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Health Team

58-year-old man credits Rex plan for dropping almost 60 pounds

Posted February 6, 2018 7:53 a.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 1:41 p.m. EDT

— Tim Sarzier's first stop at Garner's Rex Wellness Center is always a blood pressure check.

All of the 58-year-old's health numbers are good now, but the same couldn't be said for 10 years ago.

"I was up to 250 pounds, and I started watching what I ate, and I got down to 210," Sarzier said.

Now, he's down even more — to 192 pounds.

Sarzier said joining Rex Healthcare's Healthy Way program got him focused on exercise and nutrition. Rex dietitian Shelly Wegman said that's the goal of the program.

"One of the purposes of Healthy Way is to get people thinking, 'What's this doing for me? What benefits am I getting out of this food, and how is going to help me with weight management, health issues, fueling my exercise and activity?'" Wegman said.

Sarzier said one of the biggest revelations from the program was seeing how much food he consumed.

"I was counting calories," Sarzier said. "That was eye opening to see how much we over eat."

Sarzier now often attends Wegman's healthy cooking demos, which help him find more vegetable dishes he likes.

Working out in a gym environment helped him stay on track, and making new friends there gave him extra motivation to attend regularly.

Besides cardio and weight training, he also attends a variety of classes.

"The key is to find something that you like doing - because if you don't like doing it, you're going to find an excuse," said Rex Wellness trainer Lauren Rozella.

Sarzier said he has faltered at times, but he always got back on track. Now, he's achieving his goals.

"I have a lot more energy. I run races now. I train hard for them," he said. "I've never been able to do that before."

Sarzier's insurance plan covers regular visits with a dietitian, and he takes advantage of it six times a year. Many people have that type of insurance coverage, too, but never take advantage of it.

WRAL Health Team's Dr. Allen Mask said counseling can really help people focus on strategies that work.

Weight loss is a common New Year's resolution, though a study by the University of Scranton found it only has an 8 percent success rate. Mask said the high failure rate is partially because most people pursue weight loss on their own with a more restrictive diet.

If people do reach their weight loss goal, the weight usually comes back.

Success comes by making a healthy eating and exercise plan that includes all the food you love but in proper portions, Mask said.

He added: The key word for success is not "diet" but "lifestyle."