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Annie's Success Story

As part of the process to change her family’s life insurance policies, after the birth of her second child, Annie had her cholesterol tested.  The normal range for test values is 200 or less. Annie’s number came back at 246. With a family history of heart disease, she decided it was time to make some changes.  

Following a visit to her primary care provider, to confirm the results and check for any other health issues, Annie went for a wellness evaluation at her local fitness facility.  The staff helped her create a safe and effective cardio workout plan.  In addition to exercise, Annie made changes in her diet which included increasing fruits and vegetables as well as decreasing saturated fats.  After four months of hard work, she had lowered her cholesterol to 203.

Structure was the key to Annie staying on track.  She enrolled in a class, at her fitness facility, designed to help lower a person’s numbers (e.g., cholesterol, glucose, etc.).  This 18-week class combined education, physical activity and lifestyle coaching which helped her create lasting behavior changes.

To stay motivated, Annie adds variety to both her food choices and her physical activity.  She also sets short term goals in addition to her long term goals.  Recently, she decided to train for a 10K (corresponds to 6.2 miles).  To help her train, she set up a program using resources available online.

What advice does Annie have for individuals interested in adopting a healthier lifestyle?  “The biggest change that has to happen is in your head.  You have to really think it through and decide what it is you want.  I've learned that I am in control of my decisions.  If you don't enjoy what you’re eating or what you're doing, of course you won't be able to sustain it.  But if you create a plan that brings you satisfaction and enjoyment, the benefits far outweigh any negatives.  Sure, I have days when I don't want to run.  But I'm always glad I did when I am finished. I am really happy when the changes I am making - inside and out - become apparent.

 


 

Debi's Success Story

Debi had been a member of a local fitness center, but never went.  It wasn’t until after taking a new job and meeting her new co-workers that she became motivated to get back to the gym.  Her co-workers become one of the reasons she decided to go back.  Even though they were all at different fitness levels and doing their own thing, they reinforced each others’ behaviors and kept each other motivated.

For Debi, the hardest part about making the commitment was walking through the doors of the gym for the first time. Even with the support of others, Debi confessed she’d rather do anything else but exercise.  It wasn’t until after a three-week absence from the gym that she recognized what exercise had been doing for her. She discovered that her stress level was high and she was gaining weight after she lapsed from exercising.  She returned to the gym and resumed her routine.  Even on that first day back, she realized she felt better.

How does Debi stay motivated?
“I stay motivated not only by my team of colleagues, but also from the staff at the gym and through the various games and programs offered. After mastering the elliptical machine, the treadmill and the weights, I am now looking forward to trying yoga and other classes. The staff is so friendly and it is fun meeting people who are there for the same reason you are.”