Lifestyle change, not diets, are key for NR man’s weight lossIn his job as a data architect, Lyle Orr is used to working with health statistics. But it wasn’t until this past spring that Orr realized that he was quickly becoming a statistic that he was all too familiar with.
By: By Jeff Holmquist, New Richmond News
In his job as a data architect, Lyle Orr is used to working with health statistics.
But it wasn’t until this past spring that Orr realized that he was quickly becoming a statistic that he was all too familiar with. He was one of a growing number of Americans who was becoming obese and he resolved to do something about it.
“All through high school and college I was very fit,” Orr recalled.
But after getting married, Orr’s poor eating habits and lack of exercise began catching up with him. When his mother died in 1991, the problem accelerated.
“I abused myself with food,” he explained.
His work forced him to travel often, making it easier for Orr to make excuses for eating unhealthy food and being inactive.
This spring, Orr knew things had to change.
He had ballooned to 373 pounds and his ability to complete simple tasks was impaired.
“When you realize you can barely put your own socks on, that’s a problem,” he said.
He said he also was stressed when getting on an airplane, because he couldn’t comfortably fit in a coach seat. He felt bad for those seated next to him.
“It was stressful if I wasn’t upgraded to first class,” he said.
Orr also couldn’t take walks with his family, or even help out with household tasks like cleaning out the gutters on his home.
“I’d hit rock bottom,” Orr said. “I knew it was now or never.”
The six-year New Richmond resident checked himself into Hilton Head Health, a program designed to help overweight people change their future by teaching them proper nutrition and educating them about appropriate exercise.
The four-week program kicked off with a complete physical, which revealed that Orr had developed Type II diabetes. He was also told that his blood sample showed he had no HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) in his body.
“It was all bad cholesterol,” he said.
With a new determination to turn his life around, Orr committed himself to follow the recommendations of the Hilton Head Health program.
One guiding principal Orr and his family follow is “unwise, better, best.”
Even if the “best” or most healthy food choice isn’t handy, one shouldn’t automatically switch to the “unwise” choice. Often, Orr explained, the “better” choice can satisfy and the poor food choice can be avoided.
Orr now limits his intake to 1,700 to 1,800 calories a day. He has significantly cut down the amount of fat and sugar intake he consumes each day, but it doesn’t mean he can’t indulge in some of his favorite snacks or meals from time to time.
“There are no restricted foods,” he said. “It’s just a day-by-day accounting of what you eat. It’s a lifestyle change.”
Most of that lifestyle change comes in the form of a new menu. Orr estimates 80 percent of his effort revolves around food, while just 20 percent is exercise and increased activity.
“It’s not like I’m in the gym six days a week,” he said.
The results have been nothing short of miraculous. In less than five months, Orr has dropped 103 pounds.
He’s now able to help around the house more often, and he enjoys taking walks and participating in other activities with his wife, Jessica, and his kids, Ashlie and Jake.
The healthy kick has even rubbed off on them. Jessica reports that she’s lost 26 pounds in the past five months, and she now enjoys the family’s new diet more than their previous high-fat and high-calorie recipes.
“It’s just so flavorful,” Jessica said.
The family practices “volumetrics,” a cooking method that promises people they can eat fewer calories yet still feel full. The key is for home chefs to combine such things as chopped carrots, onions and other healthy foods to meat or favorite recipes to lessen fat and calories but to maintain or improve taste.
The most important factor in the family’s health kick has been the partnership that they’ve formed in spurring each other on.
“You can’t do it alone,” Jessica said. “You need a partner. You can talk things through and help each other make the better or best choice.”
The Orrs were excited when they heard about New Richmond’s new “Vitality Initiative,” which kicked off in September.
They are passionate boosters of people taking steps to become healthier and they’re willing to talk with anyone who wants to know what they can do to make a change.
“You just want other people to experience this too,” Lyle said. “I would love for people to reach out to me and ask for help.”
For more information on the Vitality Initiative, visit www.nrvitality.com.
For more information on the Hilton Head Health program, visit www.hhhealth.com.
To calculate your individual daily caloric needs, visit www.h3daily.com. This blog also features numerous recipes and fitness ideas that anyone can incorporate.
Lyle Orr and his wife swear by it. Not only does “Breakfast Whack” leave them satisfied in the morning and carries them through lunch, they claim it’s incredibly tasty.
Start with 1 cup healthy cereal (Lyle uses Fiber One)
Mix in 1/2 cup Non-Fat Vanilla yogurt (lite)
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese (it’s OK to use the 1% low fat version if you want)
Then pile the bowl high with your favorite berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries)