From the Community: tips from locals on achieving healthier lifestyles

Introducing “From the Community: tips from locals on achieving healthier lifestyles,” a series of interviews with local community members who provide advice on becoming healthier and talk about how they did it themselves.

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This month, we talked to Richard Hubbard of Torrington, CT. Richard was obese for about 10 years, steadily gaining weight after college. Eventually, when the scale read 345 pounds, he knew he had to do something. He didn’t change his eating habits right away and just worked out on the treadmill for about 20 to 30 minutes at a time. It took him a lifestyle change to finally achieve his goal and maintain his current weight of about 212 pounds. 

Fit Together (FT): What was the final push that helped you to begin working toward a healthier lifestyle?

Richard Hubbard (RH): I went to a physical, the first one in years, due to a requirement in my health insurance. I found out I was pre-hypertensive. I didn’t want to go on medication so I made a deal with the doctor. I would lose weight and get my blood pressure back to normal. It worked… the last time my blood pressure read 120/70!

FT: What helped you the most throughout your journey? (Specific practices, schedules, or tips from others?)

RH: MyFitnessPal is an incredible tool to help with your weight loss goals. This online food journal really shows you in detail how you are eating. Also, the wellness challenges that the YMCA offered helped tremendously. But the thing that helped the most? Giving up highly processed foods like ice cream and candy.

FT: Which resources were most helpful?

RH: The local YMCA, MyFitnessPal, my website and the fitness professionals at the YMCAs in both Torrington and Waterbury. They all have been extremely helpful.

FT: Have you struggled at all with maintaining your healthier weight? What would you say to those who have gained their weight back and now feel discouraged to try again?

RH: Surprisingly, I haven’t had any trouble maintaining the weight. It really comes down to a lifestyle change. I do not like the word “diet” as it’s a temporary fix. You need a lifestyle change to maintain your weight once you lose it.

FT: What tips can you offer to those who want to eat more fruits and vegetables, but do not have much experience cooking them, find them too expensive, or do not like the taste of many of them?

I love to share my success story with others. I started a website, in hopes that others will be inspired to lose weight too. I offer tips on weight loss and exercise and basically what worked for me is on there.

FT: Anything else you would like to share?

RH: It’s tough at first, but stick with it. My main motivation was to get healthy, and it has been awesome to hear comments from others in disbelief of all the weight loss I’ve experienced. I tried failed diets over the years and nothing worked until I completely changed my eating habits.


Check out Richard’s website, “a platform for delivering news, blogging, personal goals tracking, connecting and discussing efforts to live a more healthy lifestyle within the state of Connecticut,” full of exercise advice and recipes: