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Brownsburg man named finalist in American Heart Association health challenge

By Lindsay Doty

53-year-old Brian Staup after he shed 40 pounds by eating healthier and climbing the stairs at work. (Submitted photo)

53-year-old Brian Staup has watched the scale go up and down his whole life. But, in 2018, the accountant from Brownsburg knew he needed to make a big life change. He was overweight and it was starting to impact his health.

“My blood pressure was to the point where my doctor was flipping out. It was just time,” Staup said. “It was frightening to me that I was out of breath just going for a walk down to the bank.”

Staup also had another motivator— to shed pounds for his oldest son’s upcoming wedding.

“I wanted to make myself presentable,” he said.

So, he began making small changes. He ditched the greasy french fries for healthier options and started to take walk breaks at work.

“I sit for 10 hours a day, so I use a Fitbit to help motivate me,” he said.

Those small steps turned into bigger ones. Staup eventually began climbing the 10 flights of stairs to get to his office in downtown Indianapolis.

He continued to cut back on sugar and carbohydrates. He drank around a gallon of water a day and went to the gym a couple of times a week. With lots of hard work and determination, the pounds started to fall off. Over the year, he shed around 40 pounds.

“My boss said, ‘How much have you lost? I’m going to nominate you for this thing,’” Staup said.

Staup was nominated and selected as one of four Hoosier finalists in the American Heart Association 2019 “Real People. Real Change.” challenge presented by UnitedHealthcare.

The sixth annual program celebrates people who have made significant lifestyle changes to improve their heart health.

“These ‘Real People. Real Change.’ winners are shining examples that making even small changes to our lifestyles can lead to dramatic improvements in our health,” Kim Sonerholm, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Indiana, said.

Finalists won $500 and are now competing in an online voting contest for a grand prize of $2,500.

While the Staup is excited about the contest, he says he’s already won the real prize. He’s healthier, off blood pressure medication, and still shedding weight. And he wore a new slimmer suit at his son’s wedding.

“If you have a bad day, come right back at it the next day and don’t get down on yourself,” he said. “It’s worth it. You feel better about yourself.”

To vote for Staup, go https://americanheart.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_24f8wQpwuOZMEzH

Voting ends Sept. 1.


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