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Published on August 09, 2018

Hons Oakland and Melody Roberts

Couple Teams Up with Ideal Living to Lose Weight, Get More Energy

Sometimes, seeing is disbelieving.

That’s what Hons Oakland felt, when he saw himself in a video from his daughter’s confirmation. He couldn’t believe he’d gained so much weight.

“Melody (Roberts, his wife) knew about the Ideal Living program, and we decided to jump in and give it a try,” said Hons Oakland of Sioux Falls, who works in information tech. “We met with Becky (Hanzen) and Kandace (Brands) and they were great. They explained the process, and they made it clear we could do it, but that it wouldn’t just happen.”

Hanzen and Brands, health coaches with Avera Integrative Medicine’s Ideal Living Program, worked with Roberts and Oakland to establish a new way of thinking about food. Roberts said what she developed as the couple started was the beginning of a big perspective shift.

“It was a way to get to a healthier place in terms of food. It wasn’t a diet,” she said. “There were a lot of tools that seemed to help us. I wasn’t great at journal-keeping, but the weekly meetings with Becky helped me to find ways to overcome challenges, such as fatigue or hunger.”

Oakland said the building blocks of the program really guided his efforts.

“The education was critical to me, so that I could know what I should eat on the second day, or during the second week, and it helped me to re-learn enjoying foods,” he said. “I would certainly say doing it as a couple was beneficial and allowed me to stay focused. Or when I would want to give in, Melody would help me stay strong.”

The results are evident. It was more than two years ago that they began Ideal Living, and Melody lost 47 pounds and 34 inches, while Hons dropped 53 pounds and the same number of inches.

Much of that came off during the first year, and both have maintained a healthier weight and a much-healthier approach to food.

“We still have brownies, but we make them with black beans,” Roberts said. “We use nutritional yeast in place of some cheeses, and a lot of yogurt as well. We also stopped thinking of food as ‘entertainment’ and instead see it as fuel. Once we eat, we then do something. That really helps us maintain and get out in the community more.”

Considering that neither of them hit the gym hard during their weight-loss journey, Hons points to the fact the program can work, if you go all-in.

“The first few months, it didn’t seem to make much sense, but there came a time when it did,” he said. “Now I’m still more flexible and have more energy, and I think others can do the same.”

Live Better. Live Balanced. Avera.

Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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