Nurse loses 157 pounds in one year
We are all searching for the next thing to lose weight quickly – cabbage soup, gluten free snacks, a cayenne pepper-lemon juice concoction.
A nurse at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago says one simple step helped him lose 157 pounds in just a year.
“I started taking the stairs every day at work – it’s five flights to get to my office, and I’d take the stairs all day,’’ says 30-year-old Jeffery Garcia, known throughout his hospital wing for his infectious smile and quick wit.
While increasing his cardio, Garcia also reduced his intake of soda pop, fried foods and midnight snacks to lose the weight, which at its height hovered at 353 pounds. That’s about twice what his 5-foot-5 -inch frame should carry.
The high-protein, high-fiber Paleo Diet, also known as the Caveman diet or the Stone Age diet, guided his culinary choices and directed the way Garcia looked at food.
“Before I would eat for pleasure. Now, I eat for survival,” says Garcia, who today relishes snacking on nuts and yogurt.
Frequent warnings from his doctor about high blood pressure and looming diabetes were always playing in the back of Garcia’s mind. What broke through the noise and spurred him to action was the sound of his own voice talking with patients about making better dietary choices. “I thought, ‘Wait, how am I talking about living healthy when I’m not?’ ”
Immediately, the self-proclaimed Hot Wing King gave up greasy chicken parts, then pop and eventually carbs.
Today, he doesn’t recognize his own diet. For Thanksgiving, Garcia had choice pieces of turkey “white meat — not the skin and fatty parts” and a small portion of dressing. He feasted on an organic sweet potato with a sugar substitute and vegetables.
Co-workers say he’s inspired them.
“I am so very proud of Jeffery for making a difference in his own life and the lives of others,’’ said co-worker Cynthia Malone, RN, a clinical educator. “I hear associates say, ‘If Jeffery can do it, so can I.’”
The words wash over Garcia, and he beams with pride. Then he shrugs his swimming-toned shoulders and says his work is not done.
“This is just the beginning of my journey. I’m excited about next steps and helping people live a healthy lifestyle.”
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.