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Losing weight one step at a time: Larry’s story

"A" icon to represent Aetna By Aetna

From the series “My health story.” Sharing my path. I’ve always struggled with my weight. And as I got older, the weight just started coming on. A friend of mine took a full-length picture of me, and I said do I really look that bad?

That was kind of the motivation that got me to call Aetna. And they paired me with Ricky, who became my health coach. He would ask me each week what my goals were. It doesn’t matter how big the goal is. Set the goal and then do it. And I thought he’s holding me accountable!

I started walking as my form of exercise. I walked to the end of my street, and I was completely out of breath. I feel like I’ve let myself down. Kyle, my husband, knew that I needed that push. He would be the one that would say, Let’s go out walking.

So I started videotaping myself, to have fun with it and making it like a talk show. And we would call it, “Walking and Talking with Kyle and Larry.” And I started posting the videos and getting all these comments on how the videos were actually inspiring them to walk. I never would have expected that kind of reaction. But I haven’t reached my destination yet. I want to push harder, push further. It’s an ongoing journey. And that’s what life is about.

Larry Beach is a real member who’s given us permission to use his story.

Larry Beach is not your typical fitness guru. In 2016, the 60-year-old controller from New York’s Hudson Valley began posting Facebook videos encouraging friends and colleagues to “get up off that couch and start walking.” To his surprise, he received a flood of positive comments and requests to join him and his husband, Kyle, on walks.

Larry had struggled with his weight for years when he failed a biometric screening offered through his work. But the real tipping point came after he spotted an unflattering photo of himself taken at a party. He realized he needed help. Through Aetna, he connected with health coach Ricky Moore, who urged him to start walking and make other small lifestyle changes. Read more about Larry’s health coach, Ricky Moore.

“Taking that first step is the hardest part. The second step is a lot easier,” Larry says. “When Ricky and I talk, I’m honest with him and honest with myself. I can’t lie to this man! He keeps me accountable.”

A few months into working with Ricky, Larry accomplished his goal of walking an 8.8 mile trail connecting his town to the next. “When I reached the other town, I was ecstatic,” he says. He has also come to understand that inspiring others is a huge motivator for him.

“If I can do this, then you can do it, too!” he says with confidence. “I got so many people walking. It’s wonderful.”