My Outlook: Chris Berry, weight loss success
How much did you weigh at the beginning of your journey?
How much have you lost?
How long did this journey take?
I started in April of 2013.
Are you where you want to be now?
I have surpassed my doctor’s goal by 25 pounds. I am still about 25 pounds from my personal goal, which I hope to reach by March.
What made you decide to lose the weight?
I had a health scare in March of 2013. While at the hospital, a gentleman passed away from a heart attack and I saw his family & friends gathered in the waiting room consoling each other. I knew then that I needed to make some serious changes if I did not want my family and friends to be in that same situation.
What was the process you took to lose the weight?
Between April 2013 and January 2014 I lost 83 pounds by eating better and exercising five to six days a week. In January of 2014, I had gastric sleeve surgery and have lost an additional 267 pounds. The team at Journey Clinic and Dr. Lana Nelson have a great program and made me feel confident and safe with the entire process.
What was your biggest struggle in losing the weight?
In the beginning, it was staying away from soda and working out consistently. However, once you start to see the positive results, it motivates you to keep pushing on. I think the most important thing for people to understand about weight loss procedures is they are not a quick fix or a “magic pill” solution. This process has required effort and focused attention.
What benefits have you noticed since you lost the weight?
Daily activities are no longer a labored process. The pressure off of my joints and body is amazing, and I am now off all medication. One of the biggest benefits was being able to fly with only one seat and no seat belt extender. It also feels pretty great to be able to run around the softball bases!
What has been most rewarding about losing the weight?
The peace of mind knowing that I will, God willing, be around much longer with my family & friends.
What lifestyle changes have you made?
The two biggest were making healthier food/drink choices and exercising on a regular basis.
What has been your biggest accomplishment since the weight loss?
I had planned on going to California to visit friends this past fall. While looking at dates to visit, I thought it would be fun to complete a 5K. After a few short runs at Lake Hefner and passing the 5K distance, I felt really good! I decided that I wanted to attempt a Half Marathon. In October I participated in the Long Beach International City Bank Half Marathon. I completed the race and beat my initial time goal by 21 minutes. This is something I never even thought possible prior to the weight loss.
What’s it like to need a completely new wardrobe?
It’s pretty awesome! There are not many options when you wear a 7XL—Navy, Black and White are about it. Now I am having some fun with new wardrobe choices and colors!
What foods, if any, do you completely avoid now?
I completely avoid Chinese food (which used to be my favorite), pizza, or anything fried. Fast food places are no longer an option either.
Do you have any fitness goals with this new lifestyle?
My goal for 2015 is to complete one more half marathon and a full marathon. My other goal is to continue on a healthy lifestyle routine. Many individuals will regain weight, even after the procedure. It is not something that is a “one time and done” procedure. It will require continued effort and a lifetime of healthy habits and actions.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?
I truly feel blessed to have been given this opportunity to reclaim my health. My support system is amazing! My family, friends, and YMCA family have been beside me to encourage, support, and keep me motivated during this process. The positive comments that I have received while out and about have been very encouraging.