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Weight Loss: Let the Journey Begin

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be an important first step on the pathway to losing weight. Local resident Jim Parks, center, shares some of his weight loss journey in hopes to inspire others to do the same. He gives much credit to healthcare professionals Carrie Moore, left, and Susan White, right, for helping him along with way.

By Jeff Russell

Most of us can relate to the challenges of losing weight and keeping it off. Obstacles such as exhausting work schedules and busy family activities can limit our potential for weight loss success.

Moving toward a healthier lifestyle is most likely a journey rather than an event. Sometimes what we need is some encouragement along the way from someone who has been there. Personal stories can inspire us. Stories from people like 65-year-old Jim Parks of Hornbrook.

Jim and his wife Marie have been happily married for 23 years. He is a retired bank executive. With busy daily schedules and full calendars, they fit the "how-did-we-ever-have-time-to-work" category. Perhaps you can relate.

"Eating healthy food and finding time to exercise can be challenging" Jim says. "Thatís why Iíve teamed up with the experts at Memorial Hospitalís HMR Weight Management Program."

"I am hopeful that others will be encouraged to take advantage of this helpful program," he said.

We asked Jim the following questions and he has agreed to share some of his insight through his answers.

When did you start your journey into a healthier lifestyle? My first appointment with Carrie Moore, HMR consultant at Memorial Hospital, was in May 2011. I lost 37 pounds in just a few short months. There have been ups and downs since and I am back on track to lose weight again.

What is the most significant factor that motivated you to embrace weight loss? I wanted to feel better. I wanted my clothes to fit better. I know it is important to embrace a healthy, active lifestyle.

What do you like best about the HMR program? I have a simple mission Ė to lose weight and keep it off. The HMR program keeps me focused on my mission. Being accountable to Carrie is an important component to my success.

Do you have a favorite food product from the HMR program? I very much enjoy the peanut butter Benefit Bars for a healthy snack and the hot multi-grain cereal for breakfast. I enjoy the HMR food products.

Do you have any positive self-talk or encouraging phrases that help you stay on track? I am a competitive person. For example, when participating in sports I want to win. To win you have to be focused on the goal and give it your all. The same is true to be successful at losing weight.

Do you use a "reward" system for a successful day or week of sticking to your weight loss plan? Not really. I am more likely to reward myself by increasing my conscious thought about my food choices and lifestyle activities. My reward comes through sticking to my goal.

What is the most challenging aspect of maintaining weight loss? Portion control. Absolutely, portion control. For example, dinner buffets can be a huge problem for me. I am committed to only one trip to the buffet. I know I do not need that second plate of food.

Do social factors play a role in your decision / goal of weight loss? Of course. Food is everywhere. Food is an intricate part of most social environments. I have to be fully aware of what I am eating and how much.

How are you changing your behaviors and choices to help with your weight loss goals? Reading labels. I am shocked sometimes at the high fat content and calories in a single serving. What I thought was a serving could very well have been several servings. I use less butter. Cut way back on mayonnaise. Drive right on by the fast food restaurants.

Motivation is key; but what do you do or what happens if you donít have that motivation? You know, it can be a matter of priority. I have to go back to my mission: to lose weight and keep it off. Feeling and looking better is a great motivation.

How do you get yourself off that couch and onto your feet again? I tell myself to get out and take a walk or work outside. I try to prioritize time for exercise.

Can you share any tips that you find helpful to stay positive and overcome any challenges with weight loss? Every day is a new day. Rather than feeling bad about yesterdayís failures, focus on the mission. I have experienced some really good success with weight loss. Now, like lots of others, Iíve gained a few pounds back. Today is a new day; time to refocus on healthier food choices and increase my activity level. Cut back on the sweets and deserts. Be conscious of food portions. Like everyone else, I know what to do, I just need to do it!

Would you recommend the HMR program to a friend? Absolutely, yes. There are great coaches with Carrie Moore and Susan White. This program works and is reasonable to follow. If you are like me, youíve tried plenty of different diet plans. This program has worked the very best for me. Carrie keeps me on track.

HMR Healthy Solutions Program Facts

Carrie Moore, LSW, ASCW, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Wellness/Fitness Instructor and HMR Consultant says, "HMR Healthy Solutions offers a proven, sensible weight management plan, with an emphasis on learning new lifestyle skills and healthier behaviors, not just for losing weight, but for keeping it off."

"This is an ongoing program that teaches healthy lifestyle skills and managing weight in an environment that is very supportive," she says.

"We offer individual weight management counseling and customize a healthy eating plan for each person. Itís not about getting skinny, itís about getting healthy!"

Memorial Hospitalís weight management program is developed by HMR (Health Management Resources) a leading provider of weight loss services. For additional information, please contact Susan White, Registered Dietitian or Carrie Moore at 570-268-2343.

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Press Release
September 30, 2013
Contact: Jeff Russell 268-2444