Glen Ogren has been trying hard to play a trick on his customers at Hope Brewing Company — and it’s working on some who haven’t seen him in a while.
Ogren started on the Ideal Protein weight loss protocol at Hope Pharmasave in June of 2015 and he has now lost 180 pounds, from his former 405.
“There have been a few customers who have had to do double and triple takes to make sure it was me,” he said, laughing. “Luckily, to my knowledge, I’m the only bald u-brew owner in Hope.”
Harvey Robinson was featured last year in a story about his success on the same program. It now turns out that Robinson was only a minor-leaguer, losing a “mere” 85 pounds comparatively.
Ogren has lost the equivalent of a whole person — and it’s partly thanks to the example set by Robinson.
“In May or June last year, I saw Harvey at a school band concert and he’d lost a lot of weight,” said Ogren. “I asked him about it and he said he was on the Pharmasave program.
“I woke up one morning after that and told my wife I was going to go on the program. I started on June 16 and in the first four days, I had lost 6.8 pounds. The following week, it was 18.6 pounds — and then another 18 the week after that… almost forty-four pounds in the first two-and-a-half weeks.
“Even after that, I already felt so much better,” he added. “Now people ask me how I feel and I tell them ‘I feel a lot lighter.’
Under the guidance of coach Willow Doner, Ogren put himself on a strict diet.
“It’s low-carbs, so no starchy foods like potatoes or rice — and low-sugar, so no beets or carrots or fruit,” explained Ogren. “You drink lots of water and eat lots of vegetables like spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and salad. You get eight ounces of protein a day, which you can split up and you’ve got their meal plan items to buy.
“A lot of people have the misconception that it’s going to cost a lot of money,” he said. “There’s definitely an offset between what you buy from them and what you used to pay for your former food, like bags of chips and other snacks — and when you reach your goal, you’re phased off their food.
Ogren’s wife, Evelyn also joined the program, lost 50 pounds and is now in the maintenance mode.
“The people at Pharmasave have been absolutely incredible, as have my family and friends,” said Glen.
“For anybody who is struggling with weight issues, you’ve always got to eat,” he said. “You’re always making food choices, so it’s best not to let things go unchecked.”
The payoffs are definitely palpable.
“Everything becomes more difficult when you’re overweight: walking, standing, shopping — even bending over to pick something up,” said Ogren. “Now, everything is so much easier. I don’t know if it’s related to the program but there’s also a clarity of thought.”
Ogren recalled the story of his initial weight gain.
“I maintained my weight fairly decently after high school until my early to mid twenties, when I started putting on five to ten pounds a year. About that time, my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.”
Ogren said he experienced depression over the situation and his father’s subsequent death made matters worse. Eating for comfort, subsequently led to more weight gain.
“When we moved out here from Surrey in 2004, I put a bit of weight on. I lost some but fell off the program I was on and tried another. Then my mom became ill and passed on and I gained more weight.
“I was eating to fill the emotional gap,” he said. “Bad choices. Bad timing. And as the weight goes up, you don’t feel like exercising. Everything becomes harder and harder.”
Now that most of his excess baggage has been tossed, Ogren is getting into walking and cycling — with a goal of taking part in the granfondo cycle ride from Vancouver to Whistler.
He said his first hike was to Flood Falls, then to the top of Thacker Mountain. In early March, he figured he was ready for the Mount Hope Lookout trail.
“That was about two weeks ago and I can finally walk pain-free,” he groaned, last Friday. “I won’t say how long it took me — but I made it.”
People have admired his discipline in the program, Ogren said, “But the last nine months were nothing, compared to that hike!
“The program wasn’t as difficult as people believe it is. You put yourself in a zone. It’s a tool I used to get to the weight I want, so I can enjoy life again.”
To learn more about the Ideal Protein program, drop by the Hope Pharmasave, or ask for Willow Doner at 604-869-2486, line two for the pharmacy.