Taking a day off of school to go to an amusement park? That probably sounds like a great idea to any kid. Calling such an opportunity a life-changing event might seem a little dramatic – but for Logan McColl, that’s exactly what it was.
“I was on a school field trip to Six Flags, and the safety bar on one of the rides wouldn’t fit over me,” The teenager recalls. “From that moment on, I knew I needed change my life.”
Logan, who wore a size XXXL at the time, went home and told his mom he was ready to lose some weight.
“I was excited he wanted to do it. Our whole family is overweight. My husband and I both have type 2 diabetes,” Renee McColl says.
Acting on a suggestion from their pediatrician, Logan and his mom attended an orientation session for Head to Toe. The weight management program, offered by St. Louis Children’s Hospital, gives children, teens and their parents the tools to make healthier life choices.
According to his Renee, it only took that one session for Logan to get excited.
Brianna Egbuka, an exercise physiologist with the program, noticed his enthusiasm right away.
“Logan was open-mined and had a good attitude,” she says.
The teen committed to attending the twelve meeting session with his mom, once a week for the first eight, then every other week for the last four.
At the first meeting, he recorded his baseline measurements. Logan answered questions about fitness, self-image and lifestyle, and also climbed on the scale – a moment he remembers well.
“I weighed nearly 300 pounds, and I could only do two or three push-ups.”
With Brianna’s guidance, as well as the help of a dietitian and social worker, he set reasonable goals. He decided he wanted to lose 15 pounds.
Renee says she started to change the way she cooked for the whole family, but Logan’s dedication was the real key to his success.
“He counted out pretzels. He changed his habits. He would allow himself treats, but he wouldn’t overindulge.”
He also increased his activity level. He spent time at the gym, but he also just went outside more. He played basketball and went swimming.
The results didn’t come overnight. But halfway through the program, Logan had already exceeded his 15 pound weight loss goal. More importantly, he was feeling better.
“I could just tell he was happy,” Brianna says.
By the end of the program, he had lost a total of 45 pounds, and had gone from a size XXXL, to a large.
More than a year later, he’s maintained the lifestyle change.
“I’m more outgoing now,” he says. “I like to be outside more. I like life more.”
Logan’s mom, who was so supportive of the initiative her son took to make his life healthier, couldn’t be prouder – or more excited for Logan’s future.
“You only have one life,” she says. “It’s so much better if you can make the decision to live a healthier life as a young person.”
For Brianna and the other program specialists, Logan’s success was a testament to the program.
“It’s good to know it can be done. It’s a matter of people choosing to do it with the tools we give them.”
As for Logan, he hasn’t been back to Six Flags yet, but he’s confident his next trip will be different, thanks to Head to Toe and his own hard work and dedication.