The path towards a personal goal can often be difficult. The unexpected challenges and even day-to-day activities can create obstacles to achieving the objectives you set for yourself.
For Paul Hoover, senior vice president and chief strategy officer of Business Development, discipline, planning, and the support of family and friends have been the key to his success in overcoming obstacles on the path to wellness.
Like many, Paul tried multiple methods to lose weight, such as, trying different exercise equipment, gyms, and diet programs. Despite those efforts, he wasn’t seeing the results he wanted.
But late in 2018, a message sunk in. Paul recalls when a visit to the doctor and a quote from a friend jumpstarted the journey to where he is now.
“A colleague of mine had said, ‘Leading people is easy, but leading yourself is difficult,’ and that quote kept sitting in the back of my mind leading up to my annual checkup with my doctor,” said Paul.
“I was frustrated and embarrassed when I stepped on the scale and saw it was the most I ever weighed,” said Paul. “I asked myself, ‘Am I just a victim?’”
“I was unwilling to acknowledge I wasn’t being the best version of myself. Once I was honest with myself and acknowledged the changes I needed to make, it helped me move forward and I told myself that I can figure this out.”
Following that visit to the doctor, Paul spent three months trying to determine what he needed to do. It started with incremental changes.
“There was never a magical formula or a secret sauce to this plan,” said Paul. “I started by trying to eat a bit less and healthier, and making a concerted effort to move more. I did things like eating more whole foods to help curb my appetite and save calories, or I would cut out sugar from my coffee or change my creamers for a healthier option. For exercise, I would make plans to go ride bikes on the weekend with my family. Now, I work out for at least an hour several times a week.”
Paul tracked his calories and was consuming about 1,700 calories a day. This may seem drastic, but Paul used a calorie tracking app that shows you how many calories you can consume in order to lose weight based off your weight and height. This, along with working out at least one hour a day, led to Paul losing roughly a pound and a half a week, and now, nearly 75 pounds total.
Besides the obvious health benefits of a healthier lifestyle, Paul says the biggest impact was reaching the best version of himself.
“Obviously the health benefits are important, things like lower blood pressure and having to take less medications, but I have seen myself become the best version of me,” said, Paul. “I didn’t go into this with a certain goal of losing this much weight or riding a bike this many miles, but I just went in with the goal of being healthier.”
“Support from family and friends was critical in making the lifestyle changes,” said Paul. “There are many people who helped inspire me on my journey. People like Dr. Harvey Hahn, my parents, wife, and friends, especially those who would meet with me to workout. Their support was essential during this journey.”
Paul advised that it’s important to have a plan and follow it.
“The biggest struggle is controlling what you can control. I feel like life wasn’t designed to make things easy,” said Paul. “It’s all about setting a plan and committing to it. Be intentional when doing so. For me, I had to be intentional with things like setting time aside to workout. If I know it’s going to be a long day at work, I will set time aside for an at-home workout, so I can still be home with my family.”
“There were things that could knock me off course like eating the donut that’s brought into the breakroom or ordering in food during a meeting. I had to intentionally do things like pack lunch for a meeting or bring a healthy snack instead of choosing the donut,” said Paul. “You must control everything in your universe and own your life, choices, and activities. This has been, and is, a central point to how I’ve been able to move forward.”
This choice goes beyond just a wellness journey. It doesn’t always require a specific goal or a secret formula. Sometimes it just takes creating a plan, starting a journey, and committing to becoming one’s best self.