Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

MOVE! Weight Management Program

Quick Links
Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge

Stu Rusch - Oct 2023

Photo of grilled spicy vegetables

Following Through for Change

Stewart "Stu" Rusch set his mind on making lasting changes to improve his health for the long term

Working with the MOVE! team at the Rapid City VA Clinic in Rapid City, SD, Stu developed a healthy lifestyle to help manage his weight.


A Fresh Start

Stu’s struggle to maintain a healthy weight had challenged him throughout much of his life. He explains that in the past, he would often try new diets or programs to improve his health, but each time, he had difficulty following through for lasting change. Stu was able to achieve his goals the first time that he joined the MOVE! Weight Management Program for Veterans some years ago, but after he completed his sessions, he found himself reverting to old habits. Then, in 2019, Stu became determined to give MOVE! another try. This time, he explains, "the MOVE! Program is a way of life. I told myself this time, I did not want to go back to my old self and I was in the MOVE! Program for the rest of my life.

[MOVE!] has been an excellent choice for me to make and form new and good habits in my life.
Stu Rusch
Photo of aerial shot of a swimming pool

Putting in the Work

"I have chosen MOVE! because I know it works," Stu explains, "and good things have happened to my body and my life." MOVE! emphasizes the importance of making small, manageable changes to eating and physical activity habits. For Stu, being more mindful of the food and beverages he consumes helps him stick to the number of calories he plans to eat every day. Stu has joined a local gym and performs water exercises for 1 to 2 hours every day. He maintains a log to help him track and organize all of his progress. Stu also values the MOVE! Food and Physical Activity Log, explaining that "I have done this for the last three years and I believe this is a key ingredient to losing weight." It helps "making one accountable to myself and being honest about it."

Progress and Reward

Since starting MOVE!, Stu has lost 44 pounds and notes that "when we lose weight, it helps keep our other health issues in line." As he has developed his new lifestyle to manage his weight, he has also realized a number of other health benefits including lowering his blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. He shares that he is especially grateful to his MOVE! team for their support throughout his journey, and he plans to maintain his healthy habits and enjoy his new life.

Return to MOVE! Stories Library


"Making that commitment, and knowing where to start..."

Carl Conway


"If you care about yourself and you care about your life..."

Rocco Terrezi


"Sticking with the program really works!"

Paul Shaskan