Off and Running with UAMS Weight Loss Program

By kelly

After having let his health go a little bit following the death of his wife in 2006, Jim was hit with the realization that he couldn’t muster the strength or agility to get back up from his poolside routine.

“I was too fat,” said the 67-year-old Jim Brown. “Bottom l

Jim Brown decided 5K events with his daughter, like this one in 2009, would be a lot easier if he didn’t weigh 307 pounds.

Jim Brown decided 5K events with his daughter, like this one in 2009, would be a lot easier if he didn’t weigh 307 pounds.

ine. I knew I had gained some weight, obviously, but I never really thought too much about it until that day, I guess. I just didn’t care too much anymore and overate regularly.”

He’d heard about the UAMS Program for Weight Loss and Metabolic Control from his daughter, Melody, and a few other friends in casual conversations, but never thought it’d wind up changing his life the way it has today. When he entered the program June 25, 2009, Jim weighed in at 307 pounds. And that’s after having struggled to already lose nearly 10 pounds leading up to committing to the UAMS program.

“A lot of people don’t realize how much their weight and eating habits affect their lives,” Jim said. “It’s really sad to me. It affects your mood, your relationships, your health, and overall just your quality of life. The program at UAMS has worked for me and it’s been a guiding factor in my life.”

Fad Habit to Break
Though it’s different for every participant, says Clinic Coordinator Betsy Day, the main guiding factor is giving patientsthe knowledge and tools to succeed.

“By committing to the program, applicants begin a journey that not only includes steady weight loss and improved health, but gives them a concise road map and the necessary tools to maintain the lifestyle change,” Betsy Day said.

While most trendy “fad” diets and weight-loss programs might offer a quick fix, the UAMS program aims to permanently change unhealthy lifestyles and eating habits. This ensures a higher success rate and leads to overall better health and quality of life.

Getting participants to reach their ideal weight is accomplished through a documented, medically proven strategy.

Jim Brown shows off his medal from completing the Little Rock Marathon in March, his first full marathon.

Jim Brown shows off his medal from completing the Little Rock Marathon in March, his first full marathon.

“Many people get caught up in losing weight as quickly as possible and don’t have an understanding of the dangers of fad diets and drugs that often are more risky than being overweight or obese,” Betsy said. “The key part of any rational dietincludes behavior modification to avoid regaining the lost weight as soon as previous eating habits resume.”

Cruise Control
In addition to the tools the UAMS program provided him, including its encouragement for a steady dose of exercise, Jim has picked up a passion for running, which he shares with his multi-marathon-running daughter.

“We always used to travel around and support Melody in her marathons,” Jim said. “I always appreciated the travel aspect of going different places to be a part of that.”

Nowadays, Jim isn’t just watching, he’s participating. He’s completed one 5k, six half-marathons and the full Little Rock Marathon last March. Jim is planning to run his seventh half marathon this September at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. He is also scheduled to run the full marathon in Dallas this December with Day and others. He is training locally with the Little Rock Marathon training group, which includes up to four runs a week. He also mixes in strength training about three times a week.

But even with plenty of exercise, he sometimes finds himself lacking the motivation and discipline required to stay on track.

“That’s what is great about the program,” Jim said. “I know myself, and I know I need to stay involved. The people at UAMS have been great, and they’re always there for advice and positive reinforcement to keep me on track.”

Jim, who now keeps his weight around 180 pounds, said he is a regular at UAMS, stopping by to weigh in almost weekly. Now that he’s training for another marathon, it requires eating more calories to keep his energy level where it needs to be. The staff at UAMS helps him regulate his eating habits and keep him sufficiently fueled for his runs.

“I’m going to be around to enjoy my family much longer now,” Jim said. “I’m a changed man and I would encourage anyone thinking about doing this to do it for themselves. You only live once so you have to make it count.”