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Garcia stays focused, keeps walking and eating right

by on November 20, 2013

AEP cares about the safety, health and well-being of its employees and retirees. All employees and retirees are invited to share their stories about the changes they are making to live healthier lives. This “Wellness Journey” is from Danny Garcia, supervisor – distribution system at Lon Hill Service Center in Corpus Christi for AEP Texas.
Where I was and how I got there:
A couple of years ago, I transferred jobs within AEP after I was offered the same position at a different location. At my former work location prior to this, I had been walking and keeping my weight off. Now I was in a different area and trying to get comfortable, and stopped my walking. In two years I blossomed in my job, but so did my weight.

Danny Garcia and his wife, Lucille, before his significant weight loss.

Turning point:
I went to my doctor to get results of my blood work and when I got on the scale I was surprised on how much I had gained. I hit the scale at 278 with my work boots and clothes. I estimate that I had gained an extra 14 pounds. My glucose was up over the recommended amount. My cholesterol was up and he increased my blood pressure medicine. I decided to begin to watch what I eat. After a few months I realized I needed to do more.
Significant changes:
I began to reduce my food intake and turned to salads and began walking again. There is a nature trail close to my work location and began to walk after work. I began doing 3 miles 5 days a week. I steadily increased my walk and at my highest peak I was doing 8.5 miles. It would take me two hours. I’ve reduced the amount to 6 miles. It’s been a year and a half and I’ve lost 68 to 70 pounds. I now weigh between 195 to 198 pounds. I’m still watching what I eat and include a lot of salads. My last appointment with the doctor my glucose and cholesterol were in the range they need to be, and recently my doctor took me off my blood pressure medicine.

Danny Garcia shown with his grandchildren (left to right): Sophia, Olivia and Daniel.

Staying on track:
I have found that monitoring my weight helps me to stay focused. I don’t want to get back what I’ve lost. I’ve found that I miss my walking when I’m not able to do my walking for reasons beyond my control. If I miss a day, I’ll add more time on the track. I have also added some jogging to my walk — part power walk and part jog. My wife has begun to exercise and has changed our eating. I’ve stopped eating tacos in the morning. I’m trying to walk or jog between 20 to 25 miles a week.
Pay it forward:
I knew when I began that it was going to be a long process and that the weight loss would not begin until two to three months down the road. I was right and I did not give up. The weight loss was gradual and I would plan out for a couple of weeks and then I would drop some more and plan out for another couple of weeks. The main thing is not to get disappointed and stay focused and don’t stop. Rewards will keep coming.
Do you have a wellness journey you’d like to share? Your story can be about weight loss, overcoming an illness, maintaining good health habits or some other health-related topic. Please email kmdrenten@aep.com with the information.

From → Wellness

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