Robert - Wellness Client
Robert is a client at GCB’s Amelia office where he receives both his behavioral as well as physical healthcare needs through the Holistic Health and Integration Program. Six foot-two and nicknamed ‘Isiah’ (after NBA all-star Detroit Pistons Isiah Lord Thomas) in his youth for his talent on the basketball court, Robert made a decision to change his life when his weight hit an all-time high of 470 lbs.
Arthritis in his feet and chronic nerve damage in his legs had kept him housebound for a period of months. For someone who had been so athletic, his increasing lack of mobility caused him to become depressed and frustrated. And even though he was also dealing with a mental illness, Robert knew that his continued isolation was only making matters worse.
When his primary care doctor suggested that he eat healthier, he found the motivation to start making changes. “Sitting alone in my apartment, I wasn’t going to get any better,” he says. “I got up and I got out.” Just walking alone was painful, but Robert had made the decision he was going to make a difference for the better at any cost. “I just pushed through the discomfort,” he said. “And every day, it got a little easier.”
When he became more mobile and his weight began to drop, Robert was further encouraged to change his diet. He decided to consult with the nutritionist on staff, RN Racheal Chambers, for guidance on food choices and soon put a plan into action. And although he has ‘never been a cook,’ Felisha Mains, his care manager, maintains Robert continues to be very responsible and intentional about only buying food that is low-fat and nutritional.
One year and 120 pounds later, Robert is still a transformation in progress. “He is totally self-motivated and independent in his success,” says Felisha. “When the weather is warmer, there’s nowhere he won’t walk.” Robert’s personal goal is to get back down to 250 lbs. “That was my weight when I played ball,” he smiled.
And although he is currently dealing with a torn rotator cuff, Robert says that his blood pressure is down, and at 50 years old, he is feeling better and more confident every day. “I made ‘feeling-better’ a priority,” he says. “Regaining my health is a choice I had to make.”