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MOVE! Weight Management Program

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Marques Houser - Aug 2023

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A Model of Better Health

For Marques Houser, achieving a healthy weight was about more than just the health benefits.

Marques worked with the MOVE! team at the Portland VA Medical Center in Portland, OR, to make small, manageable changes into a healthy lifestyle he could maintain for the long term.


Proving Change Possible

Marques explains that as a former athlete, for most of his life he had found it easy to stay in "top shape." He exercised regularly, made healthy food and beverage choices, and generally did not struggle with weight. Even after suffering a significant injury to his dominant arm, Marques stayed physically active by hiking and weight training. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, it was harder for him to maintain his healthy lifestyle. In time, Marques found himself frequently short of breath and experiencing knee and back pain. He resolved to lose weight, but soon discovered that his old methods were not as effective. Marques wanted to prove to himself that he could get back to a healthy weight and be a role model for his children, so when he learned about the MOVE! Weight Management Program for Veterans, he decided to give it a try.

Through [MOVE!] I have acquired skills that will be with me long after I am out of the program. This is not dieting, this is a lifestyle change."
Marques Houser
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Part of a Team

Marques started MOVE! by participating in virtual group sessions with other Veterans who were also working to manage their weight. He explains that his MOVE! team, and especially dietitian Jalene Lowthorp, were especially helpful as he learned how changing his lifestyle in small ways could add up to weight loss and improved health. In addition to weight management strategies, Marques describes the support and accountability offered by his MOVE! team: "[Jalene] was able to help me navigate some of the pressure I placed on myself. She is an amazing motivator."

Well on His Way

Marques' healthier habits have helped him lose 21 pounds so far. Pleased with this progress, he explains that he is still working toward his long-term goal and he plans to use the tools he gained in MOVE! to stay healthy. More than just a number on the scale, his weight loss has also improved his overall health. Marques shares that he now has more energy, and generally "just feels better!"

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