For The Vista
Ernest Achey of Crossville is proof that a person in his late 50’s, who has diabetes and weighs more than 300 pounds, can lose more than 100 pounds and return to good health.
Achey, age 58, began his weight-loss effort more than two years ago when he noticed that his boss, Joe Miller, the director of the Crossville City Street Department, was losing weight. He asked Miller what he was doing.
Miller lost more than 100 pounds after his physician diagnosed him with pre-diabetes in October, 2009.
He got his weight loss started by participating in the Cumberland Medical Center Diabetes Education Program at the CMC Wellness Complex at Crossville. The program serves residents in Cumberland County.
Achey, who was dealing with the effects of diabetes, decided to join. At the time, he weighed 315 pounds.
He learned that if he planned his meals correctly, reduced his intake of calories and carbohydrates, and exercised, he would begin to lose weight.
He implemented the meal plan, and began walking around the track at the Wellness Complex in the Woodmere Mall.
He began slow but soon was up to 75 laps a day – more than five miles — six to seven days a week.
“I lost 40 pounds,” Achey says.
He thought he was on his way and began returning to some of his old eating habits. “I put 20 pounds back,” he says.
He then began taking a diet supplement provided him by a local diet clinic.
“It keeps me focused, and my energy level up, when I exercise at the Wellness Complex,” he says.
He is now walking 75 to 100 laps a day every morning, usually from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. That’s six to seven miles a day, and he now weighs about 190 pounds.
He’s not finished. “I want to get down to 180 pounds,” he says.
Achey walks seven days a week between Labor Day and Memorial Day, when the Wellness Complex is open every day.
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when the Complex is closed on Sunday, Achey walks indoors six days and outdoors on the seventh.
Achey also spends another half an hour a day on weight training at the Wellness Complex.
“My arms got soft when I lost all that weight,” he said.
Achey is now able to control his diabetes with oral medication.