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Guest blog post: Finding a healthy way of life

October 31, 2017

Rich Reed’s change to healthier eating after a health crisis.

Today I’m sharing a guest blog post from Annette and Rich Reed, who recently joined our Lions Club in Broadway, Va. –Melodie

Finding a healthier way of life

By Annette Zook Reed with Rich Reed

Our health awakening happened in June of 2002. We had just moved into our new home. We were both 40 years old and had 5 children ages 12 to 2. Rich was at his ideal weight. Life as a pastor had been very stressful for us as a pastoral couple. We had been placed in churches with high pastoral turnover rates due to internal strife. It was not a good way to start as a new pastor.

We believe that this stress, poor eating habits, and genetics led to what should have been a fatal heart attack. Rich’s left anterior descending artery, known as the widow maker, was 100% occluded [obstructed]. A stent was placed which opened this artery up beautifully. There was no significant damage.

Rich was placed on a low fat diet due to high cholesterol. But his weight continued to gradually rise; he did not have the tools to keep the low fat regimen. I am a nurse and would give encouragement (which I am sure came across as nagging), but nothing helped. All I heard from him was, “I don’t feel good. I have a headache. I’m tired.” It was a broken record that soon got old. I found myself over-functioning to make up for his lack of energy. The stress of his poor health was taking its toll on me. I had almost lost him once. I didn’t want his weight gain to bring on another health crisis.

Rich’s blood sugar began creeping up as he gained a total of 45 lbs. That was my worst fear. I frantically tried to make higher protein meals to bring his blood sugars down from the 150’s. It didn’t work. The rising blood sugar numbers got Rich’s attention, but he resigned himself to the fact that he would just be unhealthy like many of his family members. I was not so complacent! I was not willing to give up on his health!

I had been watching the healthy transformation of a nursing school friend on face book. She lost 215 pounds, down from nearly 400 pounds, before my very eyes. The timing was perfect. She and her husband, both heath coaches, were coming to Harrisonburg for a health event. We met with them in May of 2016 and decided to do their health program.

I began to see Rich lose weight within the first week. He lost 8 pounds and that immediate success helped him believe he could do this. I was elated. I didn’t have to nag or be overly concerned anymore. Rich had his own health coach who stayed in close contact. Rich could call him anytime he needed help.

Both of us delved into the reading material that teaches the Habits of Health and advocates for small, healthy changes in daily habits. I realized there were things I needed to change and we worked together to make our lives healthier—emotionally, financially, and physically. We both became health coaches to pay this gift forward. We had never seen a program that promised healthy transformation far beyond weight loss. Rich reached his ideal weight five months after starting the program. What is even more wonderful is that he knew he would have the tools and support so that he could not only lose the weight but also to maintain that healthy weight.

I am so relieved and am confident that he is doing everything he can to do to help the tiny stent in his artery to be healthy and happy for a long time to come. The fear is gone. I anticipate growing old with my best friend by my side.

Our mindset and approach to life is changing as we continue to work with our health coaches. I have been able to leave a very stressful job at a local nursing home to do our full time health coaching business from home. I am using my nursing skills, but you don’t have to have medical training to do this. All that is needed is a passion to be healthy yourself and a desire to help others. We are working to build a team of coaches that will help us reach more people with the gift of health and hope. Rich wants to pay this forward to those struggling with health issues. My heart is with family members who are scared for the lives of their loved ones. This is why we do what we do. It is very fulfilling and we love it!

If this is something you are interested in learning about, do not hesitate to contact us. We are on Facebook and we would love for you to friend us and introduce yourself on messenger. You can also reach us at Rich: 540-246-4928 and Annette: 540-405-1781. We can also explore the health coaching opportunity with you as well. This source of income may help you reach financial goals you may have.

We made this healthy investment in our lives and it was the best investment we could have made. We invite you to travel this journey with us.

Talk to you soon!

Rich and Annette, Broadway Va.
Certified OPTAVIA Coaches™




From → Faith, Family Life, Food

  1. It’s always heart-warming to read about anyone who can share out of victory: weight-loss, recovery from abuse, whatever. I’m saddened though by the amount of stress church members put upon their pastors. Unfortuantely, it is a familiar story.

    • I would think that kind of pastoral stress would be extremely trying given the circumstances. I was fascinated by their whole story after such a scare at a relatively young age.

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