept me on track, let me continue living my life and offered her support, but always with the reminder that this is on me to succeed,” says Robert. “It was clear from the start that I needed to want to succeed for myself.”
Still, he says he wouldn’t have made the progress that he has without the program and Moore.
“She cares about the people she’s helping and wants the best for them, but recognizes that it’s up to you to make it happen,” says Robert, who’s tried multiple diets before, but ended up gaining back the weight he lost. “I have Leann on my side now and for the future. She is a fantastic resource and makes the difference for me and everyone involved within the program.”
Having experienced some of the immediate benefits of weight loss, Robert is now looking to the future with excitement.
“My cardiologist is thinking about reducing some of my heart medications because of my improved health, weight loss and fantastic results I have achieved while being on the HMR Program,” he says. “I can’t wait to take a picture of me with my old XXXL clothes on so I don’t forget where I came from and where I am headed to for the future.”
He’s also excited that soon he will get to see his and his wife’s family for the first time in two years and witness their reaction to the new, lighter Robert.
While he still has a way to go to reach his weight loss goal, he says he’s gained a tremendous sense of accomplishment already.
“Our health is the most important thing we have — cherish it, love it and take care of yourselves,” says Robert. “Having invested time and effort with Leann and the HMR Program, I know that I am setting myself up for my future. If I passed away tomorrow I would be proud knowing that I have taken the steps for better health.”