Sometimes, getting healthy takes a wake-up call.
For Kaiser Permanente nurse Darin Miller, that moment came when he rolled over on his waterbed to pick up his newly-crawling baby daughter. At the time Darin weighed 270 pounds, and because of his weight, a wave rippled in the waterbed, throwing his daughter across the bed and out of reach.
“It broke my heart,” Darin said. “That was the defining moment. I woke up in the morning, broke open the emergency credit card and walked into the gym.”
When Darin found the gym wasn’t enough, he consulted his Kaiser Permanente family physician. “My family physician, Dr. Reyes, is always willing to listen,” Darin said. “And I think that’s important to have not just a white-coat relationship with your doctor.”
Darin realized that going to the gym would not be enough of a change to make an impact. He also changed his entire diet, giving up his usual fried fare for more nutrient-dense foods like salmon and steamed vegetables.
He’s come a long way. Three years ago, Darin ran his first marathon. “It took me all of five hours and 45 minutes,” he said. “I couldn’t walk for two days. I finished last in my class—but I finished.”
In March, Darin completed his first triathlon. The event included a two-point-four mile swim, a 114 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run.
“It has definitely improved my contact with patients,” Darin said. “Now, if a patient tells me, ‘I really need to lose weight,’ I can say, ‘You can do it.’ I have a better quality of life all around.”