September 26, 2018

Member Success: Sarah

By Tom Jorgenson

"I did not realize what a difference strength training really makes – and it is kinda fun!"

I began to feel like I was simply coasting along. Life was going OK, but I just did not feel like I was living life with my fullest potential. I decided that I wanted to start living life more fully. Part of that was getting in better shape so that I could feel confident in my clothes – I love clothes and take great pride in finding the perfect vintage piece at a thrift shop or item from the clearance rack and giving it my own look. More importantly, I realized that I needed to not hold back on experiences in life. This included being more present with family, friends, and colleagues.

I had gained some weight a few years ago. For a couple years, I did some exercise at the gym without seeing much change in my fitness and had a habit of falling out of routine, for lack of seeing progress and losing motivation. I was an athlete in high school and had goals that I worked toward. I was familiar with the weight room then, but now I felt like I did not know where to start a fitness plan.

I have a commute to work and did not know how I would have the time to spend at the gym because I need to get home after work to pick up my son at school and also make dinner. I’m just not someone who is able to get out of bed early in the morning to go somewhere and exercise.

Side note: Sticking to healthy eating was definitely a challenge - I enjoy good food!

First of all, I love that at the DAHLC people are kind and helpful and it does not feel like staff or other members are there to judge others. So, the welcoming environment helped me feel comfortable to explore what might work for me.

I met with Desiree for an Exercise Prescription. She offered a lot of helpful information about what exercise would yield results for me and took the time to describe the physiology of exercise which helped me to believe that if I followed a good plan I would likely see results. I did not realize what a difference strength training really makes – and it is kinda fun! She also suggested that I participate in wellness coaching to help with motivation and feedback about my new routine.

I appreciated meeting with my Well-Being Specialist, Chad, on a regular basis to help clarify my personal goals, wellness vision, and how these aligned with my personal life values. He also answered questions about my fitness routine and offered helpful tips on improving my eating habits while still enjoying food. I removed social media from my phone so that I would not be distracted from those around me, and the Wellness Coaching sessions helped to keep me accountable with this. We also identified some feasible strategies for dealing with stress.

Additionally, I have very supportive colleagues who encourage each other to go to the gym over the lunch hour, if possible. I also have an office mate who brought up the idea of doing a few exercise in the office, which helped to keep the motivation going on busy days. We used to have a candy dish that now only has mints unless we are bringing our kids’ parade candy to get it out of the house and share with others.

I really appreciated starting with the Exercise Prescription since I hadn’t really seen results with exercise until I worked with the Exercise Prescription. This was a personalized session where strengths and barriers were explored without judgement. We discussed what was truly feasible and then I was able to follow up with how it was working with the Wellness Coaching sessions. For example, I identified how much time I had to dedicate to exercise as well as my level of confidence in following through. My Well-Being Specialist helped me to make small changes here and there to make my plan work for me.

I did a Dexa scan at my Exercise Prescription appointment and then again in a Wellness Evaluation four months later to see that while I lost a little weight, I gained a great deal of muscle mass. It was so validating and motivating to see the results of the work I had been doing on paper!

I can say that today I feel the best I have ever felt, both mentally and physically. I definitely have more energy and focus. I feel more interested in finding events to participate in with family and friends. I went hang-gliding last month – who knows what will be next! My clothes fit better and maybe I can get some fun new clothes too!

Tags: Blog, coach, Eat Well, Exercise, fitness, get fit, health and wellness coach staff, Member Success, Member Success Story, Motivation, Move, Movement Training, results, Staff, Strength, Training, weight training, wellness coaching

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