Welcome back to our “Healthy Habit Heroes” blog series, where we share members’ stories in their own words about their experiences with Yes Health.
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Jenny weighed 195 pounds at her annual checkup–considered obese at 5’6”. Her blood work showed she was prediabetic. And her doctor found a lump. (Thankfully, it was benign). Then she tore a ligament in her hip and injured her shoulder, preventing her from exercising. She was getting sick a lot and felt generally miserable. Yes Health helped her let go of the “should’s” and “supposed to’s” (and drop 60 pounds in the process!) by focusing on creating healthy habits that work for her.
I have four children and with the birth of each one, I gained a little more weight. I’d always been healthy and active, but the extra pounds crept up on me, and stayed. Being labeled “obese” in my last checkup was tough to hear. I’m a baker and work out of my home. That means I’m around cake—pretty much all the time! I was also staying up late and not eating well. I didn’t realize how unhealthy my diet was until I started Yes Health.
I’d been trying to lose weight on my own for months, and when I injured my hip and shoulder, I started to panic. I felt like I was falling apart. I have a seven-year-old to keep up with and want to be around for my grandchildren, too. The email about Yes Health being covered by my insurance came at exactly the right time. I signed up, but let another two weeks go by until I got my welcome packet and digital scale in the mail. Right then, I made the decision to start. I sat down with my family and asked for their support. I told them, “Don’t offer me wine and cookies. Mommy’s gotta get in shape so I can live forever.” My seven-year old replied, “I like you squishy.” <sigh> You can’t please everyone.
For exercise, I started walking briskly every day and got in the habit of using my Fitbit to track my steps. This got me drinking more water, too, and my sleep improved. Because of my job, sometimes I need to pull all-nighters to make a big, important cake for a party or wedding. I noticed that staying hydrated helped me feel more alert.
I also stopped obsessing over food. Other programs make you eat their meals. I like Yes Health because I get to learn what’s healthy and buy and make food I actually like. Within the first few weeks, I felt lighter and had more energy. I wasn’t so winded going up stairs. I knew it wasn’t just the weight loss. It was how I was eating. I turn 50 next year and feel like I’ve gotten a second chance at life.
I used to have cereal for breakfast and would end up feeling tired, hungry and grumpy just a few hours later. I also found myself snacking a lot throughout the day. The Yes Health coaches taught me the importance of eating protein. Now, I have sunflower butter on a piece of toast and Greek yogurt. I microwave blueberries and put them on the yogurt to make it feel more decadent. It’s like dessert! Almost every day for lunch I eat the same thing—a spinach and kale salad with blue cheese, walnuts, chicken and homemade balsamic vinegar dressing. I make a lot of salads for dinner too. (I like to bake, but cooking, not so much.) For a treat I’ll have five Triscuits or Doritos. It might sound boring, but it’s all about implementing strategies that work for me.
I’m learning to create more balance in my life. I still bake cookies, but when I make dough, I set aside enough for my kids and one for me, and freeze the rest. If I go to a baseball game, I know I’m going to have a beer and maybe a hotdog too, and that’s okay. For me, the difference is about being conscious of the choices I’m making. I’m letting go of what I’m “supposed to be doing” and focusing on what’s working for me. I’ve lost 60 pounds and weigh 135 now. I sometimes worry that I’m going to wake up and be fat again and all my effort will be undone. But on those days, I just go for a longer walk or play Pokémon Go with my kids. It works.
Yes Health is a low-cost, weight loss and diabetes-prevention program committed to helping everyone live healthier, happier lives. Try it out today.