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Reclaiming Our Health: Kaiser Permanente Members Share Defining Moments In Their Quests To Get Healthy

OAKLAND, Calif., April 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sometimes getting healthy takes a wake-up call.

For nurse Darin Miller, that moment came when he rolled over on his waterbed to pick up his newly crawling baby daughter. At the time, Darin weighed 270 pounds, and because of his weight, a wave rippled in the waterbed, bouncing his daughter into the sideboard.

"It broke my heart," he said. "That was the defining moment. I woke up in the morning, broke open the emergency credit card and walked into the gym."

Darin found himself enjoying his workouts. But it was a conversation with his Kaiser Permanente doctor about running a marathon that made Darin take his exercise a step further. "My doctor encouraged my interest in exercise," said Darin. "And by the end of the day I knew I wanted to be a triathlete.

Focused on the level of health and fitness needed to achieve his goals, Darin changed his entire diet, giving up his usual fried fare for more nutrient-dense foods like salmon and steamed vegetables.

He's come a long way since that waterbed incident 20 years earlier. Three years ago, Darin ran his first marathon. "It took me five hours and 45 minutes," he said. "I couldn't walk for two days. I finished last in my class — but I finished."

In March, Darin completed his first triathlon. The event included a 2.4- mile swim, a 114-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run.

"It has definitely improved my interactions with patients," Darin said. "Now, if a patient tells me, 'I really need to lose weight,' I can say, 'You can do it.' I have a better quality of life all around."

Watch Darin's story at

Warm weather brings opportunities for new goals Getting healthy isn't always easy. Spending quality time with a treadmill or elliptical machine indoors can get old during the winter months. But spring weather makes outdoor activities more doable — and inviting. This April, Kaiser Permanente celebrates spring by highlighting members who took control of their health and made the decision to get healthy for good.

April's stories include:

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