In the Spotlight

Journey To A Healthier Lifestyle: A Veteran's Story

Contributed by Carl Phelps, USA, Ret.

couple after exercising

Well, another weekend has come and gone. What did I accomplish this past weekend? I rode my bicycle, refereed a football game, played with the grand kids and accomplished several tasks around the house. I know this because on Monday I am almost unable to move unless I take medication for pain relief.

That was two years ago. What is the difference between then and now? The answer is My HealtheVet. Using the information available in the Healthy Living Centers, I designed an exercise program that works not only on weekends but I can use throughout the entire week. Using the Food Journal, I learned about portion control with my food intake, and developed healthier daily routines, which I track and monitor.

In addition to the benefits of tacking and monitoring my health information in My HealtheVet, I use the MOVE! Program, available through My HealtheVet, to help me establish short-term and long-term goals for my health.

couple after exercising

Using the My HealtheVet Track Health, I am able to track my weight, my blood pressure, and my heart rate, just to name a few health measures. I liked watching my weight graph decrease and my blood pressure decrease and then become stable. My health care provider loves the graph showing my heart rate settle into a rate that makes me a healthier Veteran. As a healthier Veteran, I will have many more years to play with the grandkids, go on my dream vacation, and work with the new generation of Veterans.

Education is the lock. My HealtheVet is the key to the education lock. Veterans, who are informed, better educated and willing to question, can take greater control of their health. Working as a partner with their health care team, Veterans may become healthier.

I encourage my fellow Veterans to use the health measures and journals available in My HealtheVet. Information is easy to enter and graph. Using the graph pages, I can view as well as print. Taking the graph to my appointment not only lets my provider see the actual numbers; it shows that I am interested and working on my personal health. A few minutes of time spent today using My HealtheVet to show where you are and where you want to be can make a world of difference.

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Updated/Reviewed: September 1, 2010