This success story is about a man who has completely changed the direction of his future – Chuck Summers, Executive Vice President of Operations of General Hotels Corporation.

Chuck will tell you that one year ago he would describe his health as obese and pre-diabetic with high cholesterol and cardiovascular complications that caused him to have open heart surgery and a pacemaker.

According to Chuck’s doctor, he was considered a ticking time bomb and sure enough would become insulin dependent if something didn’t change. Read more to learn about the critical decisions that Chuck made to lose 50 pounds, shed his pre-diabetic status and earn a perfect cholesterol panel.

Consequently, Chuck will now be able live out his future retirement years with his wife and grandchildren in a special family spot in Massachusetts like he dreamed he would. Chuck’s story is a perfect example of what everyone needs to make lasting behavior changes:

  1. An Intervening Moment – Chuck suffered from a cardiac condition that put his life in danger and jeopardized not only his physical well-being, but the future he envisioned. He didn’t want his wife to be a widow and miss out on watching his children and grandchildren grow up. The picture with his granddaughter (above left) was also an intervening moment. “I ‘saw’ myself and realized in Summer of 2018 I had to change,” said Chuck.
  2. The “WHY” – Chuck had a strong “WHY”. This year, Chuck spent 42 hours with a golf buddy. These were 42 hours of the last 48 that Chuck would spend with him.  He met his friend at the golf course who was also recovering from open heart surgery. Chuck shared, “We both had decisions to make after surgery, but my friend chose to not really make any changes. He ended up on all the medications they put you on. He didn’t make any lifestyle changes and he continued to gain weight.” Chuck tears up when he talks about his friend, and he said he knew if he didn’t change that this could easily be his future. “I have things I want to do,” said Chuck, “My wife and I want to retire on this nice spot we bought in Massachusetts. I want to see my children and grandchildren enjoy going on hikes with me. I have worked so hard I don’t want to miss out. You work to set goals and you might not even get there, or you have to watch from a chair. I just see people working so hard professionally, but some of them never get to enjoy retirement, or make it to retirement.”
  3. A Goal, Plan & Timeline – This is the difference between wanting to make a change and making a change. Chuck’s goal was to be at 200 pounds by the end of summer, so he made diet and exercise a priority. He educated himself, reading Dr. Hyman’s Eat Fat Get Thin 21-day program, and loved it so much he has continued to stay on it. Chuck was about 260 pounds when he had his heart surgery and now weighs 211, well on his way to hit his goal! Since May, his waist went from 40 inches to 36 inches. His meds have been lowered, he is no longer considered pre-diabetic and his triglycerides are normal. “My doctor is so happy with me he doesn’t even want to see me for 6 months!” Chuck stated.
  4. Accountability – Chuck held himself accountable to his diet routine, making a grocery list and prepping his meals and snacks. He told his co-workers what he was doing and asked to be excused from eating out too much with them hoping they would understand he had to stay on track. Chuck met with his AHW health coach every month and together they developed a plan that Chuck liked. Each month he reported his weight, success and obstacles. And of course, he kept his regular appointments with his cardiologist too.
  5. Reward – In order to be successful, we have to identify an external and internal reward. Chuck’s external reward is that his numbers are all in normal range. He is wearing shirts he hasn’t worn for two years. At a recent golf tournament, Chuck shot in the 80’s all four days and came in fourth out of 75 participants! His kids and wife are so proud of him and he likes this summer’s picture much better than last summer! Internally, Chuck sees a different future than he did a year ago. Chuck is living life to the fullest and will continue into retirement because he made changes and didn’t give up.

All of us at American Health & Wellness are so proud of Chuck and the example he sets!