Ascension Via Christi Weight Management helps exec lose more than 170 pounds | Ascension

Ascension Via Christi Weight Management helps exec lose more than 170 pounds

Scott Lucas weighed nearly 375 pounds last August during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the help of Ascension Via Christi Weight Management, he lost nearly 175 pounds in a year.

Scott Lucas from May 2020 to May 2021

Last August, Scott Lucas weighed nearly 375 pounds, the most in his up-and-down struggle with managing his weight over the past 15 years.

Where his weight typically hovered around 330 to 340 pounds, during the first four months of the pandemic, "I was leading the pack in putting on weight," says Scott, vice president of Aviation, Manufacturing and Institutional Effectiveness for WSU Tech.

Fast forward nine months and the 47-year-old Scott has shed nearly 170 pounds with the help of Ascension Via Christi's non-surgical weight management program, water classes at the YMCA and the support of his wife, Chrissy, in helping him stick to his plan.

"If you would have asked me in August if I could get here in nine months I would have said you were crazy," says Scott, whose weight management efforts were complicated by a broken ankle that never quite healed. "Since I broke it 20 years ago, 100 percent of what I have done for physical activity I have done in the pool."

But with the YMCA pools closed, that came to a halt. Scott had his sixth ankle surgery in February 2020, began physical therapy that May and returned to working onsite at WSU Tech in June.

Motivated by the ankle that wouldn't heal under the stress of his weight and his "big clothes" that would longer fit, Scott decided to check out Ascension Via Christi's HMR program led by educator Leann Moore.

"It seemed like something that was doable for me so I called Leann, who tailored a plan to fit my needs," says Scott, who although he had successfully lost weight previously says, "I needed that structure and accountability that comes with paying a little money."

Scott began working one-on-one with Moore on Aug. 24 and immediately began to see results. He also returned to the recently reopened Greater Wichita-YMCA pools, starting with three day a week workouts and eventually building up to five to six days a week. He started out meeting with Moore weekly, then biweekly and then monthly. He also makes quarterly trips to see his primary care physician.

Scott found the meal plan, which includes daily entrees, fruits, vegetables and protein shakes, provided sufficient variety to keep him going, and even found a protein bar that satisfied his craving for peanut butter.

At Scott's most recent weigh-in, he was down to 200 pounds, which was his goal weight. He is now in Phase 2 of the program, which focuses on maintaining the skills and behaviors that allowed him to lose the unhealthy pounds.

"In nine months, I have been through my entire family's birthday cycle, my anniversary, Thanksgiving, Christmas, vacation and two weddings," says Scott. "So things that in the past may have sidetracked me didn't permanently sidetrack me this time."

What was his secret this time?

"You have to find something that works for you," says Scott. "Nothing that we are going to do is going to be perfect, so you have to be adaptable and remind yourself why you are doing what you're doing," he says.

Although reducing his blood pressure and improving his overall health wasn't his initial goal, "My doctor told me I have truly added years to the end of my life."

Scott says that 90 percent of his journey was mental, which for him meant, "Finding a plan, following the structure, and getting up every morning to do a workout that I truly enjoyed."

So today, he keeps on doing what was working for him and celebrating the small victories along the way, such as "no longer struggling to tie my shoes and being able to walk up a flight of stairs and still be fine."