Erik Leopard is Methodist Health: Gaining momentum.
By Erik Leopard
Erik is an HR business partner at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. Over time, Erik has gained weight and fallen into less-than-optimal eating habits. At risk for heart disease and diabetes, Erik has identified clear goals that will help motivate him to make healthier choices. Erik’s goal is to take better care of God’s temple: his body.
1. You’re in your second month of I am Methodist Health. Congratulations! In general, how’s it going?
It has not been easy, but the results have been better than I could have ever imagined! The lifestyle changes I have made at the beginning of January are paying off. I already feel and look healthier!
2. What change or changes have you been able to make?
I have made several changes. The No. 1 change has been limiting my calories per day to 1,450. Within those calories, I make sure that the majority of them are healthy and do not contain a high percentage of fat, sugar, and carbohydrates. I am tracking everything I put in my body by using myfitnesspal.com.
Thanks to Karen Taylor, employee health coach, I am also better educated on reading nutrition labels. That helps me do a better job of planning my meals so I can attain my goals. Feeling better and losing weight and waistline inches have really motivated me to overcome the temptation to eat anything after dinner. It’s just not worth ruining the progress I am making!
Lastly, I have started working out at the Folsom Fitness Center four times a week as well as personal training sessions twice a week with trainer Lindsay Alidina. This has been a HUMBLING experience for me. Even though I grew up working out and playing sports, my sedentary lifestyle over the last few years has made this a painful process. Lindsay has been wonderful to work with and pushes and encourages me!
3. Do you have any progress updates you’d like to share with your fans?
From January 7 to February 1, I have lost 14 pounds. I still have a hard time believing the scale. My clothes are big and my waist size has decreased. Thanks to all of my co-workers, friends, and family for your encouragement and support! I cannot tell you enough how encouraging your words and prayers have been, especially on those days when I am struggling.
4. What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned the first month?
The biggest lesson has been limiting my calorie intake. This has been a HUGE wake-up call for me and is the No. 1 reason for my weight loss. It is worth all the struggles once I made it part of my daily routine.
In January, I felt like I was really starting to make progress when I woke up one morning and I felt healthier, had more energy, was sleeping better — and I started noticing physical changes.