Real Participants. Real Results.

Each of these Trust participants came to Sound Support programs a different way. But what they have in common is the difference new healthy habits have had on their wellbeing and quality of life.

Lori O’Dell, Naturally Slim®

Lori O’Dell credits the Naturally Slim program for helping her develop a better relationship to food.

“I’ve always had trouble having a healthy relationship with food,” said Lori O’Dell, a Trust participant who works as a checker at Sehome Village Haggen in Bellingham. “It’s been an ongoing thing in my life. I think this is true for a lot of us.”

She started the Naturally Slim program with some uncertainty. Since she’d tried so many other things in the past, she didn’t have high expectations. But the program brought new, intuitive ideas about eating and movement into play.

“The principles are different from what I’ve tried before,” said Lori. “And the simplicity of this program is very refreshing. It’s very focused on paying attention to your body. It’s really simple principles, such as: ‘Don’t eat if you’re not hungry. It seems intuitive, but I think we all can use these kinds of reminders.”

She also appreciated how the program offers ways to deal with hunger between meal times and reminds participants to take time when eating.

“It’s helped me to be mindful of my own body and give myself hints to accomplish my goals,” she said. “Unlike with other programs, you don’t have to plan or count points.”

Naturally Slim also reviews things like food marketing and labeling and teaches participants how to choose healthier options. Participation also includes online forums and support, where you can learn what has worked for others.

“I really like to work out so, they gave me a lot of great tips on exercise and how to view it in a good frame,” said Lori.

She also liked how specific some of the recommendations were.

“I’m a real ‘social eater,’ and eating out can be challenging. The program anticipated this; how did you know I had that problem? They take you through some simulations and offer different ways to deal with the situation or ways to go with it.”

These key learnings were successes for Lori on their own, but she also lost 20 pounds in the first four to five weeks, and she has continued putting the things she learned into practice.

“I remind myself that I’m not hungry, or to slow down and chew slowly,” she said. “Sometimes I will even think, ‘Put your fork down!’ Follow-through is my biggest challenge. Maintaining this mindfulness is the work!”

Overall, Lori thinks the program is well worth it to anyone who wants to have a better relationship with food. “This is a great benefit,” she said.

Dale Johnson, Quit For Life®

For Dale Johnson of Shoreline, the support of Quit for Life came after an event in his life encouraged him to make a change. Read on for his story.

For Dale Johnson of Shoreline, the support of Quit for Life came after a scary event in his life: in August of 2015, he had a heart attack and spent four days in the hospital. Johnson, a father of three, recently retired from Sugar Mountain Capital as a facility manager, where he worked for 13 years. Once he was home and healing, he signed up for Quit for Life through the Sound Health & Wellness Trust. “It was a wake-up call,” says Johnson.

Having the support of his Quit Coach, plus access to tobacco cessation medication, was crucial to Johnson’s success. His Quit Coach provided encouragement and tools to cope with cravings, but his family—including his wife, Mary, and sons Jonathan (22), Jason (13) and Joshua (12)—was his true inspiration. Spending less time smoking meant he could have more time with them, even just hanging out.

“I was always a bit of an embarrassed smoker,” says Johnson, explaining that he felt guilty when he had to get away to smoke during family get-togethers. “Now, the smell really gets to me,” says Johnson. “It’s so nice not to have to sneak away for a cigarette.”

Today, Johnson is back in the swing of things, but this time without tobacco. Food tastes better, his overall health is improving and Johnson is feeling the guilt lift. He now uses mints to help with his cravings, and has appreciated the support of his Quit Coach through it all.

“The positive thoughts and follow-up calls really helped me believe I could do it,” he says.

Are you ready to quit tobacco? Click here for more information. Make your tobacco use history, too.

Tilney Sutherland, Quit For Life®

Tilney Sutherland has been a Sound Health & Wellness Trust plan participant for nearly 40 years. Three years ago she quit tobacco with the support of Christine, her Quit for Life® program Quit Coach®. Read her story.

How did you hear about the program?

I read about the different wellness programs in the newsletter. I’d been thinking about quitting smoking for quite awhile and Quit For Life sounded like an excellent idea.

What motivated you to quit tobacco?

There are a number of reasons but I remind myself daily of one of them, to help keep me off tobacco: I was at a routine doctor’s appointment a few years ago and since I was a smoker, my doctor asked if he could do a chest x-ray. When he showed me the image he pointed and said, ‘See that tiny spot right there? That’s the beginning of emphysema.’ At that moment I knew I had to quit. It was scary for me. Also I was motivated by my grandkids. I want to be a good example for them. I would feel terrible sneaking out at night to have a cigarette after everyone went to bed. Those kinds of things don’t make you feel good about yourself.

What helped keep you motivated?

My Quit Coach® Christine kept me motivated. I really appreciated how she talked to me. She was the best. I was surprised by how emotional the quitting process was for me. It was almost like I was letting go of an old friend. Christine really seemed to understand. For me, it was valuable to have someone to talk to about what was and wasn’t working. She kept me accountable but I never felt watched, graded or critiqued. I felt like I had someone who cared. Christine had good tips and insight. For example, I talked with her about how my husband and I used to go out on the porch and have a cigarette together after dinner. It was a time for us to connect at the end of the day and I didn’t want to lose that if I quit smoking. She helped me realize that we could still do that, just for a different reason. For me, the substitute was a cup of tea. We still take those five to 10 minutes to sit down and talk to each other, just without the cigarettes.

What are your keys to success?

I look at the long term – where I want to see myself in 10 years and what my values look like in the future. I value my health and being able to get out and go – take a hike or whatever it may be – is a huge motivator. I don’t want to be held back by my body. Like exercise, I need to be consistent. I’ve worked out for more than 30 years and had my on and off periods, but I realize I don’t like the feeling of having to start over. I just know if I’m consistent my body will respond. It’s the same with staying off tobacco.

Any advice for others considering Quit for Life?

I’d say that getting started is the hardest part, but that you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by trying. Try it because it’s not invasive. That’s one thing people fear. They think there will be someone calling them all the time and that the program will be inconvenient. I found that it was totally supportive – even when my Coach couldn’t get a hold of me or if I needed more time between calls, they never made me feel bad. Once I made the decision to quit I wanted to get all the support I could.

Billy Osborn, Quit For Life®

Billy Osborn knew that smoking was holding him back physically. When his Trust Wellness Coordinator mentioned Quit For Life® to him, he knew this was his ticket to ride.

How did you hear about the program?

When a Trust Wellness Coordinator made a visit to my store I mentioned to her that I had been thinking about quitting smoking for a long time. She told me about the Sound Support Quit For Life® program and gave me a number to call to get enrolled. Later that week I talked to my Night Crew Manager who had just quit with Quit For Life and she encouraged me to call. I enrolled the next day.

What motivated you to enroll?

There were a lot of things in my life that made me want to quit tobacco, but there was one event that really changed my mind. Every day I would go to check my mail on the second floor of my apartment building. One night I realized how hard it was to breathe going up and down those stairs and how much my lungs hurt. I have been riding my bike everywhere since I was 4-years-old and I started to think how much longer and faster I could ride if I quit smoking. Everyone has one thing that sparks their motivation and for me it was something physical. I just wanted to be able to ride. After I enrolled in the program, a buddy of mine offered to sell me his old 27-speed bike. My old bike was like riding with the brakes on and now I am riding around on the kind of bike they use in the Tour de France. When I get up to that 21st speed I can really feel a difference in my lungs and muscles. I normally ride 60 to 70 miles on my days off and I don’t think anything of it. This summer I am going to ride in the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic. There is a 5-mile hill in the ride and I know it will really test me. That climb will show me how far I’ve come since quitting smoking.

What keeps you motivated?

I talked to three or four different Quit Coaches during the program. It was great because I was able to talk with them at a time that fit my schedule. If my Quit Coach would call when I was busy, I could just call them back and talk to someone right away. The coaches were really compassionate and reminded me of a friend I could just sit down and talk to. They made me feel good about the accomplishments I made.

What are your keys to success?

During one of my first conversations with my Quit Coach, we set a quit date for September 1. I promised my coach that I would start as soon as I received my patches in the mail. A few days later, everything came to me including some material about getting started. I took the time to read through everything and got rid of my tobacco, lighters and ashtrays. The booklet also told me to wash my clothes three or four times to get rid of the cigarette smell. I will never forget the first time I smelled someone after quitting. If there were one reason I would never smoke again, it would be the smell. All of the extra little information about cravings and habits really helped me get through the hard times. I actually stopped smoking before my quit date.

Any advice for others considering Quit for Life?

You have to be ready to quit smoking and it’s something you have to put a lot of thought into. All of the pieces started falling into place for me when I thought about the cost and the physical benefit. When you finally get the willpower to quit, don’t hold back and start right away. Getting your mind in the game is the key to success. Every morning wake up and tell yourself, I am not going to smoke. For me, I went on a bike ride instead.

Steve Brennan, Quit For Life®

Fifty-two year old Steve Brennan always knew he needed to quit smoking, but after seeing a friend have a stoke and watching the price of cigarettes jump again, he decided it was time to do something about it. He called Quit For Life™.

Steve Brennan, age 52, decided to free himself from cigarettes for his health and for his wallet. He joined the Sound Support Quit for Life™ program for help. A smoker for 34 years, Steve realized his addiction needed to end. “I have known all these years how bad it is for you,” he said. “I decided I didn’t want to be a slave to cigarettes anymore.” A friend at work had recently survived a stroke. Steve began to wonder what would happen to him if he didn’t quit smoking. After having a bad cold, he decided that it was time to quit for good. “When you’re sick you’re so depleted of vitamins and nutrients,” he said. “I started coughing and reached for a cigarette. It was ridiculous, so I put it down and thought, ‘don’t even bother.’” By the end of that day, Steve realized he hadn’t had a cigarette all day. “I thought, ‘I won’t have one now because it will make me want another one later.’” The rising cost of cigarettes also influenced his decision to quit. “I called the Quit for Life™ program after the sales tax on cigarettes increased again.” By quitting smoking, he realized he’d save a lot of money, and he could even receive a monetary incentive for participating in the program. “One hundred dollars is a lot for making an attempt,” Steve said. “It’s a generous offer with the economy and medical costs the way they are today. I thought, ‘what do I have to lose?’” Steve worked with several Quit Coaches through the program. “I’m glad it worked out that way because some of the coaches I worked with had been smokers before,” he said. “One of the guys I talked to told me that he quit so he knew exactly what I was going through.” The program booklet was a useful resource for Steve. “The booklet was very helpful,” Steve said. “It helped me realize how nicotine affects your brain. Once I understood the addictive cycle I was ready to play the mind game, and win.” Steve recommends the programs to others, noting that several people in his store have also quit tobacco with Quit for Life™. “Call and get the booklet and do the program to free yourself from being a slave to cigarettes,” Steve recommends. “Like me and the others at my store who have quit, you can too.”

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