Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Being Well: John Ice, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (C) 2015 Dolan Media Newswires. All Rights Reserved

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Being Well: John Ice, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (C) 2015 Dolan Media Newswires. All Rights Reserved

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY - Dr. John Ice studies complex medical issues in the laboratory at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. For years, the postdoctoral fellow in the Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Research Program suffered from several chronic health conditions.

Yet with the support of his colleagues and changes the nonprofit research center made to its wellness benefits, Ice took control of his health and nutrition.

Ice had been overweight his entire life. As an obese adolescent, emotional eating became a coping tool. He tried clinical dieting, but it was never a long-term solution. When he began medical school, he weighed more than he ever had, and felt terrible. He was lethargic, had trouble concentrating, and felt as if he was in a fog.

In 2007, he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He took a dozen medications to control his blood sugar and high blood pressure. For four years, he struggled to lose weight and change his diet to help manage the diabetes, but it wasn't enough. Insulin caused him to gain weight.

"It was a spiral I was never going to get out of," Ice said.

Ice traveled to Europe with his supervisor and friend Chris Lessard for a research conference, and the two visited Grecian ruins with OMRF colleagues. Lessard and Ice visited the Acropolis, and Lessard suggested they climb to the top using a winding, mountain road. It was difficult for him, but Lessard said he wanted to challenge his friend and prove he could make it.

The next ruin they visited was less challenging to climb, but Ice didn't ascend. He stood at the bottom, gazing up at the architectural wonder. He said he was heartbroken that he didn't make the attempt, when his colleagues made the climb and took incredible photos. He decided then he didn't want his weight to hold him back. Lessard said he was struck by Ice's attitude change.

"That was a pivotal moment for him as he was trying to go through this process," Lessard said. …

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