Mind Over Matter Veterans Path to Healthy Living


by Sheila Sedig, and Becky Stephens


“MOVE! works, but only if you change your way of thinking.”  These are the words of Jody Powers, a Veteran who has attended the 4-week MOVE! class series and is now enrolled in the 90-day Tele-MOVE! Program at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS).  His motivation to learn more about healthy living began with a recent diagnosis of diabetes.  He is learning to balance healthy food choices with physical activity.  He is seeing great results, such as, a 30 pound drop in his weight, four and a half inches from his waist and a reduction in his hemoglobin A1c by 1%.  He states, “After trying many other programs and methods of my own, this is the one weight loss vehicle that works for me.”

Mr. Powers had many opportunities to attend MOVE! classes, but was not really sure what it was about and felt like it might just be “another program that would put me through the paces only to fail again.”  But, when his Primary Care Provider set up the appointment, he decided to give it a try.  The knowledge he gained from the MOVE! classes was just what he needed to make healthy lifestyle changes.  He states the best part of MOVE! was the comprehensiveness of the program; he was able to speak with staff from dietetics, psychology and physical therapy.  The group setting provided support and encouragement as each class was packed with nutrition, physical activity and behavior change ideas.  He says what he learned during the classes led him to an “aha moment” and he began to understand why past attempts at weight loss had not worked.  Now, he feels that he is equipped with the knowledge he needed to move towards success.

He decided to keep moving forward with healthy living and give the Tele-MOVE! Program a try.  This program includes a small in-home device, called a Health Buddy, which asks health-related questions on a daily basis, and monitors weight once per week.  In addition, a dietitian follows up by telephone every few weeks.  He states, “The daily interactions help remind me of what I need to do.”

Mr. Powers provides a perfect example of how to take charge of life and choose healthy living.  He used the knowledge he gained through the MOVE! programs to give meaning to daily actions.  He remembered some good advice from a 76-year old body builder, “Every bite either helps you or hurts you; you are what you eat.”  He appreciates and understands this statement even better now, since he’s learned so much from the MOVE! programs.  He changed his way of thinking and chose healthy living.

To learn more about MOVE! or Tele-MOVE! at SAVAHCS, contact Sheila Sedig, MOVE! Coordinator at (520) 629-4659 or 1-800-470-8262 Extension 4659.  The MOVE! programs are also available at Yuma, Sierra Vista,  Casa Grande and Tucson South East  Community Based Outpatient Clinics.



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