On the Road to Better Health

Truckers News Staff | January 01, 2012

The diet included frequent small meals, lean meats and healthy snacks — no junk food. He encouraged Nehrings to park farther from the truck stop and to walk a little more each day. Nehrings’ wife Kim offered support and also lost weight in the process. She helped him pack healthy snacks for the road and, when he was home, prepared low-fat/low-calorie meals Acosta recommended. “I couldn’t have done it without her,” Nehrings says.

Both Acosta and his wife encouraged him, as did other truckers. When he would stop to unload, he would weigh himself on the truck scales. The guys on the dock cheered for him when the scales showed his new, lower weight. Friends didn’t recognize him and acquaintances remarked on his weight loss. The feedback encouraged him to stick with the program. He dug deep, calling on the willpower he had used 10 years ago when he quit smoking cold turkey. “Sure, I quit smoking, but the difference was that the cravings went away when I quit,” he says, then laughing. “It’s way more fun to get fat!”

Three months later, the results are amazing. “I lost 54 pounds and never felt hungry or deprived. My blood pressure has gone down to normal (120/78) and I feel better than I have in years,” he says. His goal is to get down to 300 pounds over the next few months and eventually to his ideal weight of 250 pounds. He also wants to add more exercise to his routine.

Adding exercise -- The key to starting a new fitness program is not to start something too overwhelming or complicated. Sandy Stanard, a physical therapist in Tuscaloosa, Ala., advises clients to set goals by time rather than distance. “Walk briskly for 10 minutes every day until the activity becomes easy. Then, increase by five minutes until you reach a reasonably paced 20 to 30 minutes per day,” she says. Not only will brisk walking improve cardiovascular health but it can help with the back pain that plagues many truckers.

Nehrings is optimistic about the future. In fact, he just bought a pair of size 40 jeans and reports he also needs a belt. “I’m seeing new results every day. I want to live a healthier life, and now I believe it’s possible.”


• Lose 50 more pounds

• Learn to scuba dive

• Fit into size 38 jeans

• Do more fishing and motorcycle riding

• Resume weightlifting

• Walk 30 minutes per day

• Resist chocolate

• Learn to fly fish

• Encourage others to lose weight and get fit

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