Kathy Naon, Quit For Life®
Kathy Naon works at a QFC in Seattle and has been a Trust participant for nearly 30 years. Kathy joined the no-cost tobacco cessation program LiveWell Quit For Life® in February of 2011, and hasn’t smoked since.
How did you hear about the program?The Trust called me! I had tried to quit before but stopped when the medication became too expensive – even with insurance. When it was offered to me for free I thought ‘I’d be a fool to turn this down’.
What motivated you to enroll?Several things, actually. I had been thinking about it because I’m a grandmother and I’m raising my oldest grandchild. I want to be around to see him as an adult. Also I didn’t enjoy smoking, or thinking of myself as having an addiction – but it was difficult to give up. I didn’t like that this chemical had the control and I didn’t. And the fact that it costs $10/pack was a good motivator too. I realized I would have to work at least 30 minutes to pay for one pack of cigarettes. I’ve certainly noticed the extra pocket money since quitting.
What keeps you motivated?Well, primarily my faith. Before quitting I prayed and asked for help with this. A week later you called. I had asked that it would be easy and doable, and it was. Beyond that, having access to personalized coaches and one-on-one phone sessions was very helpful. I had some disasters in the first few weeks that normally would have driven me to start smoking again. Instead I called my coach. I had more than one coach through the process and they all cared about how I was doing. They would ask: ‘on a scale from 1-10 how hard has it been for you this week?’ and then would give me the tools and support I needed to keep going. One of the reasons I gave up before was the cost of the medication. But with Quit For Life you can qualify for free patches or gum, and that was really important because it allowed me to do it. If I had to go and pay for the items to quit it would be really expensive. Smokers aren’t thinking about the cost of cigarettes.
What are your keys to success?I have a very close friend that is a blessing in my life. If I needed to, I’d call her and we’d chat and have a great old time. She is so encouraging and would help me through it. I found that trying to keep a positive attitude is key. At work there were a few people who were trying to quit on their own, and they were struggling more than I was. You have to really want it. You have to believe in yourself. And you need to make sure you have support. I was just ready and everything I needed was there.
What is your favorite thing about participating in a LiveWell program?I appreciate that there are people out there who have been educated and know what you are going through – they can give you educated answers to the questions you have. Also, I hate when people talk over me. I don’t like feeling stupid, so a lot of times I won’t repeat the questions I have. My coaches were down to earth and made me feel comfortable. I was able to say what I needed to say.
What is the best thing about meeting your goal?I don’t miss that feeling of withdraw. It is a horrible feeling in your body. It is so nice now to not have that. I go all day at work and I don’t have that feeling. I see people smoking and go ‘eeww’.
Any advice for others trying to quit tobacco?For me my faith was pivotal and I recommend praying and having the assurance that you will be supported. I felt like God gave me this body and He wants me to take care of it. And use the LiveWell Wellness programs, they are there for you. I don’t know how much more motivation you really need! Get out there and do it. You’ll feel so much better about yourself. It’s an amazing hurdle to get over. It’s huge.
Sandra Borchgrevink, Quit For Life®
Fifty-four year old Sandra Borchgrevink wasn’t looking forward to quitting, but when she saw how smoking was affecting her and her husband, she knew she had to find a way. With the help of Quit for Life™ she is now tobacco free.
Shelia Garcia, Personal Health Assessment
Forty-nine year old Sheila Garcia decided to put aside her privacy worries, and took her Personal Health Assessment for the first time. Not only were her privacy concerns put to rest, she learned more about her health, received her incentive—and won big.
Nicole Pena, Personal Health Assessment
Thirty-two year old Nicole Pena has taken her Group Health Health Profile every year for the last three years to track her health and get information on how to stay healthy. But this year she got even more.
Anne-Marie Hastings, Health Coaching
Sixty-four year old Anne-Marie Hastings joined LiveWell Health Coaching to lose weight, improve her diet and get her diabetes under control. With the help of Sheila, her health coach, Anne-Marie is finding the support she needs to succeed.
64-year old Anne-Marie Hastings, a 15-year Sound Health and Wellness Trust participant, listens to her conscience. Fortunately for her, that conscience calls every three weeks.
Anne-Marie enrolled in LiveWell Health Coaching in 2009 after taking her Personal Health Assessment and not being pleased with what she saw. Now she has a personal health coach, Shelia, who calls to help keep her on track with her nutrition goals.
“I hear Sheila’s voice like my own conscience in the back of my head,” Anne-Marie said. “I really appreciate her moral support. When Shelia calls we discuss my weight loss goals and life in general. We talk about everything in my life that affects my health.”
Shelia encourages Anne-Marie, helping her make lasting changes to her diet and nutrition. “Right now I’m trying to get more veggies and protein in my meals,” Anne-Marie explained. “I’ve learned to like sweet potatoes and to use healthier options like PAM. She’s also teaching me and giving me resources on how to get more protein without adding fat.”
Anne-Marie has diabetes and she hopes by working on her eating habits she will be able to avoid using insulin in the future.
“I’m working to get my diabetes under control,” Anne-Marie said. “I’ve been eating better, reading labels, visiting calorieking.com and figuring out creative ways to add flavor with spices and herbs instead of salt.”
Anne-Marie realizes she is ultimately responsible for her own health, but she is thankful that LiveWell, and Sheila, are available for support and ideas.
“I know that I hold the key to turning my health around—with some help of course.” Anne-Marie said. “And as I’ve always said, it is easier to stay well than to have to get well once you’re sick.”
Jeni Meissner, Health Coaching
Sixty-year-old Jeni Meissner found out about health coaching after she completed her Personal Health Assessment. At the same time she met with her doctor and decided she needed to improve her health. Motivated by her doctor’s instructions and Sondra, her health coach, she signed up for health coaching and is lowering her blood pressure and losing weight — the healthy way.
Earl Greenlaw, Personal Health Assessment
A Sound Health & Wellness Trust participant for 27 years, Earl Greenlaw was impressed with the programs available through LiveWell. Now he takes the information he learns through the Wellness Champion Volunteer Network to help others get healthy, stay informed and collect financial rewards.
For Earl Greenlaw, a Food Departments Pricing Coordinator at Fred Meyer and 27-year Sound Health & Wellness Trust participant, knowing what’s available on the Trust’s web site really pays off.
“After spending some time on the Sound Health web site I realized how much was available,” Earl said. “Now I’m cluing myself in and thinking of new ways to improve my health.”
Earl attended one of the Trust-sponsored focus groups at Local 367 last year, which is where he learned about the LiveWell Personal Health Assessment. His interest was piqued when he heard about the additional wellness programs available through LiveWell. He visited the Trust’s site to find out more.
“I took the PHA last year but I didn’t really understand what it was. I wasn’t familiar with the HRA either,” Earl explained. “I leaned a lot about these programs on the web site and after completing our assessments this year both my wife and I chose the $100 HRA contribution. We realize how far $200 goes towards covering out-of-pocket medical expenses.”
In addition to the financial incentive, Earl learned about other optional LiveWell programs referred by the Personal Health Assessment.
“The PHA gives you examples of what programs would be good for you like smoking cessation or weight loss programs that may apply to your life,” Earl explained. “It tunes you in to what is available.”
When Earl completed his PHA he was referred to the LiveWell health coaching program.
“I’m healthy, but the program came up and I thought that there might be an area I could improve on,” Earl said. “I worked with a stress health coach and after three calls received a $50 check. I never would have considered that unless it was suggested.”
Inspired by the opportunities available with LiveWell, Earl decided to become a Wellness Champion Volunteer. He works with the Trust to make sure that his fellow co-workers are aware of the variety of free and useful programs and makes sure they know they can come to him with any questions regarding LiveWell.
“I became a Wellness Champion Volunteer so that I could make others aware.” Earl said. “I speak with people and share what’s available. In April I’d like to put more flyers and information up at work so that people can see what the program does for them.”
Wellness Champion Volunteers help promote LiveWell programs through flyers and brochures provided by the Trust, wellness groups, and community races. The network spans Western Washington and helps reach participants by word-of-mouth.
“I want the other volunteers to know that even if they only get five more people to take the PHA this year than last year it’s still worth it,” Earl said. “Once people get on the web site and take their PHA they see what’s available.”
Earl has high hopes for the future of LiveWell.
“I hope that everyone has a healthy lifestyle. That’s what it’s all about. I hope that people will understand what’s out there. Maybe the LiveWell program will open people’s eyes to get more involved in the union and the Trust and what it does for you. You have to realize that your money is going to something important.”
Jeff Asher, Quit For Life®
Fifty-eight year old Jeff Asher issued a challenge to his co-workers, “If you quit, I will.” After 40 years of being a smoker this was no small challenge. But with the encouragement and resources he received from his Quit Coaches and the support of his fellow Quitters, Jeff was able to break the habit.
Jeff Asher, a Safeway Food Clerk, husband and father of four, has been a Sound Health & Wellness Trust participant for 29 years. Jeff was a smoker for over 40 years, but motivated by his coworkers, he called the LiveWell Quit for Life® program.
Jeff decided to quit after he saw one of his co-workers successfully stop smoking. He decided to challenge one of his friends, a fellow lifetime smoker and co-worker, “If you quit I'll quit too.”
“At work there were three of us who quit,” Jeff explained. “We'd support one another by recognizing the progress we were making. We would tell one another, ‘way to go! You made it a day, a week, and so on.’”
In addition to the support of his coworkers, Jeff was encouraged by his LiveWell Quit Coach team. He would have regular telephone sessions with coaches who would help keep him on track.
“It was a deal I couldn't refuse,” Jeff explained. “Free patches, a $100 check, and it was nice to talk with someone who told you about the triggers caused by years of smoking.”
As it turns out, Jeff learned a lot from his personal Quit Coaches.
“I always thought it was the nicotine I wanted, but my coaches taught me that after a few days it wasn’t the nicotine I was craving, it was the smoking habits I had developed. They explained to me which cravings were needs and which cravings were desires.”
With the professional support of LiveWell Quit for Life and the personal support of his co-workers, Jeff decided he’d also use “monetary motivation” to keep him enthused.
“I was buying packs of cigarettes for $4.77,” Jeff said. “So every night I would get home and put $5 in a little box. I kept adding $5 for each day I didn’t smoke a cigarette. On my birthday, about eight months after I quit, I went out and spent $1,000.”
Jeff loves music. In the eight months following his January 31st quit date he was able to save the $1,000 needed to purchase a brand new guitar amplifier for his birthday. He continues to use this savings trick to motivate his smoke-free lifestyle today. In the last few months he has saved $600 simply by not smoking.
Jeff’s success has been inspirational not only for his fellow co-workers but at home. Inspired by her stepfather’s success, Jeff’s stepdaughter and her husband have also quit smoking in the past year.
“They knew how long I had smoked, and yet they saw me quit,” Jeff described. “They may have realized if I could quit they could do it too. They probably saw how much money I was saving each day.”
Jeff recommends LiveWell Quit for Life to other Sound Health & Wellness Trust participants and encourages them to give it a try.
“Call Quit for Life because it works! I thought it was going to be really hard to quit and I was amazed at how easy it was.” Jeff said. “Quitting wasn’t that bad at all because of the advice and information I received.”
Lorraine Gorby, Personal Health Assessment
Fifty-three year old Lorraine Gorby took the personal health assessment to get the whole picture of her health. When she was invited to participate in health coaching calls to manage her stress, she welcomed the opportunity with great results.
Lorraine Gorby, 53, has been a member of the Sound Health & Wellness Trust for almost five years. When the LiveWell Wellness program offered a Personal Health Assessment she decided that the “quick and easy” questionnaire would give her a broad overview of her entire health picture.
A healthy person already, Gorby was able to see that there was room for improvement and she welcomed the opportunity to work with a stress management health coach when LiveWell called.
“My general health is good, but there are a couple areas where improvement is needed,” Gorby explained. “I believed the health coach would offer education, guidance and support.”
The two began speaking on the phone for 20 to 25 minutes at a time most convenient for Gorby.
“It is such a convenience to counsel over the phone. My calls were scheduled after work in the evening and I felt like my coach was genuinely interested in my stress concerns.”
Together, Gorby and her health coach discussed what triggers her stress and anxiety. The health coach offered insightful recommendations on actions she could take and helped her set personal goals for improvement.
“My health coach recommended ways I could deal with stress, because it’s unavoidable,” Gorby said. “My coach has also motivated me to engage in physical and social activities as well.”
Getting more involved has been a healthy lifestyle change for Gorby, who started walking the track at a local junior high school three times each week. By meeting a good friend at the track and joining a weekly Bible Study at her church she’s better equipped to handle life’s stress. When asked if she would recommend health coaching to others she responds with a wholehearted “yes!”.
Joe Schipacci, Personal Health Assessment
Fifty-nine year old Joe Schipacci needed some help meeting his weight loss goals. With help from his health coach, he is staying on track with regular exercise and is achieving his goals.
Joe Schipacci decided to take the LiveWell Personal Health Assessment (PHA) in 2008 because he wanted to be diligent about his weight loss goals.
Joe has worked at Shoreline Central Market for nearly 10 years and has had to manage a condition that prevented him from exercising in the past. When he began to feel better, Joe started riding a stationary bike, and after completing his PHA, he was referred to a health coach. Joe says his coach has motivated and empowered him to stay on track.
“I know my coach will call me next Tuesday, so I get ready,” Joe says. “Knowing he’s going to call works somehow. It’s very encouraging and validates what I’m doing.”
In the summer, vacation travel can complicate the most deliberate exercise plans, but Joe thought ahead this summer and scheduled a call with his health coach for when he returned.
“I had him call me after my trip to make sure I didn’t slip,” Joe explains. “A lot of times it doesn’t take much to get off your routine.”
Joe got other tips from his coach for maintaining his workout goals during relaxing vacations. He walked with active relatives and continues to keep a calendar on the wall where he can check off the days he rides his bike.
After successfully achieving several short term goals, Joe is preparing for the next step in his wellness plan.
“A year from now I’ll be 60 and by then I hope to achieve my goal weight,” Joe states resolutely.
He knows there’s more to weight loss than exercise. In an effort to live a healthier life, he’s changing his diet as well. Health coaching has worked for Joe, and he encourages others to give it a try.
“This really works if you let these people help you,” Joe says.
Nancy Bronsteen, Quit For Life®
*Forty-nine year old Nancy Bronsteen quit smoking for good with LiveWell Quit For Life®. She estimates that she has saved $1,000 in the past five months by not buying cigarettes, and she feels wonderful (and she didn’t even gain weight!).
*Please note that the $100 incentive check for Quit For Life® is no longer available for new enrollments as of January 1, 2012.
Fredda Lehan, Personal Health Assessment
Fredda, whose husband Robert has worked at the Red Apple in Kirkland for 8 years, had recently retired when she tripped and ruptured her Achilles tendon. She had three surgeries in three months, and a year later her foot was still so swollen that she couldn’t wear a regular shoe. Now, with help and encouragement from Kathy, her LiveWell health coach, Fredda Lehan is finally feeling like herself again.
“I just found out I’m going to be a grandma,” says Fredda Lehan, her face lighting up. “I’ve got to be healthy so I can help out.” With a part-time job at her daughter’s Montessori school, an 89-year-old mother to look after and a busy life with Robert, her husband of 42 years, 64-year-old Fredda was anxious to get healthy.
Fredda, whose husband Robert has worked at the Red Apple in Kirkland for 8 years, had recently retired when she tripped and ruptured her Achilles tendon. She had three surgeries in three months, and a year later her foot was still so swollen that she couldn’t wear a regular shoe.
Now, with help and encouragement from Kathy, her LiveWell health coach, Fredda Lehan is finally feeling like herself again.
“It was Kathy who made me aware that there was an infection in my foot and that I needed to go in to see the doctor again.” Another surgery later, she is walking—and wearing matching shoes!
Fredda’s road to recovery started with filling out the LiveWell personal health assessment. The assessment prompted a call from a LiveWell health coach, but for Fredda, who had worked for most of her career in physicians’ offices, the idea of talking to a health coach was a big adjustment.
“I had always thought that all that was done at the doctor’s office. I’d never even heard of a health coach before,” she said. “But once we got in a routine, I realized I had a lot of questions.” In their telephone calls, they touch on all of Fredda’s health concerns, from her ankle problems to managing her breathing problems, to weight control, to dealing with a bad cold.
Fredda can’t say enough nice things about Kathy, “I feel completely comfortable talking to her about anything. She’s easy to talk to and doesn’t ever make me feel like I’m repeating myself.”
Today, Fredda is 18 pounds lighter and regaining her active lifestyle. She’s “hopeful and happy” and looking forward to being a hands-on grandmother.