Healthy Ever After

Once upon a time (in 1969) Dave and Chris Gochee got married. Over the years, they put on weight and in 1996 they were at an all time high, collectively weighing 465 pounds. That’s when things changed for this Connecticut couple.

According to Chris, “the decision to lose weight wasn’t one big light bulb moment but rather a series of events.” Like many people, they knew they were overweight, but things just got in the way of change. As they saw more and more friends having health issues and Dave’s blood pressure and cholesterol levels rose, they admitted to themselves “we’re not as young as we like to think we are.”

So Chris started making little changes, like cutting down the amount of fat and cholesterol she used when she cooked. Then she started exercising every day. Chris said, “at first, I was only able to walk for five minutes on the treadmill.” She stuck with it until five minutes became ten and ten became…

Since 1996 Dave and Chris have lost 140 pounds together and maintained that loss, but Chris is practical. Not only does she admit the process was SLOW (her emphasis), but she also confesses that maintaining a healthy weight was harder than she imagined. She has come to enjoy exercise, but finds her biggest challenge is “the constant vigilance to portion control and keeping an eye on calories.”

While it can sometimes be challenging for them to stick with their lifestyle change, Chris says, “everyone tells us that we look younger today than we did 15 years ago.” That’s a nice motivator, to be sure, but they also keep themselves going by training for different events, such as a 24-mile bike ride to support Multiple Sclerosis or an upcoming 5-mile run on Thanksgiving Day.

Dave and Chris’s little changes added up to a substantial shift – not only on the scale, but also in the way they feel. “Our lives have changed 200% and I really can’t see us going back to the way things were before.”

Next April, they will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. It may not be a traditional fairy tale, but it’s a pretty good healthy ever after.

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