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Randy's journey through the NEW FOCUS program

March 13, 2018

Why did you start seeing a dietitian with the NEW FOCUS program?

“I couldn’t do anything and felt that I was at the do or die time. I couldn’t put my socks on in the morning without struggling and I didn’t think I would be able to go hunting for much longer, so I knew something had to change.” He asked his provider, Melissa Pearson, ARNP at the UnityPoint Health Family Medicine – Tama/Toledo clinic if there was something he could do and she suggested our New Focus Program. “I didn’t have high hopes for becoming healthier; I was coming in to meet with the dietitian more out of desperation.” After just a few sessions, Randy was committed to not only losing weight, but to becoming healthier for himself and for his family. Randy started tracking his food and drink intake and physical activity using MyFitnessPal, which he found to be an easy to use tool that also held him accountable.

What has been the biggest challenge for you?

“Getting started with being active.” Randy has gone from not doing any regular exercise routine to exercising on a daily basis. In the first few sessions with Randy, he mentioned that he would never be the type to go for a walk just to get exercise. Just a few short months later and he was willingly walking every day, sometimes twice a day, with his wife and dog Lambeau. He has also taken up new types of exercise such as kayaking, biking and even participated in his first 5k event. Randy’s eating habits have also changed significantly. He was previously always hungry, eating large portion sizes frequently, drinking multiple gallons of whole milk per week and eating large portions of ice cream, several times per week. Randy now portions out his meals and snacks, pays attention to his hunger cues, and feels more satisfied with eating balanced meals.

How would you describe your experience over the past year?

“This has been an experience that money can’t buy. You have to start with baby steps and then keep with it. I never thought I would be drinking so much water every day, getting up during commercial breaks to walk around or exercising daily. I feel like I’m actually giving myself a fighting chance. I have more empathy towards others who are trying to make healthier changes in their lives too. It’s not an easy change, but it’s something you have to do.” In a year, Randy has lost over 125 pounds, reduced his blood pressure medication, improved his blood work, and is now eating more balanced meals and performing physical activity on a regular basis. Randy has logged his meals and physical activity into MyFitnessPal for 355 consecutive days, and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon!  He has significantly increased his mobility, balance and cardiovascular fitness. Randy is enjoying being able to hunt more, taking part in new outdoor activities, and being able to do more activities with his family. He appreciates the things he is now able to do with his grandkids. Randy’s dog Lambeau has also been on a path to healthier living, losing over 20 pounds while walking daily with Randy. Randy has done an excellent job at setting goals, working hard towards them and succeeding past those goals. Randy stated, “I’m just really happy with how everything is now!”

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