By Member of the Month
We are excited to announce Alison as our February member of the month. Alison shares with us her inspiring experiences through her journey at LIVE WELL. We are sure it will motivate you on your journey, as well to never give up!
My name is Alison R. Following abdominal surgery in August of 2015 and my 60th birthday in September of 2015 - I decided that I needed to do something about my increasing lack of energy, increasing insomnia problem, increasing yearly weight gain over the past 40 years, increasing gastrointestinal problems and increasing loss of interest in socializing, especially when meeting new people. Searching through my cupboard deciding what to wear for an evening out that fitted and felt comfortable became an exercise in lowering my self-esteem. Which is interesting because the person I see in a mirror is not the body image that I picture in my mind and I feel that I have high self-esteem.
Over the years, I have tried a few diet fads/programs but not very seriously and I did not really believe in them as I always regained the weight and more afterwards. As a Registered Nurse I knew that exercise and eating the right foods (“not starving myself on a diet”) should work to maintain a healthy weight. But as a nurse working 12-hour day/ night shift work, my meals were often rushed, not nutritious and were snatched at odd hours. My sleep times varied and more sleep became a priority over my desire for exercise.
In 2011 when I tipped the scales at 290 pounds, I joined a large gym in an attempt to lose weight and improve my health. Though the staff were friendly and welcoming, I felt like a black duckling among the white swans. I did manage to lose some weight but after falling down my basement stairs in August of 2011 resulted in a concussion, injury to my back/left arm/leg. My attendance at the gym ceased. I must admit that I was relieved to have a legitimate excuse not to return to the gym. Attending physiotherapy become my new form of exercise.
Eventually, through a friend, I heard about Dr. Ali Zentner and the LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic. I sought a referral from my doctor, read Dr. Zentner’s book ‘The Weight-Loss Prescription’ and thought this totally makes sense and is doable. In November of 2015, I joined the LIVE WELL Exercise clinic. From day one, I found the staff and clients to be very welcoming, friendly, encouraging and supportive.
Currently, I feel more social, energetic, limber and I am sleeping better than I have been for years. I have lost 35 pounds (4 clothing sizes) in 12 months by following a few easily doable changes to my eating and exercise habits. Such as:
1) Quitting drinking juice and pop (except on rare occasions)
2) Increasing my daily exercise:
Walking 4 times a week for 30- 60 minutes
Attending LIVE WELL at least 2 times a week (I use the treadmill and do light exercises).
Attending a Yoga class for older people once a week
Parking further from any store that I am going too
Walking rather than using the car when I can
3) Studying what I eat by keeping a food diary and by using the http://www.myfitnesspal.com computer app to record and study my food intake number of carbohydrates. (Number of carbohydrates as well as my amount of exercise daily seem to be the key to my weight loss)
4) Only eating desserts at restaurants or on special occasions at my home or some else’s home
5) Monitoring food portion size: ½ -¾ plate vegetables, ¼ plate protein, occasionally ¼ plate carbohydrates
6) Eating out no more than 4 times a week
7) Drinking at least 8 glasses of water daily
8) Eating 3 meals daily with at least 2 snacks sometimes 3, so I am eating every 2 hours to maintain my blood sugar level. My snacks are usually a protein rather than carbohydrate foods.
9) Not eating after 9 pm at night
All the above and more, I have learned from Dr. Zentner, the LIVE WELL staff and the very informative education that I have received at LIVE WELL.
Over the past year coworkers, friends and family have frequently commented on my weight loss and asked how I am accomplishing it. I tell them about LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic and the value of an exercise program and eating right. I often give copies of Dr. Zentner’s book that I carry in my purse to anyone interested in achieving my success.
My husband was so impressed with my weight loss and increased health successes that he joined LIVE WELL 6 months after I did.
My future goal is to continue attending LIVE WELL to take advantage of the staff’s expertise, to continue my weight loss along with improved health successes.
Thank you so much Alison for sharing your lovely insights, triumphs and tips. The LIVE WELL community is inspired by your commitment to a healthy lifestyle change. Keep bringing the JOY!