Department Supervisor and Active Medical Weight Management Program Participant
“After losing the weight I enjoy everything so much more because I’m not carrying around an extra minion.”
Midland Man Loses 98 Pounds and Gains A New Active Lifestyle
Andrew Parrott of Midland looked at his unwanted extra weight as something that would follow him around the rest of his life. He even referred to it as his “little minion”. When he started experiencing health issues due to his weight, Andrew decided to participate in MidMichigan Health’s Medical Weight Management Program. On day one at 337 pounds, the staff took a photo of Andrew in a “Despicable Me” t-shirt. Four months later, at the end of what came to be known as “Project Minion Man March”, the staff signed his “Despicable Me” t-shirt with him weighing 239 pounds.
Upon joining the program, Andrew selected the Quickstart Plan, the most aggressive of the weight management plans offered. This plan uses nutritionally complete, portion-controlled meal replacements that limit the participant to consume 600 to 800 calories a day. The average weight loss on the Quickstart Plan is three to five pounds per week. Andrew’s average was seven to nine pounds.
“I was worried that I was killing myself from how I was living,” Andrew said. “There’s a saying I learned that became my ammunition during this process and that was ‘Don’t dig your grave with your fork and knife.’”
Andrew was facing several weight-related health problems before he started the program, including anxiety, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Once Andrew realized that he was in fact digging his grave with his fork and knife he decided to set a goal to get healthy and he knew weight loss would be a byproduct of that.
Working closely with Obesity Medicine Specialist Jennifer Morse, M.D., an exercise physiologist, a dietitian and a behavioral specialist, Andrew met with someone from his team every one to two weeks who guided him through the process and kept him on track.
“My exercise physiologist taught me that I could no longer be an all or nothing person,” Andrew said. “If I slipped one day, I couldn’t just give up. She was always realistic and honest with me. I also learned how to retrain my body to know when I’m hungry and full, how to eat slower and to not eat as large of quantities of food. These are tips I still use today.”
Andrew is grateful for the support he received from the MidMichigan Health staff who made his experience positive and even fun at times.
“I had such a good experience with the great team I worked with at MidMichigan Health,” Andrew said. “I think they enjoyed me coming in as much as I enjoyed coming in. I looked forward to my appointments because they were always there with compliments on what I had done and achieved. Additionally, if I ever thought I did poorly, they were there with support too.”
Since ending the Quickstart Plan, Andrew has continued to lose weight and has even been able to go off many of his medications. He is even inspiring others to make positive lifestyle changes as well.
“My goal right now is to maintain my weight and help other people if I can,” added Andrew. “There are a couple guys at work that I’ve inspired to quit chewing tobacco and one guy that also lost a lot of weight. I would love to go to support groups and lend my support to other people because this program worked so well for me.”
Andrew also discovered that day-to-day tasks such as mowing the lawn and participating in his fairly active job became easier.
“I can now mow the lawn without stopping to catch my breath every few minutes and I have been able to be more active at work,” said Andrew. “As the general supervisor for Midland's Water Distribution Department, I used to stand on top of the excavation site and tell people what needed to be done and then I’d go sit in my office. Now I’m out on the site and actively helping and directing employees. After losing the weight I enjoy everything so much more because I’m not carrying around an extra minion.”
In addition to the Quickstart Plan, MidMichigan Health offers a variety of other medical weight management plans. All plans are supervised by a multidisciplinary team that consists of an obesity medicine physician, an exercise physiologist, a registered dietitian and a behavioral specialist. Those who would like more information may visit www.midmichigan.org/loseweight or call (855) 296-7252.