Millions of people make resolutions each year and within a few weeks they’ve returned to old habits and less healthy lifestyle choices. The trick to success for a long-term wellness journey is finding an enjoyable activity and developing a routine with attainable goals. Many people are discovering that this is possible with a VR headset.
In January Eric Vargas-Weisser made a decision to improve his wellness and after five months, he’s still going strong with some incredible results. We applaud his commitment to wellness and his willingness to share some of his journey with us.
VRFI: Hi, Eric! Could you please tell me a little bit about yourself?
Eric: My name is Eric Vargas-Weisser. I’m 50 years old and live in Encino, California with my husband and two cats.
VRFI: Please tell me a bit about your fitness journey.
Eric: I’ve always been one of those “new year, new me” people. I would start off every year going to the gym with all the enthusiasm I could muster. It would take me between 20-30 minutes to drive, park and change at the gym and then do an hour workout and come home again, totaling 2 hours of my day for a one-hour workout.
After a few months of this, it was always the same story. Frankly, I would get sick of so much of my time being wasted traveling to and from the gym, often waiting for machines to free up.
VRFI: That definitely sounds frustrating and many of us can relate. Since it didn’t work for you to use a traditional gym environment, what did you try next?
Eric: I decided to buy some home equipment. I purchase a Boxflex Max Trainer, which did not hold my interest and the workouts got very tedious.
Soon after I purchased the Bowflex, I had surgery on my lower back for a lump in my bone. They removed the lump (yay – no cancer) but afterward, my mobility was limited, and I needed physical therapy. After my therapy, I couldn’t bend down to tie shoes, walking and exercise was very limited and I began to gain weight. My blood pressure skyrocketed and I was taking 3 blood pressure pills a day with a cholesterol pill.
In 2020 I was diagnosed with melanoma and had surgery on my shoulder (they removed it before it spread into the lymph nodes – yay!) but my range of motion in my arms was decreased.
VRFI: Wow. I’m sorry you went through that and health challenges can be so frustrating, but you look great now in the photos. How did you discover VR fitness?
Eric: In January 2021, I was 5’10 and weighed in at 227 pounds. Between my weight, shoulders and back, I knew something had to be done. I began a “Keto” diet and saw an ad for Supernatural and it looked like a lot of fun, but I was not sure I would be able to do it since everything else I tried previously had failed.
I signed up for the free month subscription and tried it out. The first 2 week, I worked out one workout a day 3 days a week and found it was something I could do. The trainers advice and encouragement, along with the many different locations and music genres really kept my interest!
I increased to a workout everyday and soon multiple workouts a day. My back began to feel better and my range of motion in my shoulder returned 100%.
VRFI: It’s great that you found something that allowed you to workout in your own home, hold your interest, and fit within your own physical needs!
Eric: Yes and after 2 months using Supernatural, I “graduated” to Medium Intensity and went through the entire Medium catalogue! I tried the High Intensity workouts and found out that I could do those as well, although they were obviously more challenging.
VRFI: So you began in January and it’s now June. What positive effects have you seen since you’ve been working out in VR?
Eric: I’ve lost 61 pounds, I’ve been able to cut out 2 of the 3 blood pressure pills, with doctor supervision, and I hope to stop the blood pressure medication and perhaps cholesterol medication all together in the very near future.
VRFI: That’s fantastic. Have you seen other positive changes besides the weight loss?
Eric: I feel so much better and walk around the neighborhood without back pain. I now choose the stairs instead of the elevator and I feel like I have gotten so much of my life back that I previously had taken for granted.
VRFI: Congratulations! Do you have any last comments to share?
Eric: I have no doubt that without Supernatural, I would still be on high doses of my medication with limited mobility and those 61 pounds still on me.
VRFI: Well congratulations on an amazing transformation and thank you for sharing the story of your wellness journey with us. We wish you the best!