Eating right and exercising are two of the cornerstones to a healthy lifestyle. Doing both is easier said than done. Nancy Naeve Brown introduces us to the incredible shrinking man from Kimball who chooses to lose weight the old fashion way with no help from a scalpel.
Virg Wernsmann weighs in at a svelte 212 pounds. Checking in with his Registered Dietitian Nancy Miller at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell is something he actually looks forward to. Virg Wernsmann used to weigh 420 pounds. A couple of years ago during a routine physical, Virg's doctor told him he was borderline diabetic and a perfect candidate for lap band and coming from a family of diabetics (his dad, his late mom and 2 sisters) that triggered a drastic change in his mindset.
Virg says, "The thought of being diabetic was scarier for me than the weight and that's what sent me to the dietitian."
Dietitian Nancy Miller says, "His biggest problem was portion size and knowing when to stop eating."
The second meeting he had with Nancy they talked about bowl selection. Virg brought in the bowl he was using for cereal and ice cream and she showed him the one he should be using which is considerably smaller. He knew he had to make some changes.
Virg says, "I'd fill it up and sit in front of the TV and grind away. I'm not shy about it. I would sit and watch the biggest loser and say yeah I can do that and I'd be chowing down at the same time."
Well he proved to himself and everyone around him that he could do it with hard work, will power and the expert advice from Miller. In October of 2009 he started meeting with her at Avera Queen of Peace every 2 weeks. Now that's he's got it down, those meetings are down to every three months. He documents everything he eats, when he eats, how much he eats, his challenges and his daily exercise which he is proud to say is up to running 5 miles a day.
Virg says, "In the first year I lost an average of 20 pounds a month."
Virg's Dietitian Nancy Miller says, "He would email me questions. He really took it upon himself to make changes. I'm just there as a tool to help get him there to the next point."
It hasn't been an easy, it never is but in less than two years he's shed 230 pounds. He's half the man he was and will probably live twice as long because of it.
Besides daily exercise, Virg also makes sure to incorporate fruits and vegetables into his diet and 8 to 10 ounces of protein a day.