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By Member of the Month
We are honoured to ring in the New Year with Wendy as the Member of the Month for January 2020. Wendy is a member of LIVE WELL North Delta who knows anything is possible! After reading Wendy’s incredible story, we hope it inspires you to transform your health.
I was very touched and surprised when I was asked to be LIVE WELL’s member of the month. I felt many emotions, but most of all, I thought that my story was not really that exciting or inspiring. Then, while talking to my husband, I realized that we are all so different, and maybe my story could inspire someone else to join LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic.
I first heard about LIVE WELL from my family doctor after the South Surrey location opened. I liked the idea, but also realized it wasn’t practical or reasonable for me to drive 30 minutes each way when my schedule was already so full. I was working full time and my husband and I were helping to care for our granddaughter while our daughter worked. My parents also needed some assistance as they were in their nineties.
Growing up, I was the only one of my friends or family who struggled with weight. At 16, I went on a very successful weight loss program and lost 40 lbs. I looked amazing at graduation and naively thought I was now “normal.” Within four years, I gained it back and then some. I was busy and active, but the weight still reappeared. Then, I got engaged at 22, and I lost over 50 lbs. and was so happy at our wedding. I thought I would maintain my new weight as I was never idle. I’m a fairly healthy eater and don’t eat much junk food or sweets, but maintaining weight loss has been a life-long struggle. I finalized realized my eating habits weren’t great and always being on the run put priorities on everything other than my own well being. I was brought up watching my parents care for others, which was so special, and I really felt that was important. I kept thinking there would be time to care for myself, however, the weight went up and down and I ended up with high blood pressure. My doctor kept reminding me that in order to care for everyone else, I had to take care of myself first, and that made so much sense!
My family genes are really good and longevity is on my side. In fact, my grandma lived to 105 years old, and she was the most beautiful, kind and giving woman. My dad passed away while struggling with dementia at 96, and my mom passed away last year at nearly 102. My family members were all in good shape physically and I saw that living to 100 could be wonderful if your physical and mental health are good.
I also care very deeply for our children and grandchildren. We are blessed to have a chance to help care for our grandchildren—they are so precious and I treasure every moment with them.
I have a few friends that are members of LIVE WELL and I saw what a wonderful support the program is. One of our daughter’s closest friends has worked for LIVE WELL for years and I know how much it means to her. The idea of becoming a member was always in the back of my mind, and I thought if the clinic was closer, I would like to join.
When I heard LIVE WELL was opening a clinic less than five minutes from my house this past March, I knew I had to join. There were no more excuses as LIVE WELL had come to me! I made an appointment and went in to see Ryley with my broken ankle and we set up a plan for me to start as soon as the doctor approved it. I started in May and the program has been amazing for me. The care and support I get from Kiran and Darren means so much. They are kind, helpful and patient as I learn new exercises and I never feel intimidated. I have finally found a place where I belong and where I feel nurtured and cared for. It is such a positive environment, with a great sense of community where the members get to know one another. I love the flexibility of being able to change my scheduled class time if something comes up. That way I always get to the clinic at least twice a week.
About the same time I had my first appointment at LIVE WELL, we had a huge scare as my husband had a heart attack. My husband had never got sick or missed work, but he wasn’t a healthy eater and never ate fruits or vegetables. Following his heart attack, I began cooking healthy meals for us both.
Since joining LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic, I can walk faster without getting out of breath and I have way more energy. My flexibility has improved, my broken ankle healed well and my knee is no longer causing me any problems. I have also become much more comfortable trying new things, which is great for the brain. My sessions at LIVE WELL have become my priority and my goals are to be able to play with my grandchildren and take them on adventures for a long time to come. I also want to continue traveling with my husband knowing we are both fit and capable to do so. There are so many wonderful things to do in life!
I have learned that anything is possible if you stick to it. Be patient with yourself, stay positive and celebrate your accomplishments.