Dieting to a Better You

The story of Harry Lewis

Ten years ago, Harry Lewis, then 60, received a life-changing MRI telling him that he had a herniated disc and he needed surgery to abate the pain and numbness in his right leg. He went into surgery in April 2002 at 310 pounds, but due to stress gained an additional 90 pounds by the following year. In 2009, Lewis began feeling pain in his right hip, which was beginning to affect his ability to walk. Lewis visited his rehab doctor, Dr. Mark Varga, who helped refer him to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Craig Bone.

In order for Dr. Bone to operate, Lewis needed to lose 100 pounds.

To lose the weight, Lewis decided to drastically change his eating habits. “Not only did I not want to disappoint Dr. Varga, but I want to enjoy the rest of my life pain free and be around my family,” said Lewis. Lewis worked with registered dietician Linda Towle to help him develop an appropriate diet plan. Lewis began recording everything he ate and e-mailed his diet record to Towle each day in order to stay committed to his dieting.

On his plan, Lewis cut out salty, fatty foods, decreased his portion sizes and ate 3-5 small meals per day. To make his diet easier, Lewis participated in a weight loss program and then began creating his own meals. By the end of 2011, Lewis shocked his doctors by losing 125 pounds and was able to schedule his surgery.

After surgery, Lewis began his rehab recovery process at St. Luke’s. “St. Luke’s has a great staff that really goes to bat for you,” said Lewis. “I would definitely recommend this place.”

Lewis will use a walker for a few months and hopes to continue to diet and get to his goal weight of 195 pounds. “I did this for me,” said Lewis, “I think that being overweight is an emotional thing, but it is controllable and if you have the discipline you can do it.”

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St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute
711 S. Cowley St.
Spokane, WA 99202-1330

Inpatient Information: (509) 473-6058 or 1-833-FOR-SLR-1
Outpatient Information: (509) 473-6869