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MOVE! Weight Management Program

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James Vandervort - Mar 2024

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Finding Support in Shared Experience

James Vandervort decided to improve his health and found motivation alongside his fellow Veterans through MOVE!.

With the help of the MOVE! team at the Buffalo VA Medical Center in Buffalo, NY, James began a journey to reaching a healthy weight and achieving better health overall.


Deciding to MOVE!

For James, the motivation to change his lifestyle came during a routine health appointment. He found himself alarmed at his weight, as well as its impact on his "excessively high" blood sugar levels. Fortunately, his local VA offered the MOVE! Weight Management Program for Veterans, which empowers Veterans to achieve better health through small, manageable lifestyle changes.

[MOVE!] can provide the accountability and group support… to help you reach your goals.
James Vandervort
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Sharing the Effort

James began his journey with MOVE! by enrolling in group sessions, which allowed him to learn healthy strategies together with other Veterans. "The group motivation is different than what I’ve been through," he recalls. "Even though everyone is at a different point in their life and comes from different backgrounds, we all share similar experiences through our time in the service." For James, "the emotional support that came with being part of a group aimed toward the same goal" kept him accountable and motivated as he changed his food and physical activity habits. He also shares that "Having someone there to give me the support if I slipped up and made the wrong decision was exactly what I needed to not only meet but exceed my goals."

Improving His Health

Since starting MOVE! in September 2023, James has exceeded his expectations by losing nearly 50 pounds. Thanks to his new lifestyle, he has seen many a variety of benefits in all aspects of life. "I can go walking distances I couldn’t before [and] I am able to go bowling," he reports. In addition to having more energy, James has improved his general health. He has experienced improvement in his blood sugar levels and his chronic pain and plans to continue his journey to better health by managing his weight.

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