Elizabeth's Success Story!

Pat with Elizabeth (right)
Elizabeth was frustrated. She was not someone who had a lifetime of struggles with the battle of the bulge. But, as life sometimes has it, when menopause hit, things began to change. Unwanted excess weight started piling on. She worked hard to lose it, and that worked for a while. But, even though she was exercising 3-4 hours a week, she began to put weight back on quickly. Her clothes kept getting tighter and tighter. 

Then, on a trip to the emergency room, Elizabeth was thrown a curve ball. She not only found out she had a new health challenge she would have to deal with, but she'll never, ever forget being diagnosed as "OBESE."

Shortly afterward, Elizabeth joined our On the Way to Wellness group, ready for "rehab, and to begin my journey toward a healthier me."

Today, Elizabeth's 40 pounds lighter, and just glows when she talks about the changes in her health! She says her success was all about the M & M & M's: Motivation, Mindfulness, and Mentoring.

"Mindfulness was/is the significant part of On My Way to Wellness. Experiencing the mindfulness exercise in class and reading a book on mindfulness, were key to shifting my mind to a state of well-being. Living in a state of mindfulness allows me to be conscious of my life, my environment and the food I eat. Now, I am aware when I am eating mindfully OR when I am not!"

Mentoring helps you learn how to make those tough habit changes and actually live healthier. And, just like the research says, being part of a supportive group of people who are all focused on improving their health and making changes really does help. And, so does being educated with accurate information about real nutrition and health!

Motivation "came from Barb as my coach who encouraged me to keep trying even though health issues.  She told me I could succeed in spite of them. And indeed, I did! I lost 40 pounds without being able to exercise much of the time. 
The knowledge, education and experience that Barb’s brings to class is the key that unlocks the secret to reducing weight. I can relax about my weight, because I know how to be healthy."

Elizabeth's improved health continues as she successfully keeps those 40 pounds off, one and half years and counting! And her physician's thrilled with her improved lab results! Congratulations, and thanks for sharing your success!

Amazing Team Conquers the Iron Dog 5K!

2013 Team On the Way to Wellness:
Natalie, Amy, Donna, Erin, Jim, Pat,
 Ellie, Carol, Denise, Jean & Barb

On the Way to Wellness groups are filled with wonderful people working together to improve their health. They may want to lose weight, improve cholesterol or sugar, improve energy, or simply to feel and live better, and maybe longer. I try to make sure each person gets lots of support and motivation, receives accurate information on the nutrition, exercise, and behavior changes needed to achieve their goals...and that they have fun

Barb's family  dog Toby

Earlier this year, I started talking to the groups and individuals in Personal Wellness Coaching about using a local 5K as a motivator to help get more people fired up about exercising. The Iron Dog was a good fit with all the animal lovers involved (including me---Toby's pic is at the right.) 

Today brought a beautiful, sunny morning that was perfect for a race. Eleven of us gathered near the starting line (some a bit apprehensive,) our race numbers pinned, and ready to hit the 3.1 mile route. And, with Kathy cheering us on, we were off!
Ellie's prize water bottle
As our sole runner, Erin finished well ahead of the rest of us, impressing us all. She started the cheering section right past the finish line. As each teammate got near the finish, all of our cheering and high fives brought them across the line. Then they'd join our cheering section. Group support at its finest!

Carol's focus on wellness helps her whole family improve their health. She brought her 10 year old daughter Ellie to run. We were all so happy for Ellie as she came in second in her age group!

Denise got into the dog theme of the event and brought her
Barb, Aria & Denise

dog Aria to walk. It was quite a sight to see all these adorable dogs running and walking with their owners. 

Seeing all the runners, walkers and those with dogs a It's hard to describe how I felt as I watched them. I knew how hard they've worked and continue to work at making healthy food choices, losing weight, learning to be mindful, and becoming more active. Some had never walked 3 miles before. Some had never dreamed of signing up for a race. But, they did it anyway. Every single one ran or walked at their own pace. And every single one of them crossed that finish line. Dr. Suess's Grinch experienced what I did. My "...heart grew three sizes that day." 

The First 5K for the MM Groupies!

Marcia, Jean, Kristen, Barb, & Patty

A couple months ago, the Tuesday evening MM Group decided they wanted to work toward an exercise challenge that they could participate in together. With Kristen's encouragement, the local Iron Dog 5K fundraiser was decided on. All the proceeds would go to suppport the advanced medical and surgical care of animals at Michigan State University whose owners cannot afford their treatment. This pet loving group decided this race was perfect.

Congrats, P

Today's Race Day brought a cold, gray day, but it was anything but dreary around there. Jean, Patty, and Marcia her dog Dobby, were all fired up for their very first race. What a great atmosphere with music pumping us up as people got their numbers pinned on and dogs settled down for the start.

Dobby Rehydrating 

Since we each had someone to walk with who would be going a similar pace, no one was alone throughout the 3.1 mile route through the Michigan State University campus. Patty noticed how fast the time went by since we were chatting the entire time. A good moderate pace increases your heart rate and breathing pattern to a point where you have the ability to talk but you aren't not pushing so hard that you don't have the lung power left to sing (that, of course, assumes that you can sing to begin with!) This pace is a great level to work out at for your health, but lessens the risk of injury that high intensity brings with it. Either level will burn calories. Patty and I used our Endomondo apps and recorded burning about 300 calories during the walk. Good stuff!

At the finish line, there was nothing but joy. Our entire group finished and did a fantastic job! Dobby showed no sign of fatigue, certainly in good doggie shape. Patty actually placed 5th in her age group, and that included the runners, too! She was so fired up, she immediately started talking about her next race. Love it! Both Marcia and Jean said they would have never done this without the motivation from the group and appreciated that push to just do it. I am so proud of this group. I have nothing but admiration for all they have done for themselves with their weight loss, exercise and perseverance.

Great job, gang! Fired UP, we DID IT!!!