Featured Wellness Champions, Audrey Traun and Sheila Diercks, from Hilton 3rd Floor – Biochemical Genetics Lab, have found that walking the walk can go a long way in their work groups. " To inspire others, I try to practice what I preach," says Traun. "I started in the wellness champion role shortly after losing about 40 pounds by following the Mayo Clinic Diet and incorporating more activity into my life. " Some small changes that she has made include bringing healthy meals from home instead of buying fast food, incorporate some activity into her day like taking the stairs, walking more, and taking short breaks hen she has been sitting for long periods of time.
Like Traun, Diercks also has a remarkable weight loss story, "I gained 45 pounds when I was pregnant and was able to drop 50 pounds post baby. I did this by creating a running group among a few close friends where we would run outside every couple of days in the bitter cold winter months. I also found a class I could attend at the DAHLC (7:30 pm) that could fit my new schedule being a mom. I had previously been a regular 6:15 am class participant, which wasn’t going to work out any longer. Other than that, just fitting activity into my new lifestyle and eating right and eating more of the types of foods that I wanted my daughter to be eating. I had taken the Menu Creations & Supermarket Savvy class at the DAHLC to help with menu planning and that really helped to get me thinking of ways to include a fruit or veggie into every meal (even when eating out)."
With their own motivation, these ladies love to spread the word of wellness in their work groups by having variety. Leading by example— they promote various worksite challenges, encouraging participation and some friendly competition among staff. They arrange Worksite Wellness Presentations from DAHLC staff that cover a variety of topics like Work/Life balance, Meaning & Purpose, Gratitude, and Getting Fit. They share the Weekly Wellness Newsletter, which contains different tips and articles related to different areas of wellness. They also communicate any upcoming wellness events on their Well Space Bulletin Board. They've even hosted a healthy potluck for their work group. For 2016, they hope to extend their reach to include a few different labs and increase participation in the worksite.