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My Journey to Become Healthy and Fit

In May 2009, the first wellness checkup initiated by Alcoa and Highmark was held. My triglycerides were so high that my LDL cholesterol couldn’t be detected. That to me sounded like a death sentence. The following week the Drop 10 in 10 program started. I was determined to participate in this program and get moving. I had no problem with eating healthy. I have always loved fruits and vegetables. I began to eliminate some of the unhealthy choices in my diet, the first one being soda. I have not had any soda since May 18, 2009. The Drop 10 program really taught me a lot. I was able to get my portions under control and make informed choices of what I put into my body. I counted every calorie.

During a visit by the Highmark Wellness Coaches, one of them mentioned a website called CalorieKing.com. Using that, I was able to get a good count of the food that I was eating. One day I just happened to stumble upon another useful website called SparkPeople.com. On August 23, 2009, I joined SparkePeople.com. There were fitness trackers as well as nutrition trackers. I have faithfully entered my nutrition and fitness information daily. Tracking these things with an online tool allowed me to stay within my calorie range for the day, as well as, make sure I get enough exercise to attain my goals.

When September 2009 rolled around, the Alcoa Wellness Committee had the Football Frenzy contest going. Of course, I had to participate. This was a way for me to stay motivated, as well and be active, drink my water, and be encouraged by team mates. It was fun and I believe everyone involved got something out of it even if it wasn’t a 1st place trophy! For me, it was a good way to get together with co-workers and do something to get in shape.

In September 2010, the 2nd Annual Football Frenzy took place and I participated in that one too. Participating in these events helps me to stay motivated and stick with some kind of exercise regimen. It also makes me mindful of all the healthy eating options there are and keeps me on track.

Since beginning my journey to become healthy and fit, I have approximately 513 days of consuming 8 cups of water every day. And, still no soda. I have also logged 74 weeks of exercise for at least 90 minutes per week. My fitness minutes total 21,080 and I have travelled 927.14 miles. I feel wonderful.

The Wellness Program along with SparkPeople.com have kept me motivated to stay on track. Yes, there were days when I didn’t completely stick to my goals, but I didn’t let that get me down. I made sure that I got back on track quickly and that helped me to not lose the momentum of good nutrition and exercise. I take each day one at a time. If I want to have that cup of ice cream (low fat most of the time) at the end of a long day, I make sure I stay within my calorie range for my meals and work that ice cream into those numbers. Doing this has allowed me to enjoy some treats without going overboard.

On April 8, 2010, the 2nd round of the Wellness checkups was conducted. I am very proud to say that my numbers improved significantly. My triglycerides went from 445 to 75 and my LDL cholesterol is not at a readable level which put me within the healthy range. I’ve lost approximately 60 pounds, sleep better, feel great and love doing the exercise. But, most important of all: I have a legitimate reason to shop for new clothes.

I look forward to more Healthy Challenges that the Wellness Committee plans. If my story inspires just one person, I feel that would be better than nothing at all. Thank you Wellness Committee. I’m glad you were here in my time of need even when I didn’t know I was in need.

Member Since: 8/24/2009

Fitness Minutes: 35,756

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