UK Health & Wellness' Weight Loss Programs Made a Difference in My Life
by Devauna Riley, Department of Surgery
I started in UK Health & Wellness’ Weight Loss Matters group support program when it first started in Fall of 2003. I was at my weight max. I knew something had to be done. Additionally, I had just enrolled in the department’s BeH.I.P Weight Loss for Life (a phone-based weight loss program). I did not exercise or eat right. I had a low energy level and general aches and pains. I have a history of back and neck injuries with chronic pain.
"I have lost 50 pounds... I am proud of how I look. " Teresa and her staff at Weight Loss Matters were very positive and encouraging. They worked with any of my issues and challenges that came up. I liked how we set short term weight loss goals that were attainable. We never talked about the big picture. Jessica, my Personal Health Coach from BeH.I.P, was great. She was so positive and understood how hard it was to make life changes. She kept telling me to not beat myself up, just move forward!
Teresa encouraged me to try the Body Shop gym. I did not think I could do any of it. She said to try it for 30 days and just see how things go. So, I just did what they said and the staff in the Body Shop gym worked out a plan for me. After joining the Body Shop gym I had lost 28 pounds and several inches by July 2004.
I had to take some time off work for while but when I came back to the Gym everyone in the Health & Wellness Program and other participants had missed me. They were so encouraging and everyone told me how great I was doing and continued to push me forward. They were a great support. The Health & Wellness staff kept encouraging with variations in my diet and exercise plan.
Along the way other friends and co-workers were encouraged by my success. I have managed to bring a workout buddy to the gym the last year and a half.
Currently, I am on an 1800 calorie diet from Teresa at Weight Loss Matters and I work out 4-5 times a week at the Body Shop gym. I do 30 minutes of cardiovascular and 20 minutes of weights.
Since fall 2003, I have lost 50 pounds and I am in a size 10. I have never been in a size 10 in my life. Since I lost weight people comment about how good I look at least twice a week and they want to know my secret.
After a while, my weight loss started to plateau for about a year. Penny at the Body Shop gym came up with a new workout plan to work on for some trouble areas and Teresa at Weight Loss Matters worked with me to change my diet again.
Now, I am pain free! I can do any activity my kids do! I have energy to work and keep up with things at home. I sleep great. I have a positive outlook on life and I feel great. I am proud of how I look. I am not afraid to try new things. Recently, I was able to rock climb and other outdoor activities I would never have done before I began participating the Health & Wellness Program.
All the Body Shop gym staff encourages everyone and constantly tells them how great they are doing. I did not have enough free time at home to diet or exercise but being able to fit a healthier lifestyle in at work with a great support system carried over into my home life. I cook and eat healthier and so does my family. We are all more active at home, too!
The Health & Wellness Program has improved my quality of life with weight loss, healthy eating and exercise habits. It has given me a better outlook on life – I have a real sense of accomplishment about my health and a better self image.
For more information about the UK Health & Wellness Program call 859-257-WELL (9355, email email@example.com) or visit www.uky.edu/HR/wellness .