Get H3 Inspired: Huntley Galleher
I am a 50 year old man who has been in the education field for 26 years. I was once a math and science teacher, as well as a football and tennis coach for 13 years. In all my years of being a coach, there were only four of my players that could beat me in a set of tennis. I have always considered myself an athlete, and I still do today! However, I did not realize how out of shape I had allowed myself to become these last 12 years. Then 7 months ago my weight truly became an issue. I needed to walk from one location to the next, which I had done many times before but had not walked this exact path in several years. My mind said no problem, but after several minutes I realized it was going to be a challenge to get to my destination. My breathing became irregular and my lower back was in excruciating pain. I found my whole torso hunching forward. I knew right at that point that my weight was the number one issue. That day I found myself thinking of all the issues I had been dealing with the last several months, and some the last several years. Every morning I had been waking up knowing that once I stepped out of bed I was going to be dealing with pain in my legs, feet or my back.
So I began my search for a change – I started first by asking my diabetic doctor for the opportunity to have lap band surgery. After a long discussion she actually convinced me to make a different decision. Her message was that my last blood test showed considerable progress and she told me that surgery was considered the last option. I listened and I took her advice; she and I even discussed Hilton Head Health in that conversation. So I was out the door, on my computer that night and looked into about eight different facilities throughout the country. Hilton Head Health kept coming up in my searches, and the stories and examples of the people that had been guests at Hilton Head Health continued to impress me. On March 2, 2011, my 50th birthday, I decided Hilton Head Health was the place for me and I was not going to let this opportunity pass.
My first conversation (of over 30 minutes) with Michele at Hilton Head Health certainly gave me the feeling that I would be in good hands. She was able to share her experiences with former and current guests and thoroughly explained the program to me. The next day I told my boss I had two weeks of vacation time and that I was going to take it all the last two weeks of June. He was so very supportive and said that if I wanted to add a third week I could, seeing that I have been with my company for 26 years. You guys know what came next, YES! Time to call Michelle. A few weeks went by and my boss and I were traveling when we got on the subject of my plans at Hilton Head Health. He then told me to take the 2nd week of July off since many people would be out that week for July 4th. I didn’t ask any questions, less than 24 hours later I was on the phone with Michelle, who probably thought I was going to back out or take back a week, but I was very pleased to tell her to make my reservations for four weeks.
The first day of my program was on a Sunday. I drove to Hilton Head Health from just outside Williamsburg, VA. It took just 7 ½ hours and I arrived a few minutes before 2:30 p.m. They gave me the keys to the condo and gave me directions, which was less than a mile away—a beautiful community of condos, with a pool AND on the golf course.
That afternoon at 5:00, we had an orientation with all the new guests. I believe there were 18-20 adults all nervous and looking around to see who was going to break the ice. By the end of my first meal I knew I was in the right place, with a proven track record—yes, I did my research and read both positive and very few negative responses from Hilton Head Health—but after meeting the staff and the people in my program, I NEVER LOOKED BACK AND I NEVER SECONDED GUESSED MYSELF THE ENTIRE STAY.
My stay was incredible and everyday there was something I learned or put in perspective—something that would change my lifestyle habits. I was intimidated the first day or two wondering when I was going to have hunger pains. I believe I learned in the first 24 hours that I was eating a 3500 to 4800 calorie diet before I arrived. At Hilton Head Health, I never exceeded 1250 calories. Not one day did I go hungry or crave that food that I had left behind in Virginia. I surprised myself each and every day.
I never missed a seminar. I found myself taking over 60 pages of notes during my month stay and I went to every seminar offered in the four weeks. I even learned my last day there was a new seminar to begin the week after I left, so I asked the presenter to email me the power point and she agreed to do so. Again, another example of a quality program insuring their guest the most from their experience.
My only advice regarding your first time is to start off easy, don’t try all the classes at first, warm up to a positive experience in each fitness class. Ask others about their experiences in the fitness classes you have not tried. Learn some of the details of the classes and what will be expected of you, then get in there and have fun. I even went into a step aerobics—I admit, too fast for this dude. I had to step out of the class after 20 minutes; I just could not keep up with the fast pace. I continue to tell myself that I believe I will be able to accomplish that class on my third visit. The program is planned for you to find what you like and exercise, find what you like and do it and bring it home and continue. Remember- if it is not fun, you are probably not going to do it at home, so go on to something else.
It was during my second week that Amy approached me in the hallway and asked if I was going to the ULTRA Circuit class. I knew a little about it and I just did not know if I could work on 20 different machines in 40 minutes. Then Amy said in so many words, I think you will like it if you try it. Something at that moment in time said, “Go for it Huntley, the time has come.” I look back at that moment over and over and truly believe that was what I needed to move ahead and take my body to the next level by developing a daily fitness routine. I will always give Amy that credit of my success throughout the last two weeks.
During my stay, I participated in the Cooking Healthy 3-Day Workshop; during which, I took the most notes. The first 90 minutes our class spent in the local grocery store learning all the things we need to be aware of in order to make better decisions in the future. I truly believe I will never ever go into a grocery store without remembering Amy Haynes; she was incredible with nutritional information in order to allow us to make better decisions on what to buy. Plus, the other 14 hours of cooking demonstrations and recipes have turned me into a believer. The first three dinners I made for my wife and son when I returned home were recipes that I’m sure I’ll probably repeat three or four times a month.
I signed up for an H3@Home Coach—anyone want to guess who I picked as my coach? You guessed right—Amy, who helped me a great deal that second week. Just another thing assuring me that I am in good hands knowing that Amy will be my guiding light.
As you can tell, I am writing this less than a week from leaving Hilton Head Health. The experience was life changing, and I am so very proud of myself and my family for allowing me this opportunity. I am already planning my return in the spring of 2012.
Huntley Galleher, Saluda, VA