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Steve Laraway

Weight Management
“A 26-year member of the St. Cloud Area YMCA, Steve works out three times a week. CentraCare includes meeting with an exercise specialist as a part of its program. One of the suggestions for Steve was to strengthen his upper body. He received a series of exercises from the CentraCare exercise specialist which he brought to the Y. A YMCA health coach adjusted the recommended exercises so they could easily be done on the equipment available there.”

Combination of CentraCare Weight Management program and YMCA workouts spell success for busy business owner

“You’re not going to finish the race if you don’t start it.”

That’s the attitude Steve Laraway is taking in his approach to losing weight — and his advice for anyone trying to lose weight. Just start. 

This financial planning business owner and member of the St. Cloud City Council has been following the CentraCare Weight Management wellness track since July 2016. 

He weighed in at 252 — the highest in his life — and now sits comfortably in the 220s. His ideal goal weight is 200 but he’ll be delighted when he reaches 210.

About one-third of the people in the five CentraCare Weight Management program options are like Steve — those who aren’t necessarily experiencing significant medical issues but just want to drop some weight and live a healthier lifestyle. 

Finding success

Steve has tried other programs but found CentraCare’s low-calorie program easy to follow and non-intrusive. He eats one healthy meal per day consisting of a lean protein and lots of fruits and vegetables. His other two meals and snacks are food products he purchases online through the Weight Management Center.

“I have found this program to be very educational. My wife does 90 percent of the cooking and has made modifications to our meals.” Steve explained. “We tend to have more chicken, lettuce and steamed vegetables and less starchy potatoes and pasta.”

His program is supervised by a dietitian. He weighs in weekly and has regularly scheduled health coaching appointments.

“I wasn’t happy with my appearance and am pleased that I have dropped three pant sizes since I started. I just keep tightening the belt loops,” Steve said. “It’s also nice to hear what I call ‘soft reinforcement,’ when people comment about my weight loss.”

Partnering with the YMCA

A 26-year member of the St. Cloud Area YMCA, Steve works out three times a week. CentraCare includes meeting with an exercise specialist as a part of its program. One of the suggestions for Steve was to strengthen his upper body. He received a series of exercises from the CentraCare exercise specialist which he brought to the Y. A YMCA health coach adjusted the recommended exercises so they could easily be done on the equipment available there.

This is just one example of how CentraCare and the Y work together. A significant step in the partnership will take place when the new St. Cloud Area Family YMCA Community and Aquatics Center opens in May.

Lifestyle Health, powered by CentraCare Health, will occupy roughly 7,500 square feet near the first floor entrance of the new building. Weight Management staff, along with other CentraCare Health professionals, will provide an array of services including acupuncture, therapeutic massage, functional medicine (prevention and treatment of chronic diseases) and sports performance services. There will also be a retail store where health and wellness products can be purchased.

Steve is well on his way to a healthier lifestyle. He’s noticed that he has less knee pain and easily participated in three mountain hikes while on vacation in March.

“The bottom line is that you have to make good choices when it comes to your health,” Steve explained. “I want to be around for a lot longer. There is never a perfect time to start anything so why not start now?”