Summit’s One2One program helps spark positive changes in health
Joe Akey thought he was a reasonably fit and healthy guy until a routine screening showed he had high blood pressure and dangerously high cholesterol levels.
“I thought of myself as a fairly in-shape, athletic individual. My results were not good, to say the least,” said Akey, a Whitefish native who works as a State Farm insurance agent.
He enrolled in the One2One program at The Summit Medical Fitness Center, a four-month weight management program designed to help individuals lose weight and develop and maintain healthy eating habits.
Akey’s health improved dramatically when he started paying attention to what he was eating and how much exercise he was actually getting in his day-to-day life.
“I was a bacon cheeseburger kind of guy,” said Akey, who was 34 when he was first screened in February. “My normal lunch would be a bacon cheeseburger and fries, a couple of sodas, then some candy.
“My eating habits were just terrible and I had terrible indigestion,” he said. “It’s just the fact that my body was starving for some quality nutrition.”
Guided by a wellness coach, he began tracking his diet and exercise. He gave up soda and sugar, and started drinking lots of water.
“The biggest thing for me was seeing these numbers in front of me when I was thinking in my head that I was a fairly healthy person,” he said.
The One 2 One program offers a variety of tools to help people meet their goals, including sessions with a wellness coach, personal trainer and a Registered Dietitian.
Other features include monthly small group coaching classes focusing on healthy lifestyle changes, techniques to track food and physical activity.
“I started to figure out what my food could do for me, instead of to me,” Akey said. “I enjoy foods that are terrible for me.”
He discovered that he also liked food that was good for him and began eating a healthy diet.
“As a result, I feel so much better,” he said.
Part of his motivation for change was his family.
“I have three amazing kids and one amazing wife, and I want to be around for them as long as I possibly could be,” he said.
During the program, he learned how to incorporate the changes into his day-to-day life.
“I never truly exercised,” he said.
Now, he aims for at least an hour of physical activity every day.
“I try to fit some exercise in daily and I try to vary it so I don’t get bored,” he said.
Family activities such as swimming are an important part of his new regime.
“I have a lot more energy,” he said. “Just overall as a person, I feel 100 percent better.”
He has lost 38 pounds, and his cholesterol and blood pressure are under control without medication. His overall cholesterol level dropped from 270 to 172, and his LDL, or bad cholesterol went from an alarming 192 to 111.
“I think a lot of times the best prescription is better eating and more movement,” he said.
Under the guidance of the One 2 One staff and accountability the program provides, Akey said, it was remarkably easy to improve his health. Now that he’s through with the program, he’s confident he can maintain the healthy lifestyle he’s established.
“I feel very good about it,” he said. “Every day is a conscious decision. Some days are better than others. Every day’s not going to be perfect. Some days are going to be a bacon cheeseburger day.”
But on the whole, Akey said, he’s delighted with his results.
“At the end of the day, I feel 1,000 times better,” he said.
The One 2 One program is available both to Summit members and non-members. Some insurance plans, including Akey’s, pay for the program as part of a wellness benefit.
For more information on the One2One program, call 406 751-4509 or e-mail One2Oneinfo@krmc.org.