Butler VA Health Care System
My Life is Better Now
Monday, March 4, 2019U.S. Marine Corps Veteran James Hughes started the MOVE! Program in July 2017, and has since lost several pants’ sizes, inches, as well as 78 pounds. What has he gained? Camaraderie, extra-curricular activities, and a better life.
MOVE! is a weight management, health promotion program designed to improve the lives of Veterans. MOVE!’s core ideas—encouraging healthy eating behavior, increasing physical activity, and promoting even small weight losses—are easy to follow and based on the latest in nutrition science.
James’ first experience with the MOVE! Program was with TeleMOVE!, a telehealth program that includes daily interaction with in-home messaging technologies and clinician contact as needed. Next, he participated in MOVE! Group at the Cranberry Township VA Clinic. MOVE! Group Sessions are clinician-led groups that meet regularly and follow a structured format for weight loss.
“The camaraderie of all the guys and women in the MOVE! group made this program work for me. Everyone is open about their struggles with losing weight. We all fit in. We are all Veterans. We all are overweight. We can relate to each other.”
James also struggles with Parkinson’s disease, and prior to coming to VA he could not walk or use his hands. He regularly sat around and watched TV.
“Now I go out and do things. My wife and I go places. I work in the garden. I work out in the basement. We go to some events in the community and I am involved in the Marine Corp League,” shared James. “I feel like I want to do stuff now. They really motivate me. My life is so much better now!”
In addition to the MOVE! Program, a VA Therapist referred James to Rock Steady Fit 4 Boxing Club. He joined in August 2018, and goes to a one-hour class four days a week that is specifically for Parkinson’s disease patients. “I could hardly do anything when I started the program and now I am one of the hardest punchers in the class!” James said.
In addition to boxing and MOVE!, James is maintaining his health (and hoping to lose even more weight) by eating smaller portions and cutting out sweets. He also participates in several Telehealth programs.
“I participate in Telehealth for diabetes, blood pressure, and weight. This is an extra help in addition to the MOVE! classes. My Telehealth RN keeps tracks of my numbers for me and calls me when there are changes. She is great and it is nice to know that she is watching things for me.”
To learn more about MOVE!, talk to your health care team at the Butler VA today or visit www.move.va.gov.