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VA Boston Healthcare System


A Veteran on the MOVE!

Multi-colored tape measure

Multi-colored tape measure

Monday, January 30, 2012

In September, three years ago, Tyrone B. sat at his cousin’s 60th birthday party frustrated because he was out growing his clothes. At that moment he decided to take action. He quit drinking that night and adjusted his diet. Within one week, he lost 5 pounds.

Fascinated by how minor adjustments can cause weight loss, the Air Force Veteran decided to join the MOVE! Program.  Although that September night was the breaking point for Tyrone, several factors pushed him towards MOVE! He began to see how unhealthy choices were hurting the people around him.

“Some of my friends, they were passing away because of the aches and the pains and because of the weight.  It’s bad on your knees. It’s bad on your sleep, and on your blood pressure,” Tyrone said.

A major factor in Tyrone’s decision to participate in the MOVE! Program was Rosemary McGovern, Ambulatory Care Dietician at VA Boston Healthcare system.  

“Rosemary chased me around the hospital for 10 years,” Tyrone laughed. “I joke with her and say by the time that I did get in her class and I was losing (weight), I wanted to be on ‘The Biggest Loser’ but I lost too much.”

Tyrone joined the 6-week portion of MOVE! at 315 pounds and graduated the program at 275 pounds. Through the program, Tyrone learned that he can live a healthy and longer life. He traded in his fried foods and snacks for fruit, salads and baked foods. 

“The fried food was the hardest because even though I was trying to bake instead, other people in the house still wanted it fried,” Tyrone said.

Prior to joining the MOVE! Program in 2008, Tyrone hadn’t exercised since leaving the military in 1980. Despite having trouble with his right knee, he has spent more time exercising recently. This morning he rode his exercise bike for an hour and later he will do 50 leg lifts on each leg with 10 pound weights.

Since joining MOVE! in 2008, Tyrone has went down a total of four sizes, and lost 7 inches in his waist.

Although, Tyrone has graduated from the six-week program in 2008, he still continues to meet with Rosemary and other Veterans, to get weighed in every two weeks. Tyrone has no plans on officially graduating and moving on from the program.

At MOVE! he found more than a diet and exercise plan, he found a hobby and companionship.

“I don’t think that I’ll ever graduate because it’s something to do. It keeps you out the house, keeps you alert and you have somebody to talk to and joke with,” said Tyrone.

This year, he has vowed to exercise more, and continue to lose weight and eat healthy.

If you are a Veteran who receives care at a VA facility and would like guidance and advice on leading a healthy lifestyle, visit the MOVE! website. If you are a Veteran, but do not receive care at a VA facility take the MOVE23 questionnaire for an individual report on nutrition, physical activity and healthy behavioral change information.


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