Monday, June 17, 2013

Rise to Success - Dixon Baxter

“I tipped the scales at 307 and I said, ‘that’s it!’” Dixon Baxter is making healthy changes with the Orriant program. He is 27 pounds lighter and his blood pressure has dropped to a healthy level. These changes did not come easily. Dixon works for MHC at the Wilmington, NC Dealership (location #74). His typical work day is 15 hours long.  Like most people, Dixon admits he is an emotional eater.  It wasn’t until his first health assessment that Dixon realized how heavy he had become over time.

Dixon is driven to lose weight and get off of his blood pressure medication, which he’s been taking the past 25 years. He has set three specific goals with his Orriant Health Coach: eat 3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, exercise 30 minutes 3 days a week, and drink 100 ounces of water daily. “I’m really excited about the results I’ve seen so far. If it weren’t for Orriant, I would be back to doing the same old stupid stuff I was doing before. I would have given up on my new year’s resolution weeks ago.”

When Dixon was asked what the best part of Orriant was, he responded, without hesitation, “Kristin. She listens to what I have to say.” Kristin is the Orriant Health Coach who collaborates with Dixon on a monthly basis. “She is so helpful, even my wife gives me questions to ask her.” One of the things he appreciates most about Kristin is how she helps make his goals attainable. This allows him to plan ahead and set himself up for success. “I appreciate Kristin. It is nice to have somebody behind me like she is. My attitude is so much better, I just can’t tell you.”

The road to healthy living is a long one. Dixon acknowledges he didn’t gain weight overnight and therefore can’t lose it all overnight. “Kristin puts me in the right frame of mind. I’d love to lose a pound a week – I’m doing it the healthy way.” To date, exercise is Dixon’s biggest challenge. His schedule doesn’t allow for 30-minute workouts at a time, so he generally exercises in 15-minute chunks at home. Dixon shares a story about when he first started to exercise. He found a cardio video lasting only 15-minutes. He thought he would blow through the video but admitted, “I was dying at 7 minutes.” Dixon has slowly built up his aerobic stamina and is finding even longer lasting effects. “My personality is coming back. I haven’t had a ‘peppy’ attitude in years, but I can feel it coming back. I want to keep exercising so I can keep my self-esteem high.”

While it’s challenging to fit exercise into his busy schedule, he has adapted to eating a healthy diet relatively quickly. He went from drinking 5 diet cokes a day to drinking only 1 in 2013.  He has surpassed his goals of eating 3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day to about 5 or 6 a day. “Before Orriant, eating 2 pieces of fruit in a year was a miracle. Now I eat it every day.” Just the other day he stopped off at the gas station where he normally would have bought soda and crackers. This time he got a bottle of water and 2 apples. “A year ago, the thought of going to 711 and buying water… I would have laughed!”

Dixon is grateful to MHC for offering Orriant and thinks of it as earning a bonus. “I’m getting paid to make myself healthier!” he exclaimed. His family has also been extremely supportive. His wife is cooking healthy meals and his daughters are completely behind him with his healthy decisions. “I got a lot of love in my family. I’m at the age where I have to make these changes.”

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