A year ago, at age 51 and more than 120 pounds overweight, my doctor was adamant that I understand the health issues I was facing — especially as I was getting older. Clearly it was time to do something serious. I decided to do Weight Watchers and try to exercise more. Although I did not feel I had the self-control or discipline needed to reach my goal, I knew I had to start somewhere.
About a month or so after starting Weight Watchers, I was asked by someone if I had been working on my BeWell Berries — and I had no clue what they were talking about. I was directed to the BeWell site, completed my SHALA, and realized BeWell was in line with what I was currently trying to do to change my habits. I completed my Berries with exercise, some seminars, and was done just in the nick of time for that year.
As soon as 2012 started, I jumped on the band wagon, filled out my SHALA and started on my Berries. I saw that in the class, “Weight Management: Building the Foundation,” the focus was on behavior change, specifically about food or exercise. I knew that when trying to lose weight at other times I would lose a few pounds and then discontinue my efforts for a variety of reasons. I wanted an approach that would help me sustain my journey, in addition to understanding more about altering my behaviors and my lifestyle, to enable me to reach my goal — both weight-wise and health-wise. I was excited to start a new and different approach to dealing with my food and weight issues. In addition, this class would count as one of my BeWell berries and my STAP funds would pay for it.
At about the eighth or ninth week of class, I realized I had truly experienced a paradigm shift in my view of how I ate, exercised, and lived my life. The combination of the other people in my class, the handouts, discussions and Debbie Balfanz’ s guidance contributed to the transformation I experienced. Understanding the rather major shift and realizing how far I had come was a bit of an amazing feeling. Additionally, the last week of class marked the one year anniversary of the start of my weight loss journey — and I had lost 50 pounds in that first year.
I honestly feel empowered; I have 60 more pounds to go, so my ultimate weight loss goal is still in my future. While I know not all my days will be perfect, I also know they do not have to be because no matter how the days go I will still be able to reach my goals.
My journey will likely never end; it will be a life-long journey. Today I have the confidence that the shift in my behaviors — with the continued attention to how I relate to food and exercise — will allow me to find the success that I have not found previously in my life.
Facilities Division, SLAC