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MOVE! Weight Management Program

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Steve Hatzis - Nov 2023

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Overcoming Challenges With MOVE!

Steve Hatzis triumphed over a major health setback and worked with MOVE! to reach a healthy weight again.

With the help of the MOVE! team at the Colonel Mary Louise Rasmuson Campus of the Alaska VA Healthcare System in Anchorage, AK, Steve incorporated new habits into his lifestyle as he regained control of his health.


Facing the Challenge

For most of Steve’s life, he had a "terrible" relationship with food. "I ate fast," he recalls, "ate a lot, and paid little attention to the quality or quantity of the food that I ate." After retiring from the Army, his weight continued to fluctuate, but gradually increased to the point that it contributed to health problems such as pre-diabetes. Steve participated in the MOVE! Weight Management Program for Veterans and reached the weight loss goals he had set. Then he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. During his treatment, Steve regained the weight that he had worked so hard to lose. After his recovery, however, Steve was determined to participate in MOVE! again to get back to his earlier weight goal.

My VA providers and [MOVE!] have made all the difference.
Steve Hatzis
Photo of Cooked food with ingredients on a table

A New Relationship

Steve explains that the key to achieving his healthy lifestyle goals was establishing a new, healthy relationship with food. He worked with his MOVE! team to develop habits such as mindful eating, where he focused on healthier food choices and portion sizes. Additionally, the accountability of checking in with his MOVE! team on a weekly basis, as well as the support provided by the MOVE! group setting, helped Steve stay motivated to pursue his goals. "My VA provider was instrumental in explaining how my excessive weight was affecting my health," he recalls. "The combination of VA referrals and treatment gave me the tools I needed to achieve my weight loss goals."

Embracing Better Health

Steve has lost 45 pounds since starting MOVE! for the second time and shares that he is feeling much better overall. "I am able to be more active with less joint pain and more energy," he explains. "My mental acuity is improved. Self-esteem is up and I enjoy my interactions with others…my A1C is lower and trending downward." To continue his commitment to a healthy lifestyle, Steve incorporates activity into his routine, including cardio and strengthening activities, and walking his dog 3 miles every day. He explains, "Moving is easy for me because I love the outdoors and weight loss has made that even more enjoyable." Steve also participates in monthly MOVE! maintenance sessions as part of his plan to maintain the healthy changes he has worked so hard to achieve.

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