What’s the best way to get to know an
organization? Meet its people.
Here at Heritage, patients, members,
and providers come together to create
the High Desert’s premier medical group.
We love our people and we think you will, too.
People like Henry Portelles.
Four short years ago, Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group member Henry Portelles was on the verge of weighing 400 pounds.
What happened next was not only remarkable, but life changing.
With the help of HVVMG’s onsite HLF FITness Program, Portelles, 56, began a weight-loss journey that would see him shed more than 200 pounds.
“It first started by scaring the pants off of me by letting me know where I was heading – what my future was as a 390-pound man and that really, really motivated me to adjusting the way that I approach what I eat, how I eat,” said Portelles.
Portelles was referred to the Smart Fit program by his primary care physician Dr. Neal Blank and lead “FIT-sician” Dr. Roger Moushabek. Prior to his weight loss, Portelles suffered from numerous medical conditions including hyperlipidemia, morbid obesity, Type 2 diabetes (uncontrolled mellitus with manifestation), and hypertension. Not to mention the social and physical restraints his weight placed on him from doing what he wanted, when he wanted.
“I was nearly 390 pounds and felt really, really limited in where I could go, what I could do,” Portelles said. “Today, I am at 182 and I really feel there’s nothing I cannot do.”
After consulting with his physicians, Portelles began a new fitness and wellness regiment, adjusting his eating habits and exercise routines.
“Then the fitness program kicked in and I’ve been doing that now for three years, starting very, very slow, very subtly, just walking on a treadmill, doing very, very light weights if weights at all,” he said.
“And over three years, I am progressing just incredibly well — deadlifting, I think I did over 215 pounds this week on the deadlift and I’m just feeling really, really good about myself, really, really good of what I can do.”
Portelles currently no longer has any health issues to report. His BMI is 23.7 from 60.2, and his HgbA1c is now 5.3 from 9.3.
Before-and-after photographs render Portelles nearly unrecognizable depicting his amazing transformation.
Portelles, as he says, has regained his freedom — a freedom “from having to plan out going into a restaurant, fitting into a seat, going on a plane. Things that most people take for granted.”
Without any health issues, he is also no longer in need of any medications. Portelles only goes to the doctor for yearly exams and continues to attend the Smart Fit program in addition to venturing into more strenuous programs like HIT (High Intensity Training) FIT.
“One thing that I have learned in my fitness journey is that exercise can be a very pleasurable way of life,” Portelles said. “It’s to the point where I don’t even think about it.
“I think it comes down to the people – the trainers here at Heritage and the people around the clients that make it sometimes fun. I’m happy that I’m sore … I really, really gotten to enjoy it. And it’s become a way of life.”