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January 12, 2016 • Headline News
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Our biggest winners a combined 430 lb.

Local trio shares their diet success

Mary Mattingly

Ripley County has three biggest losers, or perhaps it is more appropriate to call them the “Biggest Winners!” Collectively, Bob Hunger of Moores Hill, Rida Meyer of Milan and Nancy Kinkade of Versailles have lost 430 pounds. They didn’t do it in 20 weeks or less, like the popular NBC TV reality show “Biggest Loser” typically calls for, but in a slower and more recommended way, a few pounds a week until they reached their goal. They all lost weight with Margaret Mary Health’s HMR program. The HMR Weight Loss Clinic is designed for those who want to lose anywhere from 10 to more than 100 pounds. Knowing many people resolve to get fit and healthy in the New Year, we thought we’d share a few inspiring local success stories. Granted, weight loss is not rocket science: Less calories consumed and more exercise equals weight loss for most people. The key though, this trio claims, is being held accountable, getting support, and maintaining good food habits even after goals have been accomplished. Pick up a copy of the Osgood Journal at your local newsstand to read about the HMR Program at Margaret Mary Health.

Rida Meyer
Rida Meyer, 67, says her biggest regret in losing 135 pounds was that she didn’t do it 30 years ago! Going from a size 3X to size 10, she is just loving life after losing almost half of her former self. It wasn’t that she hadn’t tried before. She had, numerous times, with numerous diets, but couldn’t keep the extra pounds from creeping back on. “I didn’t have the energy to do everyday things.”

Rida Meyer has kept off the weight she has lost from the HMR diet.

It was health issues that led her to the doors of HMR at the RomWeber building in Batesville in November, 2012. “I was not able to enjoy life,” she said. She relied on a CPAP and oxygen tank for breathing, had high blood pressure, and had trouble walking due to her knees. Today, she sleeps without machines and walks at least 35 miles a week. She had never exercised before, saying it wasn’t the thing to do in her younger days, but now it’s part of her daily routine. A mother of two and grandmother of five, the weight loss has reduced her blood pressure, cholesterol medicine, and “when my grandson comes over to spend a few days, I can keep up with him without getting tired.” Rida, 5’4, weighed in at 285 pounds, but lost 104 pounds the first year, about two pounds a week, and another 31 lbs the following eight months. Moreover, she’s kept it off for over a year and a half.

“Staying on the program with shakes and entrees took the guess work out and kept me motivated,” she explained. The ongoing support -- she attends a weekly HMR class -- and staff enthusiasm has helped her maintain her new weight. The first year she may have gone off the “box” (the prepared boxed entrees or shakes) twice. “It was very structured and I needed less choice.” If she went to a restaurant or social function, the box went with her. Her husband, Paul, who never had a weight problem, was supportive, even skipped the fantastic buffet spread with his wife at his class reunion . She entered the second phase of the program, where more healthy food choices are introduced, but said it was actually harder. “It’s the best investment I ever made!” Meyer exclaims. Before, even attending a movie theatre or going on vacation was a challenge. She recalled complaining about what she thought were small seats at the Damm Theatre in Osgood. She’s since returned and noted it wasn’t the seats! Her biggest surprise? Meyer visited former co-workers who didn’t know it was her until she talked to them at length.

Bob Hunger
Bob Hunger, 63, finally “got” that to maintain any weight loss you must make a lifestyle change. The retired Milan school art teacher has always yo-yoed with his weight. He weighed in at 322.6 pounds, but in two years with the help of the HMR staff and structured diet, lost 140 pounds. HMR was the first to diagnose his metabolic system as being sodium sensitive. “I would put salt or garlic salt on everything I ate. I was also never made aware of the metabolic consequences of processed meats/foods. Now, when I shop, I am constantly aware of sodium content and stay away from processed foods.”

Bob Hunger, retired art teacher, has lost over 140 pounds through the HMR diet at Margaret Mary Health.

He often makes an edamame salad, a pot of vegetable soup, or Asian cabbage slaw to eat on for several days so he and wife Pat don’t have to focus too much energy on food prep. “I have been retired from teaching for five years so I can’t give the excuse of not having the time to stay with it.” It’s fun to try new recipes or substitute and adapt recipes to accommodate his dietary needs. Like Rida Meyer, he too says the second phase of HMR was harder than the first because of the choices. “It becomes harder because you want to add things you were used to eating.”

He gives a lot of praise to Becky Hand, the nutritionist with HMR, who is also from Milan. “I get lots of energy from her. Her enthusiasm and genuine interest in everyone to be successful makes me look forward to going to class every week.” Although the program stresses physical activity, he couldn’t do that due to severe sciatic nerve problems and back surgery. This new Bob not only looks different, but feels different. He is no longer pre-diabetic, nor on blood pressure medicines and can easily walk distances now. Before he couldn’t bend over to pick up things or put on socks without getting winded. For the first time, he’s wearing mediums, something he didn’t even do in high school. Former students and adults often don’t recognize him. Hunger has renewed self-confidence and now knows he can fit on a plane seat and looks forward to pursuing his traveling hobby, something he put on hold before due to his weight.

Nancy Kinkade
Nancy Kinkade is still working on hitting her target weight, but she is getting close. The Versailles woman has lost 135 lbs in 14 months. “I think the trick with this is I did not feel hungry or deprived. I did not go out of “the box” as they call it until I had been on the program for about 13 months.” She already feels and looks better, saying she is not as self-conscious when going out. The 52-year-old works at Sun Chemical as an ink tech and losing significant weight has reduced the pain in her legs so she can better stand on the job. Kinkade also has lower blood pressure and enjoys wearing smaller clothes. “I have a lot more energy, take less medication and feel better about myself,” she said. Best of all, she is able to keep up with her grandchildren. Why this program works for her is the same reason the other two cited. “Accountability!” Nancy claims. “I have finally been eating healthy and exercising going on at the same time… The staff at HMR is the best and they are very encouraging.”

Meyer, Hunger and Kinkade’s advice to others who have decided they want to lose weight is to try a food program that provides support, attend the meetings, and don’t revert to old eating habits once you’re reached your goal. It’s a lifestyle change, not just a diet, they said.

Local Bulletin Board

College night at JCD Wednesday

Jac-Cen-Del will host Financial Aid Night on Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. in the band room for high school seniors planning on attending college in the Fall of 2016. Students and parents from all area schools are welcome to attend this session to get more information about completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Auschwitz presentation at Tyson Library

Tyson Library, Versailles, will present “My Journey to Auschwitz” by Charles Moman on Thursday, Jan. 14. The program will be at 6 p.m.

Park meeting cancelled

Due to the road conditions, the Friends of the Versailles State Park meeting for Tuesday has been cancelled. The meeting is now scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 5:30 p.m. at Versailles State Park Recreation Hall. A pitch-in picnic will be combined with the meeting. Bring something to eat or share. The group will be discussing activities and events for 2016 and Board elections that will occur in March.

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