For years, I have been traveling to Hilton Head to visit my grandparents. My grandfather was the one who introduced me to Hilton Head Health after learning about the weight loss program during an episode of ‘HEAVY’. Not knowing that they had already stopped by the facility for a tour, they convinced me to take a look for myself. My whole life I was fairly active; I even played on my college tennis team.

It wasn’t until a couple of years later that I found myself turning to anything to help my depression at the age of 26. For some reason, I was lost and didn’t know how to get out of my rut; that’s when, with the support of my family, I decided to make a change. Staying at Hilton Head Health for three months not only helped me lose 66 pounds but also gave me the confidence, courage, and direction I needed to take control of my life.

Kelia gave me a tour of the facility and if you know Kelia, you know that she is very easy to talk with. I have to admit that at first, I thought everyone was being a little too nice, but now I realize that’s just how everyone is—they love helping people, are excited to teach, and genuinely care. Without judgment, Kelia and I discussed my past and just knew that if the rest of the staff were as open and positive as she was, this place would be just what I needed for my life transition. I discussed the visit with my family and we decided that participating in the H3 Extensive & Intensive three-month program was what I needed to break my unhealthy routine at home. This is the moment when my unhappiness started to be replaced one smile at a time.
Throughout my stay, more than anything else, I learned about myself. I learned that I enjoy swimming, kickboxing, and boot camp—I made a promise to myself that I would attend every boot camp class while at H3 and I did! I discovered the cook inside me who enjoys trying new, healthy recipes. I’ve learned how to recognize when I’m slipping and what to do to get back in control. Most importantly, I’ve learned what works for me.

While at H3, something clicked. I found the balance I needed. I can still go out, I can still go to tailgates, I can still enjoy some of my favorite things—I’m actually adding to the list. I’m just more aware. I simply don’t go out as often and if I do, I make better decisions. I take healthy dishes, like H3's Sweet & Spicy Chicken Wings, with me to football parties. I meal plan each week and get my groceries delivered to avoid temptations at the store. I whipped the dust off my rollerblades and now riding with my dog through the park is one of my favorite activities—my dog actually gets tired before I do. I even bought a scale, something I dreaded looking at before but now I understand how to use it to my advantage—I have a threshold so I know when I’m swaying from my goal. All these things work for me. Did Hilton Head Health say, “Hey Adam, go grab some rollerblades and roll your butt off”? No, but they taught me that exercise can be fun and they opened me to new experiences and opened my ears to take in life lessons.

Just one year after my summer at H3, I have continued to be successful and with my new found energy and positive mindset, I refuse to go back to the way I was. When you go from a size 48 to a 40/38, you actually enjoy shopping and going places where you can show off how good you look. I no longer avoid beaches like the plague and I am open to trying new things. Along with running my first 5K in 34:19 with Jeff, I would consider snorkeling and hiking the Gros Piton while on vacation in St. Lucia are my biggest accomplishments yet—things I physically would have NEVER been able or even attempted, to do before.

I’ve enrolled in school and am taking my life more seriously. You could have never told me that I would opt into spending my spring break at a weight loss spa during my Senior year of college—but I’m here for the second time and I’m loving every minute of it. I am so thankful for H3 and for my family believing in me when I wasn’t sure if I believed in myself. Just knowing that at any time I can call Jeff or Adam for support, helps keep me on this new path to a happier, healthier me.


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