Veterans: If weight management is a challenge for you, the Birmingham VA MOVE! Program can be a real help. If you need to lose weight, losing even a little will help.
Keeping control over your weight helps to maintain good health both now and in the future. Good weight management can have physical and mental positives for you. Research shows that losing as little as 5-10% lowers your risk of heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.
What exactly is MOVE!? MOVE! Is a team of health care professionals ready to help you lose weight and keep it off. MOVE! Will teach you how to lose weight safely, sanely and be healthy. You will be the quarterback of your MOVE! weight-loss team and your health care MOVE! Group will help you with methods, coaching and support through:
- A focus on health and wellness using healthy eating, physical activity and behavioral changes;
- Support to help you reach your initial goals with ongoing maintenance;
- A focus on your lifetime and lifestyle choices.
How to Get Started with MOVE!
- Although a referral is not needed, discuss MOVE! With your primary care provider;
- Complete a MOVE! questionnaire. (This can be done right now at www.move.va.gov/Move23.asp);
- You will be scheduled for an appointment to discuss your options;
- Follow-up calls or appointments will be made to help you track progress, monitor goals and solve any problems.
RECAP: MOVE! Weight Management Program has these features:
- You can get MOVE! appointments without having to get a referral or consultation from your primary care physician;
- There is no co-pay for anyone wanting to use the MOVE! Program;
- MOVE! focuses on improving your individual health and wellness;
- MOVE! provides support for eating wisely and increasing your personal physical activity;
- MOVE! continually provides coaching and feedback to help you reach your weight management goals;
Some MOVE! Keys to Success
- Weigh daily.
- Follow an eating plan that provides healthy nutrition and helps you gradually lose weight.
- Be active—start slowly and build gradually.
- Choose to make small changes that you can maintain.
- Write down what you eat and your physical activity.
- Read and understand food labels.
- Use the MOVE! team as needed.
- Ask your family, friends and health care team for the support you may need.
- When you achieve weight-loss success—tell others so they can succeed too!
For more MOVE! Information call toll-free: 1-866-487-4243. In Birmingham call (205)558-7095.
Remember that tomorrow is Thursday and we will have our Veteran Information Table at the farmers market at the Gardendale Civic Center. Come on by and share and learn with us about our veterans.
May God bless our veterans, military, country leaders, first responders (law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs, teachers, clergy people) and most of all may God bless YOU!
Gerald “Joe” Stahlkuppe is a combat Army veteran of the Vietnam War. An ordained clergyman, public speaker and author of several books, he lives with his wife in Gardendale.
Questions or veterans issues you would like to see addressed in the column can be directed to Stahlkuppe at P.O. Box 849, Gardendale, AL 35071 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.