NC State’s Director of Benefits Describes How Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less Has Impacted His Life

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joe_ncsu_pictureJoe is the Director of Benefits at NC State University and participated in the Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less program over the summer. We are honored to share Joe’s story. Congratulations, Joe!

How I Learned to Eat Smart and Move More

On a recent vacation, my wife and I stayed at an all-inclusive resort. It was wonderful…beautiful beach, free food/drinks, great activities, etc. I found myself really excited about the free food. A buffet was always open, three restaurants were open at lunch and five open at dinner. To enjoy my vacation and “get my money’s worth” I ate and ate and ate. I was already struggling with my weight, but this vacation pushed me to my highest weight ever. I am 6’2″ and weighed 248 pounds when I got home from vacation.

I took a hard look at myself and realized I needed to make a change. It took me years to get to my weight and I realized it would take time to get healthier. I did not just want to lose weight, but really get healthier overall.

Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less is a program that is sponsored by the office that I lead, HR- Benefits. It was created by NC State and the  NC Division of Public Health. I had helped sponsor this program many times, as HR Benefits leads the Staff and Faculty wellness programs. I finally decided to take the Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less class that began in June.

Greg Moore was our instructor; he is amazing! He makes the class fun, interesting, and engaging. He is a walking example and shares his personal journey as well. I quickly discovered this is not a weight loss class, not an exercise class nor a fitness class. It is a place where you can learn to eat smarter, move more in a fun way and as a result, weigh less.

I LOVE to eat out. It’s like a hobby for me. I love trying new restaurants and going to places where I can “pig out”. The Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less class taught me how to make better food selections when I go out. It encouraged me to track what I eat and drink. I chose to use the My Fitness Pal app on my phone; it works great. I can put in the types of food I want to eat, see the calories and determine if I want to do that or go with another food choice.

I have a desk-type job. I have learned that my body is designed to move. Now, I take quick walking breaks every hour and walk around the office for a few minutes. I track my steps with my iPhone health app. I try to get at least 10,000 steps in a day. The beauty of moving or exercising is that it burns calories and is great for your overall health.

I have just completed my 12th week of class (out of 15) and I feel better overall. I’ve lost over 15 pounds and my blood pressure numbers are much better. As a Wellness Leader, I need to be a good example of wellness. The information I’ve learned so far has literally changed my life. I have already enrolled in the next class series and I hope to see you there.