Dick Hawks (Enneagram Type 3, The Achiever)
Age: 56 Height: 6’ 0” Highest Weight: 380 (February 2015) Pounds Lost:135 Current Weight: 245 (June 2016)
Dick, tell us about your weight loss journey.
In February 2015, I weighed 380 pounds. I am a type 2 diabetic and at the time my A1C (long term blood sugar test) was closing in on 8. I also had terribly high cholesterol. My regular doctor told me I had 2 choices, prepare to start Insulin in a few months or change my lifestyle. He asked me to see a colleague of his, Dr. Craig McDougall, at Kaiser Permanente. He started the program with his dad, Dr. John McDougall, who wrote the Starch Solution. When I made the appointment the nurse in charge of the program didn’t have an opening for a month and a half, but she sent me literature to get started. I was so afraid of going on insulin that I dove in head first. As of today I have dropped down to 245 lbs and am almost off all medication. My last A1C was 5.4 two months ago and should be even better by mid-june. It hasn’t been easy and I have made many mistakes. But when I slip up either knowingly or unknowingly, I tell myself that tomorrow is a new day and I haven’t failed, I just delayed reaching my ultimate goal by a day. I will say that of all the diets I have tried (I don’t consider this a diet), this way of eating and lifestyle is the easiest and most satisfying. I truly believe that the McDougall program has saved my life. When people tell me they couldn’t possibly go plant based and oil free, I encourage them try it for 30 days, you’ve got nothing to lose except weight and poor health!
What was your life like before you made your amazing transformation?
I felt my life was spinning out of control, that no matter what I tried nothing was going to work. Every diet I tried was based on counting calories or points, which left me continuously hungry and always thinking of food. I pretty much decided I was destined to continue gaining weight and watch my health deteriorate. I pretty much felt as though I was in a hopeless situation.
What gave you the motivation and confidence to start. Often times, Type 3s strongpoint is using goals effectively and finding an inspirational reasons to change. Type 3 Skills
A doctor I had years ago told me that if they live long enough, all type 2 diabetics will eventually become type 1 diabetics. So when my doctor told me I was almost to the point of going on insulin I knew things had gone too far. He then told me he knew a way I could avoid insulin and reverse my diabetes through a new program Kaiser Permanente had started. I asked him to explain and he gave me a brief overview, which sounded intriguing so I agreed to learn more. What peaked my curiosity was he told me wouldn’t have to count calories and not starve myself. It was at that point I decided that whatever it was, I was going to dive in head first and go for it. After all, I really had nothing to lose!
Once you started to change your diet, what were your roadblocks and how did you navigate them? By chance did you notice yourself taking small steps or focusing on mastering the process of losing weight like a Type 9. Type 9 Skills
I had a huge learning curve. Eliminating meat and dairy from my diet was easier than I expected, but the hard parts were learning how to change my cooking, understanding food labels and trying to ignore the naysayers. There are so many bad chemicals and oil in processed and restaurant food that I have to plan ahead to avoid bad choices. The team at Kaiser were a big help with education resources and encouragement.
Most people who knew me tried to be encouraging but would at times unknowingly try to sabotage my efforts. I can’t tell you how many times I was told this lifestyle was too restrictive, that carbs were bad for me or just try this food, a little bit won’t hurt. And there was always the question of where do you get your protein? Once, when I ate something at a function that had dairy, someone jokingly told me I was the worst vegan ever. What people don’t understand is on this lifestyle you are taught that it is ok to bend a little bit for special occasions, just don’t overdo it, and keep your eyes on the prize, or in this case your goal. I’ve learned that when I do step out of bounds, I tell myself tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to learn and improve.
I tell myself tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to learn and improve.
Once you formed good eating habits, what helped you avoiding relapsing back into old ways. Did you set up healthy routines like meal planning or charting your progress like a Type 6? Type 6 Skills
Planning is the key. Whether a special occasion like a party or family get together or even just daily lunch for work, if you prepare ahead you’re more likely to succeed. There is an old saying about why people are not successful at meeting life goals, which is they don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. Planning ahead makes all the difference. Also, I chart my progress by keeping weekly lots on my weight and blood glucose numbers.
Tip 1: Set small attainable goals. I feel better when I set a goal to lose 1 pound a week and make it, instead of setting a 3-4 pound goal and losing just 1. Then I am ecstatic if I lose over the 1 pound.
Tip 2: The scale isn’t the only marker to losing weight or improving your lab numbers. Clothes fitting looser, less joint pain, more energy and visible thinning around your body are other positive signs of better health.
What other weight loss programs have you tried. Do you have any advice for why they worked or didn’t work?
I’ve tried Weight Watchers, over the counter diet pills, prescription Phen-Fen, calorie counting, and seriously considered gastric bypass.
What was your most difficult aspect of weight loss?
Knowing that if I failed, I would gain back more weight than I lost.
If you could go back and talk to yourself before you lost weight what would you say?
Be patient. I’m changing my lifestyle and my life for the better for me and those I love.
Do you have any favorite sources of inspiration? Where do you draw inspiration?
1. My medical team at KP.
2. My wonderful and patient wife.
3. All the people out there who like me, are taking this journey!
Are there any aspects of of weight loss that you found easy (but thought would be hard)?
Giving up the foods I was raised thinking were health but were actually poisoning my body, which are meats, oils, seafood, dairy and eggs. I was amazed at how a little education made giving up these foods so easy to accomplish.
What is the biggest misconception that you had about weight loss?
That complex carbs were bad and unlimited protein was good for me.
Do you have a favorite food product, a favorite cooking utensil or technological product that has helped you?
I use my Crock-Pot all the time. I can cook so many things with it. My goal is to save up the money and upgrade to the Instant Pot. It does all a Crock-Pot does and so much more!
Where can people learn more about your story. Are you highlighted in any other places on the web?
I am not highlighted anywhere but I am an avid reader of the support group pages. I sometimes post to the KP Healthy Living Board as well as the McDougall private Facebook pages like “McDougall Friends.”
Dick, Congratulations of your transformation. I am impressed how you keep minor setbacks in perspective and I am glad we get to share your experience and wisdom with others.
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Hi, I’m Dr. Harrington, and I made Dietnosis to help you focus on weight loss techniques that match your Personality Type.
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