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MOVE! Weight Management Program

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Gene Ballay - Jan 2023

Photo of Veteran Gene Ballay after achieving success with MOVE!

Grateful for the Chance to Change

Gene Ballay embraced the opportunity to develop a healthy lifestyle and achieved his weight loss goals in the process.

With the help of the MOVE! team at the Gene Taylor Veterans' Outpatient Clinic in Springfield, MO, Gene followed through on his plans to change his eating and physical activity habits for the better.


Setting a New Course

The struggle for Gene to maintain a healthy weight began after pain from injuries sustained during his military service eventually led him to give up his regular jogging routine. Though Gene tried to stay active by walking, over time, his pain worsened. When his short-term pain solutions started to prove ineffective, Gene even had to stop walking for exercise. By 2021, his healthcare team was even more concerned about Gene's risk for developing diabetes. After doing some research, Gene realized that a combination of diet and exercise could help him reach his goals. When his VA provider recommended the MOVE! Weight Management Program for Veterans, he embraced this opportunity with open arms.

It can be done…the diet and exercise will become the new normal.
Gene Ballay
Photo of Veteran Gene Ballay prior to joining MOVE!

A Different Approach

Though Gene had tried various diets and methods to manage his weight in the past, he experience with MOVE! was different. "In retrospect," he explains, their "key shortcoming" was that these programs required major adjustments to his life and work routine. On the other hand, Gene says, his efforts with MOVE! were based on small, simple changes. Gene worked with his MOVE! dietitian, Wendy Wolber, to replace foods like ice cream and baked beans with healthier options like yogurt and popcorn. In addition to these healthy food choices, Gene also committed himself to physical activity both at home and at a fitness center. Recalls Gene, "I weighed myself each morning and rather quickly began to lose 3 pounds per week, which was the encouragement that made it all worthwhile.

Enjoying His Success

Since starting MOVE! and changing his lifestyle, Gene has lost over 50 pounds in addition to 8 inches from his waistline. With the support of his MOVE! team and his wife, Rosa, Gene maintains his new healthy habits, keeping long-term better health in mind. "I have a new life," he shares, "and every time I bring home a 50-pound sack of dog food, I think to myself that I used to be carrying this 50 pounds everywhere I went."

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