Bob and Jacque Fuller
HONU provided extra motivation to lose the weight
When Jacque Fuller’s employer, Cashwise Foods, promoted free heart-health screenings as part of the Heart of New Ulm project, she knew right away it was something she and her husband Bob should do. Bob, Pastor at First Baptist Church in New Ulm, admits he wasn’t highly motivated, but agreed to participate in the screening with her anyway.
He’s glad he did. After the screening, the Fullers found the extra dose of motivation they needed to take the next steps toward further improving their health.
“We have always been quite healthy,” Jacque explained, “and so the thought we had in our minds was, ‘We need to do everything we can to maintain our health.’ The older we get, year by year, the harder it is. I mean your body is wearing out — let’s face facts — but let’s not give it any help!”
Managing high blood pressure and getting rid of some extra weight were the primary goals for both Jacque, 63, and Bob, 61. Jacque’s blood pressure had been borderline high for several years, but at the screening it tested higher than she had expected. Her cholesterol was a little high, too. Bob’s numbers were high, but not unexpected, as he has had high blood pressure for nearly 25 years and currently takes medication for it.
“The doctors had always told us that if Bob could lose weight, his blood pressure would likely come down,” Jacque said. “So when my blood pressure results also came back a little high, the first thing that went through our minds was, ‘Well, do you think losing weight would make a difference for both of us?’”
First change: Eating habits
Although the couple are regular exercisers, they still carried some extra pounds as result of their eating habits and food choices. Jacque’s weakness was too many sweets, while Bob loved his cheese and tended to eat large portions of foods, many high in fat.
Armed with their new motivation, Bob and Jacque found further inspiration while visiting with Bob’s sister, who shared her personal success with the Weight Watchers® program. After getting some more information, they decided to give it a try. Bob joined the online version of the program and Jacque began using the strategies as well. After just three months, Bob lost 37 pounds toward his goal of losing 54 pounds, and Jacque lost 25 pounds toward her goal of losing 40 pounds.
“I think to a large extent I was motivated to lose the weight all along, but I did not know how,” explained Bob. “Having this system has helped me understand how to do it. We’ve been very good about keeping track of our points and keeping track of our weight. It helps that the two of us are doing it together so we can keep each other accountable.”
Jacque agreed. “I honestly believe that a big part of the reason we are successful is because we do everything together. If not a spouse, if someone can find a friend that is able to work out with them, and also to keep track of points and things together, I think that’s critical for success with weight loss.”
Jacque writes everything down daily in a notebook, while Bob does his logging online. Jacque feels the logging is “critical,” and that it “absolutely” has been a factor in keeping them motivated.
The couple’s new eating habits include decreasing the amount of fat and sugar they eat, watching portion sizes and eating more fruits and vegetables. They’vefound they don’t feel deprived at all, and are able to still enjoy an occasional meal at the McDonald’s they love or even Chinese and buffet-style restaurants. Jacque used to skip lunch, but now realizes she can eat three solid meals and still lose weight.
“Our diet isn't that much different,” said Bob. “It’s just that we’ve learned how to make good choices and to manage it.”
Being active plays a big part, too
Despite their busy schedules, the Fullers have also learned how to manage their workouts. Although they’ve actively worked out at local gyms for about five or six years, they stepped up the frequency of their visits as part of their new weight management plan. They now routinely head to Snap Fitness together for a 30-minute workout every day around noon, after Jacque gets off work.
“We try to do it every day,” said Jacque. “There are some weeks where we don't go every day, but we get in at least three workouts a week and try very, very diligently to get in five.”
Keeping healthy for the future
Now, Bob and Jacque are both fitting into clothes they haven’t been able to wear in years, and Jacque is excited by the prospect of no longer having to wear women’s plus sizes. Bob had his blood pressure taken three months after the screening and was pleased to see that his diastolic reading (bottom number) had decreased by 18 points. They’re confident that their lifestyle changes are ones they will be motivated to continue.
“We make it a priority,” said Jacque, “and I think anybody can. They just have to make the decision that this is what they are going to do because it is important to them.”
Bob added, “As a pastor, there’s a spiritual component to our healthy lifestyle as well. When the Lord called us to serve him, the idea was to serve him as long as we could. And we are messing up that service if our bodies are unhealthy. So if we can keep ourselves healthy, we keep our service at its peak. So that keeps us motivated, too.”
As 16-year residents of New Ulm, the Fullers are glad the Heart of New Ulm came to their community. Jacque said, “I have heard of other people who are glad they did the screening, because it gave them a perspective of just where they are at with their health.”
“Some people may know and worry (about their health), but they still may not change,” added Bob. “For us, knowing was a motivator.”