Category: Wellness

Joslyn Pribble is Methodist Health: Key Learnings

By Joslyn Pribble

Joslyn is a manager in Pathology at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

 1.   What’s the most important takeaway you’ve learned in this program that you’ll use to stay on track for the rest of your life?

The most important thing I learned is that I CAN DO this. Any doubts I had about my abilities have been erased as I realize that I am stronger than I ever realized. As long as I maintain that awareness, I will continue to be successful.

 2.   Out with the old. In with the new. Give me three new healthy habits you’ve incorporated into your life.

No more brown sugar cinnamon Pop-Tarts for breakfast. Instead, my body needs real, healthy fuel to get the day started. I track every calorie I eat so that I can manage my intake. All of the unhealthy snacks are gone in our house and have been replaced with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

 3.   Tell us at least three improvements you have accomplished in this program.

I have lost 5½ inches from my waistline. I have dropped 37 pounds and five dress sizes since January. My cholesterol, body mass index, and blood pressure have also come down. Overall, my health has improved significantly from where I started!
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 4.   What are the advantages of having the support of a health coach and trainer? Why?

Knowing that you are not in this program alone is very reassuring. It is amazing how hard people can be on themselves and how beneficial it is to have a health coach and trainer to put things in perspective. If I ever feel a bit off track, I just pick up the phone and Karen or Ginnie is there to help me. Their care and concern are so genuine. I cannot help but push myself harder after working with either of these two! Having someone to openly and honestly talk to without being judged was so refreshing. It really helped my self-esteem. Everyone needs someone to be there for their personal healthy lifestyle changes. I can think of no one better than our wonderful wellness team here at Methodist Health System!

 5.   Hats off to you. Congratulations. Way to go! Now that you’ve completed this program, what’s your next goal to continue to improve your health?

I still have another 20 to 25 pounds to lose. I am working with my primary care physician to bring my cholesterol down to normal. I already weigh less than I did on my wedding day nearly 15 years ago, but I plan on looking better than I did in high school. I will continue my exercise routine. Plus, eating healthy is such a habit now that I cannot imagine going back to my old ways. I truly hope that I can help others — my friends, family, and co-workers — on their personal wellness journey.

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Angela Wrighten is Methodist Health: Key Learnings

By Angela Wrighten, RN

Angela is a staff nurse in Outpatient Chemotherapy at Methodist Richardson Medical Center. Over the last few years, Angela wasn’t the healthy person she used to be. She’s on the right path now. She has changed her eating and exercise habits and is enjoying her favorite activities again.

1. What’s the most important takeaway you’ve learned in this program that you’ll use to stay on track for the rest of your life?

The most important takeaways that I learned from this program are to set realistic goals for myself, work hard at achieving those goals, be patient, and never give up.

2.   Out with the old and in with the new. Give me three new healthy habits you’ve incorporated into your life.

Since the start of the program, I have made exercise part of my daily routine, I make healthier food choices, and I've reduced the stress in my life.

3.   Tell us at least three improvements you have accomplished in this program.

I have lost weight, toned muscles, and gained a healthy attitude.

4.   What are the advantages of having the support of a health coach and trainer? Why?

The most important advantage of having a health coach and trainer is accountability and encouragement. With Karen and Ginnie, I had my very own cheer team. I met with them weekly and received information on diet and exercise as well as encouragement to keep me on track.

5.   Hats off to you. Congratulations. Way to go! Now that you’ve completed this program, what’s your next goal to continue to improve your health?

I want to really focus on making better food choices, specifically types of foods and portions. I have joined an exercise program that keeps me motivated, and I am running again. My short-term goal is to complete a 5K within the next few weeks. My long-term goal is to maintain the healthy habits I have developed through the I Am Methodist Health program for the rest of my life.

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Sharina Arceneaux is Methodist Health: Key Learnings.

By Sharina Arceneaux Sharina is an education specialist in Nursing Administration at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. Because Sharina has a family history of heart disease, she’s met the challenge to live a heart-healthy lifestyle. 1. What’s the most important takeaway you’ve learned in this program that you’ll use to stay on track the rest of your life? This program has definitely taught me that maintaining a healthier lifestyle is really SIMPLE. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure it out. Everyone asks me what did I do to lose the weight, and I always respond, “I eat right and work out. That’s it!” Although the program is over, I continue to exercise as much as possible and still weigh myself weekly. In fact, I look forward to getting on the scale every Tuesday morning. I’m maintaining my weight loss and I am so excited. 2. Out with the old. In with the new. Give me three new healthy habits you’ve incorporated into your life. I continue to stay active, eat healthy, and count my calories. All are easy things that make a huge difference. 3. Tell us at least three improvements you have accomplished in this program. My total cholesterol decreased from 248 to 151, which is the main reason I needed this program. I cannot explain how this is such a relief. When the doctor prescribed cholesterol medicine for me at the age of 28, I knew something had to change. I’ve also lost a total of 15 pounds and 4 inches from my waist. Woo-hoo! 4. What are the advantages of having the support of a health coach and trainer? Why? A health coach and trainer are knowledgeable in the areas of nutrition and exercise. They were able to explain things to me from a real world point of view. I truly appreciate everything they have done. It is important to know they can’t do the work for you. They can only provide you with the tools you need. The rest is up to you. 5. Hats off to you. Congratulations. Way to go! Now that you’ve completed this program, what’s your next goal to continue to improve your health?

Thanks so much! I am going to continue my new habits so that I can maintain my healthy lifestyle. I’m also preparing to participate in a 5K mud run in September, which will be so much FUN!

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Erik Leopard is Methodist Health: Key Learnings

By Erik Leopard
HR Business Partner, Methodist Dallas Medical Center

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What’s the most important takeaway you’ve learned in this program that you’ll use to stay on track for the rest of your life?

  • Calorie counting
  • Reading food labels

2. Out with the old and in with the new. Give me two new healthy habits you’ve incorporated into your life.

  • Calorie counting
  • Portion control

3. Tell us at least three improvements you have accomplished in this program.

4. What are the advantages of having the support of a health coach and trainer? Why?

  • Accountability
  • Education
  • New ideas and strategies

5. Hats off to you. Congratulations. Way to go! Now that you’ve completed this program, what’s your next goal to continue to improve your health?

  • Maintain healthy habits
  • Continue to lower my BMI and weight and reduce my waist size
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Sarah Reynolds is Methodist Health: Key Learnings

By Sarah Reynolds, CMOM

Office manager, MedHealth

1. What’s the most important takeaway you’ve learned in this program that you’ll use to stay on track for the rest of your life?

The MOST important takeaway I’ve learned on this journey is that I am CAPABLE. Anything people set their minds to can be achieved. All it takes is the right motivation (in my case, my family) and the right help (Beth, Karen, and Carrie, as well as my director, colleagues, and doctors at my office)! I’ve gained a better understanding of what drove me to eat what I did. I’m able to give that knowledge to my family so that they have the tools at an earlier age than I did.

2. Out with the old and in

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with the new. Give me three new healthy habits you’ve incorporated into your life.

Only three?

  • Okay — I shop for groceries better and make healthier choices now than I did five months ago. I look for whole grains, fresh produce, leaner cuts of meat, more fish, and better snack alternatives.
  • I cook healthier. No more fried foods. I grill or roast meats or use a Crock-Pot. There are no longer two starches with every meal. I grab a piece of fruit if I want something sweet. Salty? Popcorn’s the answer.
  • I MOVE more! I enjoy working out. I love being outside with my family now. I am more motivated to move because I don’t tire as easily as I did before.

My biggest motivator is my 7-year-old. When I told him about this program, I asked him to help me. He asked, “How?” I told him to make sure mom moves more. Now, every night he asks, “Are we going out to walk? Are we going to play? Are you going to walk on the treadmill? Are you going to dance?” If I say “no,” he says, “But you promised. We have to do something!”

3. Tell us at least three improvements you have accomplished in this program.

  • I have lost weight and inches and gained endurance. I have accomplished being an active participant with my family as opposed to a bystander.
  • I have more knowledge regarding my body than I did before. I feel like there are times when people’s bodies are trying to tell them something but they’re not able to understand what their body’s saying. I know certain foods or types of foods make me feel more sluggish. I know what gives me the most energy at what times during the day. I don’t turn to a soda or coffee for energy anymore. Without this program and my coaches, I don’t know that I would have been able to figure this out.
  • I am still improving and giving myself ME time. Finding ways to reduce stress without shorting anyone or anything was a challenge. But if I’m less stressed and more energized, I can give more to my family.

4. What are the advantages of having the support of a health coach and trainer? Why?

I think we all know that we need to be healthier and more active! But honestly, for someone who has cooked the same way for 20 years, made the same meals, and been pretty sedentary,

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I wondered HOW do I do that? Without Beth (my health coach), I would have been more overwhelmed with the dietary changes that were necessary to make the improvements I wanted.

The health coaches give us the tools such as what to cook, how to count calories, and how to exercise in a gym. Who knows HOW to do that? It’s very intimidating to go into a gym and figure out how something works. Having a trainer helped me stay motivated and taught me about my body, areas to work on, when to work on them, and how to safely use the weight machines.

Beth is also very supportive when you’re having a bad day or down about something. She reinforces what needs to be done, too. Knowing that I had her support when I went to a meeting helped me more than I can say.

5. Hats off to you. Congratulations. Way to go! Now that you’ve completed this program, what’s your next goal to continue to improve your health?

THANK YOU to the I Am Methodist Health team and coaches. This was an awesome experience! It’s a LIFE change, not just a three-month change. This has given me the chance to be a new and different person. My next goal to improve my health is to work on reducing stress in my life! 🙂

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Joslyn Pribble is Methodist Health: Embracing Change

By Joslyn Pribble

Joslyn is a manager in Pathology at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. She has become more active and is making healthier decisions every day.

1. Congratulations on reaching month four of I am Methodist Health. We want specifics this month. What can you do now that you couldn’t do three months ago?

I can climb 10 flights of stairs without taking a break. I have never been able to do that before! I can shop for clothing in any store I want, and I am no longer limited by my size. When I go walking with my husband, not only can I keep up with his long strides, but I can walk faster than he. I never thought this would be possible. I can turn down desserts and other sweets without the decision weighing on my mind after I make the choice to pass.

2. What is the most important aspect of your program that keeps you on track? Why and how does it affect your progress?

Having the knowledge to make healthier choices has been the key for me. I know how to read nutrition labels and actually understand what that information means. I have the tools to make plans for events that may include choices that are not as good for me. Exercise is another big piece. I know how to use weight machines that I never would have attempted before this program. I also have a

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back-up plan for exercising if the weather does not allow outdoor exercise or if I am traveling. Having all of these new skills makes it so much easier to be confident in my choices.

3. Give me three specific tips of what you’re doing to make better food choices or to increase or maintain your exercise activity?

  1. Get rid of the junk food from your house and replace it with healthy, low-calorie options. Remove the temptations!
  2. Get a buddy to help you tackle the changes. Success is much more likely when you have someone you can exercise with and talk to.
  3. Educate yourself! Meet with a health coach at Methodist Health System or look at well-respected sources for information on exercise and the nutrition content of foods. Avoid going to sites on the Internet that promote fad diets and unsafe supplements. If there was a magic pill that worked, there would be no obesity.

4. If your co-workers want to get started on their wellness programs, what should they do? Whom do they call? Where do they start?

I think everyone should start with a health coach in our wellness department. Call and set up an appointment. These coaches are professionals with lots of experience and vast amounts of knowledge. They can help you determine your baseline and set some goals.

Start exercising. If you think you want to try the gym but are unsure, go to one of the gyms and ask for a free pass to check it out. Most gyms, including Folsom here at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, offer a trial pass so you can see what it is like before you commit to a membership. If you don’t think the gym is for you, at least start moving! Walking at lunch or around the block at home is a great place to start. Park further away from your destination, then walk more and take the stairs. You may have to start with small steps, but you will find that you can build up your time and endurance with just a little more effort. Check out the Methodist wellness website for many great resources. Getting fit does not have to cost a lot of money!

In March, my biggest sense of accomplishment came when I had my biometric screening. While my labs are not perfect, my total health is so much better than it was at the end of 2012. During the 12-week program, I lost more than 30 pounds and 5½ inches from my waist, and my cholesterol dropped 61 points!

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Angela Wrighten is Methodist Health: Embracing Change

By Angela Wrighten, RN

Angela is a staff nurse in Outpatient Chemotherapy at Methodist Richardson Medical Center. Over the last few years, Angela has gotten away from the healthy person she used to be. She’s on the right path now. She has changed her eating and exercise habits, and is enjoying her favorite activities again.

 1. Congratulations on reaching month four of I am Methodist Health. We want specifics this month. What can you do now that you couldn’t do three months ago?  

This has been an exciting month for me! I now get up at 4:45 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and do a boot camp class. Three months ago you couldn’t drag me out of bed that early. Also, squats and push-ups are now my friends.

2.  What is the most important aspect of your program that keeps you on track? Why and how does it affect your progress?

Working out keeps me on track. The training sessions with Ginnie really help to condition my body and remind me of how good I feel when I work out.

3. Give me three specific tips of what you’re doing to make better food choices or to increase or maintain your exercise activity?  

1.  I replace chips and sweets with raw vegetables, such as cucumbers and carrots, and fruit.

2.  I restrict sodas and sugary drinks.

3.  I joined boot camp on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5:30 a.m. I chose an early morning time because I am least likely to work out after a long day at work.

4.  If your co-workers want to get started on their wellness programs, what should they do? Whom do they call? Where do they start?

If my co-workers wanted to get started, I would have them contact Karen Taylor and let her guide them on their journey.          

In March, my biggest sense of accomplishment came when I joined a local boot camp, which starts my day with exercise.


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Top 10 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

By Beth Leermakers, Employee Health Coach

  1. Easy. Make healthy eating a no-brainer. Identify a few healthier choices at your favorite restaurants, and then stick with those foods.
  2. Out of reach. Keep high-calorie, tempting foods or beverages out of your house. When they’re out of sight, they’re out of mouth.
  3. Eat only when you are truly hungry (such as when your stomach is growling). Eat slowly and stop eating when you are no longer hungry.
  4. Start your day with a healthy breakfast. Keep a few grab-and-go items on hand such as yogurt, fruit, instant oatmeal, or a hard-boiled egg.
  5. Enjoy an occasional treat. Instead of keeping many treats at home, buy one perfect cookie or one scoop of ice cream, and then savor every bite.
  6. Find a physical activity that you enjoy. Dance or swim or hike or walk the dog or shoot hoops. The important thing is to focus on “play” rather than “exercise.”
  7. Daily routine. Build physical activity into your daily routine. For example, take the stairs, park further away, work in your yard or garden, wash the car by hand, or clean your house. These all count as physical activity.
  8. Turn off the television. Sixty-two percent of National Weight Control Registry members (who’ve lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least one year) watch fewer than 10 hours of television per week.
  9. Sleep. Get at least seven hours of sleep a night. Lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain, in part because people often overeat when they are tired.
  10. Support. Surround yourself with people who share your healthy habits. At a family feast, sit next to a person who makes healthy food choices. Spend time with friends who make physical activity a priority and who will encourage you to do the same.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a daily choice. Remember to call your employee health coaches for support and tips. Wishing good health to you!

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Sharina Arceneaux is Methodist Health: Embracing change.

By Sharina Arceneaux

Sharina is an education specialist in Nursing Administration at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. Because Sharina has a family history of heart disease, she’s ready to take on the challenge of living a heart-healthy lifestyle.

 1.   Congratulations on reaching month four of I am Methodist Health. We want specifics this month. What can you do now that you couldn’t do three months ago?  

My physical endurance has increased drastically. I am able to work out longer and harder. I haven’t done that since my cheerleading days!

2.  What is the most important aspect of your program that keeps you on track? Why and how does that affect your progress?

Counting my caloric intake using the app called MyFitnessPal is one of the most important factors in keeping me on track. I make wiser decisions when I know the nutritional content of my food choices. MyFitnessPal has been a real eye-opener because some items that I would expect to be healthy are actually very high in calories, carbohydrates, and sugar.

3.  Give me specific tips of what you’re doing to make better food choices or to increase or maintain your exercise activity?  

1.  Every Sunday I set a workout schedule for the week to ensure I get three to four days of exercise, along with the activity that I will complete each day.

2.  I also try to plan all of my meals on Sunday. I measure/weigh my food and distribute snacks in bags or containers by the day so I won’t be tempted to buy junk food when I have cravings. This has helped me stay on track.

4.  If your co-workers want to get started on their wellness program, what should they do? Whom do they call? Where do they start?

They can definitely call me for support and advice — and they already have. I’ve received several calls and have been stopped in the hallway because people want to know what I did to lose the weight. They can also contact Karen Taylor to get started on their journey. The most important thing for them to know is that it is a process. There are no quick fixes.       

In March, my biggest sense of accomplishment came when I went shopping for clothes. In the past, I despised the dressing room. This time, though, everything I tried on was actually TOO BIG! I have dropped two sizes and I am so excited!

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Erik Leopard is Methodist Health: Embracing Change

By Erik Leopard

Erik is an HR business partner at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. Over time, Erik has gained weight and fallen into less-than-optimal eating habits. At risk for heart disease and diabetes, Erik has identified clear goals that will help motivate him to make healthier choices. Erik’s goal is to take better care of God’s temple: his body.

1. Congratulations on reaching month four of I am Methodist Health. We want specifics this month. What can you do now that you couldn’t do three months ago?

  1. I can walk up and down stairs without losing my breath.
  2. I have more energy and sleep better.
  3. My body is in better shape for physical activity.
  4. I don’t have knee and back pain from excess weight.
  5. I can fit into clothes four sizes smaller.

2. What is the most important aspect of your program that keeps you on track? Why and how does it affect your progress?

The most important aspect is tracking my food and calorie intake, plus weighing myself daily. It helps me stay on track, and if there is something I need to focus on changing, I can do it immediately rather than letting it go and getting behind in my progress.

3. Give me three specific things that you’re doing to make better food choices or to increase or maintain your exercise activity.

  1. Limit and count my calorie intake daily.
  2. Read labels and stick to my calorie-intake maximum categories, including fat, salt, sugar, etc.
  3. Prepare, prepare, prepare! Plan out meals for the week (breakfast and dinners) and pack lunches the night before so I make the right choices.

4. If your co-workers want to get started on their own wellness program, what should they do? Whom do they call? Where do they start?

They need to first be totally committed to making lifestyle changes, and that will not be easy. It takes the right attitude and discipline to make it work. Call Employee Health to schedule a meeting with their campus coach/manager. Have an accountability partner(s), and use the employee health staff for help and encouragement.

In March, my biggest sense of accomplishment came when I was able to continue my healthy habits progression without having any setbacks, like increased weight.

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