Lifestyle

Buis enjoying the gift of health

John Buis is now a shadow of his former 280-pound self since embarking on a strict exercise, diet and health regime last summer. - MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER
John Buis is now a shadow of his former 280-pound self since embarking on a strict exercise, diet and health regime last summer.
— image credit: MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER

There’s no missing John Buis.

Whether he’s resplendent in his RCMP red serge at a community event, squeezed into spandex shorts for the Cops for Cancer charity bike tour, roaming the aisles at the BC Boys AAA High School Basketball Championships, or slogging out a security detail for the United Nations, his curled and waxed mustache, booming baritone voice and imposing stature cut larger-than-life.

Or, at least it did.

The passing last summer of his mother-in-law and mother put the 58-year-old Buis face-to-face with his own mortality. He weighed 280 pounds, he had high blood pressure and cholesterol, and suffered from sleep apnea that had him hooked to a machine to get him through the night.

“I didn’t like myself physically,” says Buis, a Staff Sgt. Major with the Burnaby RCMP.

He decided it was time to get healthy by changing the way he ate, exercised, lived.

“But I needed a plan.

His employer hooked him up with Dr. James Olson, a weight management specialist based in Coquitlam who contracts his services to the RCMP.

He crafted a three-tier program built upon exercise, weight loss and stabilizing Buis’ health.

Buis ran, walked or worked out in a swimming pool three times a week, followed by 15 minutes of stretching. He changed his diet to eliminate carbohydrates and limit dairy while increasing his intake of vegetables and protein from lean meats like seafood, turkey, back bacon and bison.

It was, says Buis, a full-on commitment that required support from his family and the RCMP. His wife Kelly exercised with him and attended weekly meetings. His employer allowed him to juggle shifts and cut back some of his volunteer activities.

“I had to be organized. I never knew how difficult it was to eat properly.”

Just before Christmas, Buis realized he was no longer taking his daily regime of pills for his blood pressure and cholesterol. He was sleeping well. He had more energy.

His RCMP red serge formal uniform hung off him, even when he cinched the big brown belt to its very last hole. He was down to 199 pounds.

“I got the gift of health Physically, I feel like I’m 30 years old again.”

But his journey isn’t over yet.

Now that Buis has attained his health and fitness goals, he has to maintain them, not slip back into old habits. Given his public profile, he knows a lot of eyes are on him.

“As more people ask me about it, the more committed I am to it,” says Buis of his new slimmer self.

 

 

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