Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Being Well: Chris Berry, YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Being Well: Chris Berry, YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City

Article excerpt

EDMOND - Chris Berry is half the man he used to be just one year ago, and he's happy to have made the change. The associate executive director of the Edmond YMCAs achieved a dramatic weight loss through a combination of things: diet, exercise, bariatric surgery and the support of his colleagues and friends.

He has always been a big person throughout his life, he said, and an active person. He played football in high school and college, and since graduation has enjoyed playing softball, hiking, hunting and camping. Yet his weight made those activities more difficult, he said. At his heaviest, he weighed 625 pounds.

In March 2013, he had a health scare that resembled a heart attack and sent him to the hospital. Though he didn't have heart problems, something startled him as he left the building. A man died and his family was in the waiting room, consoling each other. That was his wake-up call.

"I thought, 'I'm walking out of here, and that could be my family and my friends any day,'" Berry said. "I just turned 30, and I need to do something for myself."

He researched the gastric sleeve procedure, in which a surgeon removes a portion of the stomach, making the organ smaller. He became a patient at The Journey Clinic in Norman and agreed to lose at least 50 pounds before the surgery. He changed his diet and began swimming at the YMCA five to six days per week. He exceeded the clinic's goal and lost 83 pounds before he had the procedure performed.

Having the support of the YMCA staff helped him succeed in maintaining a regular routine. He worked with the trainers, in the company's Maximize My Membership program, to establish goals, create a workout plan, and find out what works best for his schedule. Berry also lifts weights at the Rankin YMCA, where his office is, and enjoys water aerobics.

Berry was also able to shift his focus on food with the help of The Journey Clinic. …

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