Shelia Garcia, Personal Health Assessment
Forty-nine year old Sheila Garcia decided to put aside her privacy worries, and took her LiveWell 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.
Shelia Garcia, 49, a Physical Therapist Assistant at Jefferson Healthcare, admits she can be skeptical. For two years she doubted that her privacy would be protected if she took the LiveWell Personal Health Assessment questionnaire. However, in the spring of 2010, she decided to complete it anyway.
“For a long time I was skeptical about where the information goes,” Shelia said. “This year I decided it was time to see things in a positive light and consider how completing the questionnaire might give me some good suggestions for ways I can improve my health.”
The information participants share on their LiveWell Personal Health Assessment or Group Health’s Health Profile is completely confidential, protected by federal law, and cannot be shared with Sound Health Trustees, the union or the employer without permission.
“I found out about the assessment through the newsletter,” Shelia said. “I knew I could apply the $100 incentive towards my HRA so I was motivated by the financial gain as well.”
Shelia won big for her first year. Not only were her worries about privacy relieved, she learned more about her health status, deposited $100 into her Health Reimbursement Arrangement, and was one of three participants to win the Sound Health & Wellness Trust drawing for a Nintendo Wii™ with Wii Sports Active™.
“It’s always exciting to win something,” Shelia said. “I plan to use it during the winter on those cold, icky days when I can’t get outside to exercise. It will be a fun way to get my heart rate up.”
Shelia plans to take her Personal Health Assessment again in 2011. She can check her results each year to see how her health status has changed.
“I would tell others that they should take their Personal Health Assessment for three reasons,” Shelia said. “First, it’s easy to take and not time consuming. Second, it has the benefit of the financial increase into your HRA. Third, it’s a good way to get an overall health assessment. If you follow through, there are good guidelines on where to go from the questionnaire. It gives you an objective perspective on your health.”
Health Coaching a Helpful ‘Refresher’ for Trust Participant
For Michele Erdahl, a 56-year-old Trust Participant from Spokane, LiveWell Health Coaching has brought out her dancing feet.
“I have been walking more and using dancing as an exercise. My health coach is very supportive and when I mentioned I love to dance she encouraged me,” says Michele.Michele first heard about LiveWell Health Coaching through information that came in the mail. She had worked with a LiveWell Health Coach years ago, but decided to sign up again. “I thought a refresher would be good,” she says.
What was your motivation to start using Health Coaching?
Since my first time working with a coach, I’ve been eating better but I wanted to also to stay motivated to get more exercise. My doctor told me my medication slows my metabolism, so losing weight just by watching what I eat, will not work for me. I have to get exercise too. I also want to be active enough to have fun with my 8-year-old grandson.
What helps keep you motivated?
My Health Coach never treats me like I am a failure; she encourages me and is a good source of information. Some of this information I know, but it’s good to get the confirmation that I’m on the right track.
What are your keys to success?
The more I do the better I feel, so the more I do. It is a winning circle.
Any advice for others considering Health Coaching?
I think it is worth the few minutes a month to have someone who is truly an outside party and is on your side. The support is invaluable.
What are you doing differently today?
I feel like I’m in better shape and feeling better is its own reward! I’m now doing fun runs with my friends at work and with the LiveWell Fit program. It passes by quickly when you are walking and chatting with a friend. I recently had my best time for a 5k of 58 minutes for the March of Dimes walk.
Margaret Kiser, Weight Watchers
Trust participant Margaret Kiser of Aberdeen has lost more than 100 pounds by participating in Weight Watchers, becoming an inspiration for those around her. Read her story.
“If it were easy, everyone would do it,” says Margaret Kiser, 56, a cook in the Safeway deli in Aberdeen, of her more than 100-pound weight loss.
“It has been a complete lifestyle change,” she says.
Margaret had seen success with losing weight in the past, but what she hadn’t seen were sustained results. Today, she’s just a few pounds away from her goal weight of 155 – which will put her at half her weight when she started Weight Watchers in September 2014. In that time, she’s gone from a size 28 to a size 12. Another bonus: her costs were minimal because of the Trust’s reduced rate for Weight Watchers and the reimbursement program, which reimburses participants for up to 12 months if they meet participation requirements.The timing was right; Margaret had seen family members cope with challenges presented by heart disease and diabetes, and was ready to take charge of her health to reduce her risk. While she’d always had so-called “good numbers” at the doctor’s office, she felt the family history was reason enough to start.
“It’s a lot easier to do when it’s your decision rather than someone else’s,” she says.
Throughout the past year, her daughter and grandkids have been a great source of support, but it has been Margaret’s consistent commitment to Weight Watchers Meetings, with their camaraderie and enthusiasm, that has been a key to her success.
After more than a year, she’s still attending meetings and is sure to get in between 15,000 and 17,000 steps on her pedometer each day. She’s even convinced a few coworkers to start Weight Watchers themselves.
“I can’t believe I’m an inspiration,” says Margaret. “It has been a life-changing experience.”
Richard & Penny Barney, Weight Watchers
Richard Barney has been a Trust participant since 1989. He and his wife Penny have seen great success with Weight Watchers, losing more than 120 pounds combined. Read on for their story.
For Richard and Penny Barney, Trust participants from Gig Harbor, success with Weight Watchers® has been a family affair -- they both joined in hopes of keeping up with their busy, active 5-year-old daughter, Makayla.
“I want to live a long, healthy life, and not only watch, but take part in our kids’ lives,” says Penny. “And I didn’t want to be the overweight dad who can’t keep up,” adds Richard, who has worked at various Safeway stores since 1989.
Penny joined Weight Watchers in January 2015 and has lost more than 65 pounds, while Richard has lost more than 60.“What motivated me at first was my daughter, but attending the weekly Weight Watchers meetings is what has helped me most,” says Penny. “They keep me accountable.”
“We’re in this together,” adds Richard. “We have the same goals of losing weight and getting healthy.”
In their experience with Weight Watchers, the Barneys have discussed mindful eating, shared healthy recipes, discussed personal struggles and gained support from the group. The best part, Penny shares, is, “Nobody judges you because you devoured a piece of cake.” Weight Watchers is a lifestyle that leads to a healthier you.
Penny and Richard’s advice if you’re considering Weight Watchers? Go for it! “Find a meeting near you and go every week. Even the weeks you feel you have made poor choices,” says Penny. “Those are the most important weeks to go.”
“My key to success has been going to the meetings and weighing in,” says Richard. “I would tell anyone that Weight Watchers is worth it; if you follow the plan, it really works.”
Sue Sleighter, Weight Watchers
Sound Health & Wellness Trust plan participant and QFC Checker, Sue Sleighter, lost 26 pounds in four months by attending weekly Weight Watchers® meetings and following the program. Weight Watchers helped Sue make healthy eating a way of life. Read her story.
How did you hear about the program?
I heard about Weight Watchers through a Trust mailing. I also noticed that there was a large promotional poster on our break room communication board at the beginning of the year.
What motivated you to enroll?
I enrolled in Weight Watchers at the beginning of January. It was the start of a new year and I needed to take control of my expanding waistline! I wanted to stay healthy as I lost weight and I realized Weight Watchers was more than a quick fix. Before enrolling, I made the decision that this was going to be a lifestyle change for me – not just a diet – and it has been.
What helped keep you motivated?
My sister-in-law enrolled in the program as well. It has been really nice to check in with her and for us to support one another through the process. I signed up for the Monthly Pass where you can go to in-person meetings. The weekly meetings have helped motivate me because the instructors are supportive, and the meetings are very informative. It's great to be able to share ideas and recipes with others in the program.
What are your keys to success?
Not only are they motivating, but the weekly meetings help keep me accountable. We have great discussions and share the tools we've found that make it easier to stay on track.
A tool that was really helpful was the Weight Watchers iPhone app. It makes tracking the food I eat really easy and quick, so I never forget anything. The points system is easy too, and I like knowing how many points I have left in my day. This awareness is very helpful.
Any advice for others considering Weight Watchers?
Think about healthy eating as a way of life, not just as a diet. I realize now that I am always going to need to be aware of what I eat because it's a part of my new lifestyle. I encourage everyone to join the program today and not wait. Try the weekly meetings for the support and to keep you motivated!
Jenny Dougherty, Weight Watchers
Five months after joining Weight Watchers, Trust participant and Wellness Volunteer Jenny Dougherty has lost 50 pounds, inspired many of her co-workers to join the program, and changed the way her store eats. Read her story.
How did you hear about the program?
I had done Weight Watchers years ago, but recently my CHAT nurse told me about the Trust’s discount during one of our regular calls.
What motivated you to enroll?
In January I was considering joining a gym or registering for Weight Watchers, but thanks to the Trust’s pricing I can do both! Hearing about the Trust pricing was really the kick in the pants I needed to enroll. I thought about what would work best for me, and after reading online that people who attend meetings tend to do better I decided to choose the Monthly Pass option.
What helped keep you motivated?
I love the program and I’m really happy with how I’ve been doing. I have lost 50 pounds so far and people at work notice. In fact, my co-workers were so happy for me they started asking questions about the program. Many of them have joined and together we’ve lost over 100 pounds! Weight Watchers does a good job of rewarding participants for staying motivated too. Stay and Succeed is a reward system where you earn key chains based on the amount of time you have been in the program. It is a nice reminder of how far you’ve come.
What are your keys to success?
Since there is a group of us doing the program at work, we talk to one another about our programs and support each other in the store. It has made a difference, because now at our employee recognition lunches we will get bottled water instead of soda or healthy snacks instead of a big lunch. People wanted healthier food and asked for it. This has been really neat for those of us in the program.
I really like the meetings because I respect my leader and I’ve made new friends. For me, this was a commitment I made to myself to get healthy, but it helps to have a leader who is honest and admits that she’s human too. She reminds us that we’ll have good weeks and bad weeks, yet she is inspiring because she has lost and kept off 75 pounds through the program.
I also try not to focus on the program too much in my day-to-day life. I want to make this change, but I don’t want it to be the main focus of my life. If I want to eat something, for example, I’ll try to eat it but in moderation. At meetings we share recipes from the Weight Watchers cookbooks and I’ve learned how to use healthy substitutions in my cooking.
Any advice for others considering Weight Watchers?
I have told people that if they’re thinking about joining Weight Watchers and are not sure if they want to commit, they are welcome to sit in on a meeting. They can check out the reading material and ask questions to the people who are there. It’s a nice way to see if it will be a good fit for you. Once you’re ready, enrolling is really easy. You can call to enroll and it only takes a few minutes.
I’ve been realistic about my weight loss. Every week is going to be different but it comes down to not beating yourself up if you’re not perfect. If you make the healthy changes over time the weight will stay off and that’s what matters.
Joseph Carreriro, Quit for Life®
Joseph Carreriro is a Head Clerk at Safeway and has been a Trust participant for eight years. He enrolled in the Trust’s LiveWell Quit for Life® program to help kick his 20-year tobacco habit.
How did you hear about the program?
My wife told me about the program after she took the Personal Health Assessment last year.
What motivated you to enroll?
I felt that I needed support outside of the people I knew. My mom quit smoking after 30 years back in 1989 and tried to tell me what I needed to do, but what worked for her wasn’t working for me. I felt like I needed something more professional, more clinical in a way. I’ve learned via the program that no two people respond to the same quit methods.
What keeps you motivated?
I needed someone I can talk to, so for me the coaches themselves made a big difference. My wife would be there for me, but she had never had a single cigarette in her whole life. I might as well be talking about aliens with her because she didn’t know the pain I was going through. To me, the coaches felt like professional peers. It was almost like having a friend who is a doctor. They had the knowledge about all the statistics on why I should quit, yet they understood what I was going through and how difficult it is.
Talking to the coaches was like talking to a former smoker. They talked to you like they’ve also fallen and picked themselves back up and they know how humiliating it is. I looked at it like the coaches knew the types of temptations I faced, and yet they agreed that what I’m trying to do is major. It was like talking to a friend, but with no judgment. It’s not a small thing to be able to talk to someone who knows what you’re going through. I like the personal input you get from a coach.
What are your keys to success?
My coach told me that sometimes all you need to do is take a deep breath, realize what your goal is and calm down instead of reaching for a cigarette. My goal was to not be a slave to the cigarettes. There was something about the coaches sharing personal stories that made a big difference.
Any advice for others considering Quit for Life?
If you have Sound Health & Wellness Trust coverage, what can it hurt? The hardest part – trust a guy who has smoked for a long time – is the first step. The Trust is willing to take your hand and help you through that first step. It’s a good thing…no, it’s a great thing.
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.
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 LiveWell Quit For Life™.
Steve Brennan, age 52, decided to free himself from cigarettes for his health and for his wallet. He joined the LiveWell 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.”
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 LiveWell Quit for Life™ she is now tobacco free.
Sandra Borchgrevink didn’t really want to quit smoking, but when her husband’s health demanded that he quit, she knew she had to quit as well. Having smoked for 41 years, the 54-year-old Deli Clerk knew that both her husband and her pocketbook were counting on her.
“My husband was suffering from shortness of breath, and the cost of cigarettes went up last spring. I knew it was time for us both to quit,” Sandra said. “It’s too hard for one person to quit if there’s another smoker living in the house so I decided to quit as well.”
Sandra and her husband Robert joined the LiveWell Quit for Life™ smoking cessation program. “We both signed up in mid-March,” Sandra said. “We finished our cigarettes and started using the patches the next day.”
Through the LiveWell Quit for Life® program, the Sound Health & Wellness Trust provides free patches, gum or medication to participants if recommended by their personal Quit Coach®.
“It was nice when my Quit Coach called to check in,” Sandra said. “I appreciated the calls. Although I knew what I needed to do, the calls helped a lot.”
Sandra worked with several coaches for two months. The coaches provided support and helped her recognize her trigger points.
“The coaches were all really good,” Sandra said. “The biggest trigger point for me is still when I first get off work and get into my car. That’s when I want a cigarette the most.”
Instead of reaching for a cigarette, Sandra kept her hands busy with woodturning and sewing.
“I made my produce manager a wooden salad bowl,” Sandra said. “I knew I had to keep busy and not dwell on how much I wanted a cigarette.”
In addition to personalized coaching, the Trust offers participants a $100 incentive for completing five calls with a Quit Coach. “The check was nice, but it didn’t factor into my decision to quit,” Sandra said. “It all boils down to determination. You’ve got to want to do it.”
Due to Sandra and Robert’s determination, they have been smoke-free for six months. “If I can do it anyone can. I have no desire to go back,” Sandra said. “I still crave cigarettes now and then, but I know if I have one I’ll have to start all over again so I don’t.”
“I’ve told people at work they should call Quit for Life, because it works,” Sandra said. “You’ve got the coaching and you’ve got the patches, so what do you have to lose?”
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.
Nicole Pena, age 32, has diligently completed her annual Personal Health Assessment for three years. As a Group Health Options participant, she takes Group Health’s Health Profile. Every year she appreciates the valuable health information she receives, but this year her dedication really paid off.
In addition to collecting her cash incentive for taking her PHA, this year she was one of the three lucky winners in the Trust’s drawing for a Wii console with Sport Active. Her sons were thrilled.
“I have two sons ages nine and six,” Nicole said. “They play flag football at the YMCA and they are crazy about the new Wii.”
Nicole enjoys reading and appreciates the health information and resources provided by the Sound Health & Wellness Trust. Each year when she receives the LiveWell postcard letting her know the PHA is available she makes sure to visit the Sound Health & Wellness website to complete her questionnaire and collect her incentive.
“It usually takes me around 20 minutes,” Nicole said. “I like learning about stress, sleep, and tips for quitting smoking.”
After taking her Health Profile in 2010, Nicole decided to quit smoking. She found a wealth of resources available through the Trust to help her quit.
Nicole said she plans to take her fourth Health Profile in 2011.
“I am very happy with the programs LiveWell offers,” Nicole said. “We’re lucky that our plan gives us all this great information.”
Shelby Vadney, Quit For Life®
Twenty-six year old Shelby Vadney had smoked for seven years and thought she would never be able to quit. She was hesitant when a coworker gave her flyer on LiveWell Quit For Life, but figured she had to try.
Shelby Vadney, a Dairy Manager at QFC and smoker for the past seven years, never thought she would be able to quit. But after joining the LiveWell Quit for Life™ program, and after nearly nine months of being tobacco free, she’s proving herself wrong.
“I felt like I relied on cigarettes to get me through the day,” Shelby said. “I had tried everything by the time I joined the program and nothing had worked.”
At age 26, Shelby knew that she had a lot of reasons to quit, including her 16-month-old niece.
“I wanted to be the aunt who could play with her,” Shelby said. “I didn’t want to make her wait to ride down the slide at the playground while I smoked. I didn’t want to be a person who lights a cigarette in front of a baby.”
Shelby found out about the LiveWell Quit for Life™ program when one of her co-workers brought her a program flyer.
“She brought me the information and at first I wasn’t willing to try,” Shelby said. “I figured, it’s my life, I can quit my own way. Eventually I realized I wasn’t going to quit for anyone else. I had to do it for myself.”
On February 11, Shelby called the Quit for Life™ program to enroll. She had her last cigarette the same night.
“Initially I thought I would use the gum to help me quit,” Shelby said. “But then I realized I couldn’t set up a future date. I had to quit the day I decided to call the program. It would have irritated me to plan a quit date and count down my last cigarettes.”
Shelby began speaking with a Quit Coach® every three weeks. She worked with two different coaches who counseled her on nicotine addition and offered suggestions for replacing the physical cravings.
“I loved having the coaches,” Shelby said. “It was a lot easier than doing it on my own. There was something about actually having someone calling and checking up on you that helped.”
Shelby talked with her quit coaches over the phone. “The coaches didn’t judge me,” Shelby said. “They were so nice and made it feel like we knew one another. They jumped right into my life and made me feel like they really understood what I was going through.”
Shelby knows that joining Quit for Life™ is one of the best things she could have done for herself. “You learn over time that quitting is the best selfish thing you could possibly do. I thank my co-worker every day for bringing me that flyer.”
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 LiveWell health coaching and is lowering her blood pressure and losing weight — the healthy way.
Jeni Meissner has been a Sound Health & Wellness Trust participant and childcare provider for more than 30 years. After talking with her doctor and completing her Personal Health Assessment she knew it was time to get serious about improving her health. A LiveWell health coach was waiting to help.
“I inherited some bad health genes from my parents but I have an awesome doctor,” Jeni described. “I’ve been battling high blood pressure for a long time and he always tells it like it is. So, when he told me in all honesty that I needed to make some lifestyle changes I took his instruction to heart.”
Jeni had recently completed her LiveWell Personal Health Assessment and had been referred to the health coaching program.
“I thought, ‘ok, I’ve been fooling around with eating right and exercise, but now it’s time to get serious,” Jeni remembered.
The time was right for her to call for a LiveWell health coach.
“When I first heard about health coaching I wondered how much it could help,” Jeni explained. “But I thought it was worth a try. After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained. My health coach is Sondra and she has been great.”
Jeni is working with Sondra to set and achieve healthy weight loss goals.
“Sondra’s really helped me by keeping me accountable,” Jeni explained. “I’m not like everyone else so it’s important to have someone who knows and understands my individual situation.”
Sondra offers Jeni tips and encouragement over the phone. They set up periodic appointments at Jeni’s request.
“She gives me pointers on how to keep going and not get discouraged,” Jeni said. “She keeps me motivated and answers my questions honestly. Now I have some history with her and I feel comfortable confiding in her.”
Jeni has six children and has run an in-home daycare center for infants to kindergarten age children for more than 30 years. Health coaching has improved the health of those around her as well.
“Our produce consumption has really improved,” Jeni said. “Nutrition is wearing off on my husband. Since I’m cooking it, he’s eating better.”
“LiveWell is for people who could benefit from individualized advice to help keep them on the right track,” Jeni explained. “When you look at Americans across the board a lot of people are struggling with weight and health issues as they get older. LiveWell is being offered to us as a tool. In my case I need all the help I can get.”
“It has worked for me, it might help others stay healthy and live longer.”
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!”.
Akiko Ikenoue, NutriSum
Forty-eight year old Akiko Ikenoue knew she needed to lose weight; she was afraid of a future of obesity and complications from her diabetes. When she heard about the LiveWell NutriSum™ program, she knew that this was her chance to change.
Akiko Ikenoue has struggled with her weight since childhood. After watching several seasons of The Biggest Loser, she decided it was time to make a change and joined LiveWell NutriSum™, the Trust’s no-cost weight management program available to all participants and eligible spouses or same-sex domestic partners.
For Akiko, the NutriSum program launched at just the right time. “I heard about NutriSum in the In Sound Health newsletter,” Akiko said. “I was excited about it and couldn’t wait for it to start. Aside from NutriSum, I'm also a huge fan of The Biggest Loser.”
“Every season I watched people with worse health problems than me making the decision to change their lives for the better. I thought, if they could do it, why couldn't I? As I was playing with that idea, the LiveWell NutriSum program came along!”
At age 48, Akiko realized it would be easier to make changes now than to wait. She worried she was headed towards a life of kidney dialysis, blindness from her diabetes or morbid obesity. “I didn't want a catastrophic health crisis to be my wake-up call.”
Akiko registered for the LiveWell NutriSum program and a few months later she added a food journal to her daily recording. “I counted every calorie and really looked at what I was putting into my body. My food diary has been my biggest tool in helping stay true to my weight loss goals. I write NutriSum articles into it, and I even doodle little cartoons to make it a fun read!”
Although Akiko relaxes by knitting, crocheting, painting and drawing, she values exercise as a way to stay fit.
“I work out every other day,” Akiko explained. “I do at least an hour of exercise at home on a treadmill and a mini-elliptical machine, then some floor exercises.”
Lifestyle changes have made a difference in Akiko’s life. She has lost 45 pounds, lowered her triglycerides and reduced her A1C (a test that measures the blood glucose level). “My doctor is thrilled with my healthier self, and cheers me on,” Akiko said. “I'm off two diabetes medications and have cut back daily pills for my cholesterol and blood pressure to three times a week.”
The weight loss has also improved her physical wellbeing. “I'm down from a size 22 to a 14/16. My backaches are gone since my back isn’t supporting as much excess weight in the front, and my feet don't hurt as much,” Akiko said. “I sleep better, I'm in better spirits, and I have much more energy than I used to.”
Akiko plans to put her program participation reward to good use. “I'll probably spend the $100 gift card on new clothes since everything is baggy now!” She added, “Of course, my real reward is a future in good health in a smaller me! I will continue on with LiveWell NutriSum as long as the program is offered.”
LiveWell NutriSum™ registration closes on December 26, 2010.
Michael DuMond, NutriSum
For fifty-year-old Michael DuMond, losing weight was a necessity. At nearly 300 pounds and on medications for high blood pressure, cholesterol and type-2 diabetes, he felt he had to do something. Inspired by his store’s LiveWell Wellness Champion Volunteer and others, he dedicated himself to losing weight with LiveWell NutriSum™.
50-year-old Safeway employee Michael DuMond knew that he needed to do something about his weight and overall health, so he took advantage of his store’s Biggest Loser challenge with great success. Seeing his motivation and the progress he’d made with that program, one of his supervisors and the store’s Wellness Champion Volunteer, Rhonda Ivie, encouraged him to join the Trust’s no-cost weight management program as well. The result? A total weight loss of 124 pounds in two years!
“One of my supervisors, Debbie Buhl, helped organize the Safeway store’s biggest loser challenge which got me off the couch initially,” Michael explained. “I started losing weight and my coworkers were impressed with the progress. In January, Rhonda told me about LiveWell NutriSum.”
For Michael, weight loss was a necessity. He was on prescription medication for high blood pressure, cholesterol and type-2 diabetes.
“In 2003 I had a hip replacement and my doctor suggested that I swim for exercise. Instead, I sat on the couch and watched TV,” Michael said. “Eventually I realized that I had to lose weight because my family needed me. My wife and mother were extremely worried about my health.”
Michael weighed 289 pounds when he decided to make healthy behavior changes.
“I started eating healthier and exercising 18 months ago,” Michael said. “I recorded the foods I was eating each day and began exercising five days a week. I go to the YMCA and I make sure I’m drinking enough water.”
Michael signed up for LiveWell NutriSum in February and has already lost 43 pounds in four months by following the healthy eating and exercise lifestyle habits of the no-cost, 52-week program.
“Today I am ten pounds away from my goal weight. My doctor has taken me off all of my prescription medications and my blood pressure and cholesterol have returned to normal.”
Michael receives ongoing encouragement from Rhonda and his fellow Safeway co-workers.
“Michael is very educated about what changes lead to a healthy weight,” Rhonda said. “He knows what he has to do and he does it. His commitment shows.”
Having that support from his co-workers and family helps Michael stay focused and motivated, and he encourages others to improve their health by taking advantage of the various LiveWell programs.
“It’s important to lose weight the healthy way,” Michael described. “Get plenty of exercise, drink water, move around the house and stop watching television. Get rid of your junk food and eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. It’s just like what LiveWell NutriSum recommends.”
Colleen Powers, Condition Management and NutriSum
Fifty-eight year old Colleen Powers decided she could be healthy in spite of an unhealthful family background. With the support of Shelia, her LiveWell Condition Management personal nurse advocate, and by participating in LiveWell NutriSum™, she was able to lose weight, lower her cholesterol and manage her diabetes.
58-year old Colleen Powers was raised in a family where poor diet choices were the norm. She always thought, “It’s not going to happen to me,” but when she was diagnosed with diabetes in February of 2010, she could no longer ignore her family health history and unhealthy habits. She knew she would have to live differently if she wanted to improve her health – and her life.
“I watched my diabetic grandmother have her leg amputated, my brother die from an aneurism caused by diabetes, and my mother suffer from heart disease,” Colleen explained. I know they suffered because they did not have the education they needed to take care of themselves.”
Even before being diagnosed with diabetes, Colleen had started to make changes to her diet and activity level. Some changes were small, but they paid off. “I made small excuses to get take more steps: extra trips up the stairs, parking my car further away; small changes,” Colleen recalled. “I weighed 235 pounds in 2003. I was obese until I started making healthier choices. After two years of watching food labels and eating better foods I was down to 200 pounds.”
Changing such ingrained family and lifestyle habits was difficult for Colleen for a variety of reasons. “In my mind, it was not OK for me to be healthier than my family because it felt like I was breaking away from their patterns. I didn’t want to be different and yet I didn’t want the health problems they had.”
Despite her internal obstacles to changing her diet and lifestyle, Colleen was succeeding. But despite all her work, she was diagnosed with diabetes in 2010. She talked with co-workers at Metropolitan Market about her diagnosis and how disappointed she was. They were sympathetic, supportive and encouraged her to take advantage of the many LiveWell wellness programs that are offered for free to all Trust participants.
“I was surprised at how many people were using LiveWell that I didn’t know about,” Colleen said. “It was such a comfort to hear people share what was available because they wanted to support me. I would say: ‘I have this horrible problem.’ And they would encourage me by saying, ‘It won’t be that bad, in fact our insurance has this program where coaches will walk you through managing your diabetes.”
LiveWell Condition Management pairs up participants with a professional health advocate to help them better understand their chronic conditions, make healthy changes to improve their lifestyle and well-being and find the support, information and encouragement they need. After learning about LiveWell Condition Management Colleen decided to take advantage of the program to help her understand, live with, and manage her diabetes.
“I work with Shelia and I love her. She is so supportive and encouraging and she is available (or a nurse is available for me to talk to) any time. My work schedule changes and I have to accommodate my personal life and priorities into it, but she’s always there to offer helpful advice about managing my medications and keeping a routine. I imagine Shelia sitting there on the phone with a big tool box. She listens to my concerns and then pulls out the tools I need to fix it: the information, support and ideas. She gives me the permission to try.”
Now that she knew about the variety of programs and support systems offered through the Trust, Colleen decided to build on her weight loss success by joining the weight management program, LiveWell NutriSum™.
“The program isn’t difficult,” Colleen said. “I do things like eat whole grains and more fruits and veggies, drink more water, and exercise.”
Accessing the resources available through LiveWell has improved Colleen’s quality of life and helped her understand the value and necessity of self-care. “I want to be more loving and nurturing to myself” Colleen said, “the way I’ve always been for everyone else. I’m taking my caring skills and applying them to myself.”
Seeking out the help she needed and also helping herself, Colleen is learning to value her own health, make good choices and care for her body. But equally important, she is losing weight, lowering her cholesterol and managing her diabetes.
“I am now 162 pounds, and I’m finding it easier to schedule time to exercise because I realize it’s good for me. In four months, my cholesterol has dropped from 261 to 200 and my A1C has dropped from 10 to 5.9. I can’t believe how much more energy I have! I use to do things like drive my trash to the dumpster, but now I look for the opportunities to get a little more exercise in.”
“Thanks to LiveWell I feel really hopeful.” Colleen said. “The support is there if you’re willing to take a chance. The program will help you love and nurture yourself in ways you don’t even know yet. With LiveWell there is always someone who will ask you how you’re doing, who will give you undivided attention, will listen to your concerns and then help you - they want to see you succeed. Wow! What more could you ask for?”
Leslie Shepherd, NutriSum
Forty-nine year old Leslie Shepherd signed on to LiveWell NutriSum to lose weight and found an added bonus: a supportive and motivating online community of Trust participants eager to see her succeed. Only eight pounds away from her goal, she’s learned the value of not going it alone.
Leslie Shepherd keeps motivated to lose weight by watching the Sound Health & Wellness Trust’s LiveWell NutriSum™ program online “leader board” – an online place for LiveWell NutriSum™ participants to ask questions and offer their stories, advice and support to others. The promise of receiving a $100 gift card from the Trust for completing the program also keeps her going.
LiveWell NutriSum, is the Trust’s no-cost weight management program. Participants track their food, exercise and daily healthy habits, such as drinking enough water or not eating after dinner. Participants can track either online or in paper format. For online participants they can also see charts of their progress and join the leader board community to share their successes with other participants.
“I like that it only takes a couple of minutes to fill in the information each day.” Leslie said. “You sit down, check off the information and you’re done. I don’t have to find a notebook or leave a paper trail if I don’t want to. And I can print off any pages I want.”
Each day, participants enter their daily intake, exercise and healthy habits. They earn extra points for things like eating whole grains or setting a personal goal, such as not drinking soda or eating fast food. The personalized progress charts illustrate their success.
“It’s really nice to have the graphs where we can check our progress,” Leslie said. “I like being able to see how other people are doing. I’ll never be able to exercise more than the top exercise person on the leader board, but I remember his name and it motivates me to keep trying.”
On the online leader board participants list their names and comment about their experiences losing weight and maintaining it; they encourage and help each other. Together they create a motivating community of support for one another.
“I have a lot of fun finding out if there’s anyone new in the program. Just recently someone had a perfect 35 points,” Leslie explained. “It was a name I hadn’t seen and I began to wonder how I could maintain a perfect score.”
For Leslie, the process of recording each day also keeps her accountable to her weight loss goals.
“I like recording information to look back on,” Leslie said. “I can say, ‘Gee, I have a willpower that I can give myself credit for. Look what I’ve accomplished!’ These are lifetime habits and I am constantly remembering to stick to my program.”
LiveWell NutriSum encourages participants to track five nutritional habits, not to count calories and lets participants choose a healthy diet based on what is best for them.
“It’s not just about being satisfied with whole grains, produce and water,” Leslie described. “It’s ok to eat other things according to your dietary needs. For example, I like to make sure I have Vitamin C every day. That priority is automatically reflected in my fruit choices.”
Daily exercise is also a main component of LiveWell NutriSum.
“The program encourages people to get out and move which is a great compliment to weight loss,” Leslie said. “Exercise is a priority and also a choice. My friends and I get together and walk while we enjoy one another’s company. It’s made a difference in how far I’ve walked. On my own I do much less, but with my friends I can walk for hours. It’s fun to have someone else along.”
To further encourage participants to stay on track and to succeed, LiveWell NutriSum sends out small gifts and rewards throughout the year.
“I like the idea of logging progress for 260 days so that I can earn a $100 Visa card,” Leslie said. “And the other little gifts are also nice reminders that you’re participating in something someone cares about. One of my favorites is my grocery shopping notepad, I use it all the time.”
Motivation comes in different forms for some people, and in losing weight it can be hard to stay motivated. Being part of a community of people gives participants strength to push through those tough days. But no matter what motivates participants, the results are positive.
“I’m working towards my weight loss goal of 20 pounds. I’ve lost 12 pounds so far,” Leslie said. “I wear a new clothing size and people say that they notice I’ve lost weight. I’m breathing better; I don’t struggle walking up hills; I feel hydrated and a little leaner. It’s just nice to have positive routines too. For me, LiveWell NutriSum is a way of life diet.”
Leslie also serves as her store’s Wellness Champion Volunteer and shares with other Trust participants in her store about LiveWell NutriSum and other LiveWell programs. And she continues to be an active community member on the online leader board.
“Receiving feedback contributes to the quality of a person’s health. By getting involved participants share their health and can receive feedback on what they’re doing well and get encouraged to do more.”
Irene Cayanan-Barr, Health Coaching and Nutrisum
Thirty-seven year old Irene Cayanan-Barr had a wake up call on her stress level and excess weight after taking her first Personal Health Assessment last year. Working with a LiveWell Health Coach and with the Nutrisum™ weight management program, she learned that when it comes to taking time for your health, it is you that benefits the most.
For Irene Cayanan-Barr, self-improvement doesn’t end with one success. After taking her LiveWell Personal Health Assessment for the first time last year, and seeing how her stress level and weight were affecting her health, she decided to take advantage of the many LiveWell wellness programs.
“You know that you’re not always doing the healthiest things, but when you see it in writing it’s a wake up call that it’s time to change,” Irene remembers. “I completed the health assessment and knew that it was time.”
By taking her PHA Irene was referred to LiveWell Health Coaching for stress management. At the time Irene was working full time, caring for family and in the process of house hunting with her husband. The pressure of taking on additional financial burden in a tough economy only increased her existing anxiety.
Irene’s health coach called once every two weeks and helped her figure out how she could make the most of her personal time in the morning. He also encouraged her to exercise and give her mind a rest by going for walks around Greenlake.
“My coach helped motivate me to take our dog out for walks instead of staying in and snacking,” Irene says. “I was either going to stay in and eat 700 calories, or I was going to go out and burn a couple hundred. My coach helped me make the better choice.”
Irene’s health coach became a friend, one that she knew she could talk to and who was there to help. The conversations were empowering and made her feel supported and informed.
“It’s different from a walk-in clinic where you’re a stranger and have to reintroduce yourself each time you go,” she said. “My health coach wasn’t just reading off a script. He took notes about my life and was able to follow up on what I was going through.”
Irene completed the health coaching program knowing that she now had the tools she needed to manage her stress. But bolstered by her success and her realization that she really enjoyed walking (and rollerblading!) she decided to achieve some of her other health goals.
“Weight loss is phase two for me,” Irene said. “Stress management will always be there, but exercising helps. I topped out at a size 18 and now I wear a 12! I feel better than ever.”
Irene joined NutriSum, the Trust’s weight management program. NutriSum encourages participants to set a goal of 60 minutes of daily exercise in addition to tracking eating habits.
“You are supposed to log your NutriSum progress online every day,” Irene said. “I thought about it and realized that I was on the computer anyway every day and it was just one more step — one that could ultimately affect my health! I like being able to hold myself accountable.”
Irene and her husband joined a gym and started working out almost every day. She found that the inspiration to stay healthy and keep up her success was all around her.
“I can talk with my friends at work about new exercises,” Irene said. “I can now fit into my favorite pair of jeans I’ve had since we moved here eight years ago, and it turns out that exercising also helps manage my stress level too.”
NurtiSum and Health Coaching have taught Irene to shift her perspective on her own health.
“I tell others that these programs are all about self-coaching.” She says, “The programs are free, and you’re the one who benefits the most.”
Cindie Pruiett, 10K-A-Day
Fifty-four year old Cindie Pruiett clipped on the step counter she got for free when she signed up for LiveWell 10K-A-Day and was surprised to see she wasn’t walking as far as she thought she was. Now she’s finding ways every day to walk more.
For most people, the first time they clip on their pedometer they are shocked by the results. Cindie Pruiett, 54, a checker at the Food Pavilion in Sedro-Woolley, was no exception.
“I was surprised that I wasn’t walking as far as I thought I was,” Pruiett said. “It was an eye opener.”
Cindie found out about the LiveWell 10K-A-Day walking program through a Sound Health & Wellness Trust mailer. She immediately logged on to the Trust’s web site and registered.
“I had owned a pedometer in the past, but it didn’t work well,” Pruiett said. “The one LiveWell provides is simple; you just push a button and it goes.”
Cindie liked wearing the pedometer at work. She could monitor the amount of steps she logged as a curtsey clerk, and also started to notice herself working to increase steps outside of the store.
“I would park further away from my destination,” she said. “The pedometer definitely motivated me to walk more steps.”
Cindie recommends the program to other participants. “It’s very good exercise. None of us move as much as we think we do or as we should.”
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.
Kim Shumway, 10K-A-Day
Forty-three year-old Kim Shumway is a busy stay at home mother of two, but instead of putting fitness at the bottom of her list, she and her husband, Scott Shumway, decided to make it a priority. They joined the LiveWell 10K-A-Day walking program when they were at their busiest, and have made walking a part of their everyday lives.
43 year-old Kim Shumway is a busy stay at home mother of two, but instead of putting fitness at the bottom of her list, she and her husband, Scott Shumway, decided to make it a priority. They joined the LiveWell 10K-A-Day walking program when they were at their busiest, and have made walking a part of their everyday lives.
"We had so much going on in our lives that we weren’t taking care of ourselves. We decided if we could start with this program, then we could build up to more exercise later," she said.
Kim had always enjoyed walking, but wearing a step counter was a great motivator.
"You find yourself doing little things," Kim said. "I notice I’ll walk to the farthest bathroom in the house, or park in the farthest parking spot at the store."
For Kim, the step counter appeals to her competitive nature. Both she and her husband wear their pedometers every day and each evening they compare their steps to see who walked the most steps.
"Sometimes I find myself saying: ‘Oh I really don’t feel like doing this or that,’ but then I remember that I have to get the steps in to beat my husband!" Kim admits.
She has tough competition. Scott is a retail clerk at QFC in Richmond Beach and logs thousands of steps at work each day.
Everyone is busy, but Kim recognizes how motivating competition can be. She suggests people start where they are and work to improve each day."If you see your steps at the beginning of the program and think that you can improve, set a goal number in your mind and work to beat your previous day’s total."
"This program is an easy way to get more exercise in your life. Compete against yourself regardless of your physical ability at the start," Kim recommends.
Kim plans to step it up in the future. She is hoping to get up to 12,000 steps a day and beat Scott every evening. Her reward—relaxing in front of the new flat screen TV she won in the LiveWell 10K-A-Day drawing.
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.
*For Nancy Bronsteen, by far the best part of quitting smoking is that she gets into bed at the end of every day feeling great about herself. Nancy says that “self loathing” was what finally got her to quit.
“I felt so stupid,” she says. “I’m educated, and I’m still smoking. It makes no sense.” Still, she had smoked off and on for 20 years, and it took the help of the LiveWell Quit For Life® Program to get 49-year old Nancy to change her habits.
“When I found out this program was going to start, I signed up immediately.” She can tell you the exact day she quit smoking: November 21, 2008. And she says, as soon as she started on the nicotine replacement therapy, there was no cheating and no turning back.
Looking back, Nancy now says the “dreaded anticipation” of quitting was the hardest part. “Your imagination makes it much worse than it actually is,” she says. But that doesn’t mean it was easy. In fact, it was depressing and upsetting to give up her constant companion and her routines. She says the Quit For Life® Program was extremely helpful. For Nancy, the nicotine gum was a great help, and the personalized counseling was essential.
“I liked talking to the Quit Coaches who had smoked before,” she says. “I could call and say, ‘I just picked a fight with my husband,’ and have someone to talk it over with. It was good to talk to people who understood what I was going through,” she says. “They made me feel like I wasn't doing this alone.”
Nancy says the first days of quitting were especially hard. “In the beginning, I was furious,” she admits. “I had my smoking routines, and without my buddy (my cigarettes), I didn’t want to do any of the things I used to do.” Even getting in the car and rolling down the window to let the smoke out was something she did automatically and was hard to stop.
How is Nancy doing now? “You know what? I am absolutely wonderful.” It’s great to feel proud of herself, and it’s nice not to have the window open in the car on cold rainy days. Nancy estimates she has saved $1,000 in the past five months by not buying cigarettes, and she is quick to point out that she quit smoking without gaining weight. She chews a lot of ice and sugarless gum, but she hasn’t replaced smoking with food.
“And then, to top it all off, when I'd quit for a couple of months, I received a check for $100 in the mail! This was like winning the jackpot,” Nancy says.
Nancy’s husband, Said Meskerkid works at the QFC on Broadway. She works in advertising for Pacific Publishing Company. “I quit smoking and the Trust sent me $100. I mean come on! I keep saying to my husband, ‘You’ve set us up with the best health coverage ever.’” Her next goal: To have Said quit. It’s worth another $100, and, she says, a lot more.
*Please note that the $100 incentive check for Quit For Life® is no longer available for new enrollments as of January 1, 2012.
Korinne Kunst, 10K-A-Day
Thirty-four year old Korinne Kunst, a wine steward at the Safeway at Silver Firs in Everett, used the 10K-A-Day program to kick-start her exercise routine. After cancelling her gym membership, she found a way to keep in shape with a daily two mile walk.
Korinne Kunst is one of those people who finds a way to make things work, and then works to make them work better. Take keeping herself in shape, for example.
After Korinne took the LiveWell Personal Health Assessment last year, she signed up for the 10K-A-Day online walking program.
"I figured I did a lot of walking already," she says. "And I was curious to find out how much I walked." What she found out was that she really enjoyed walking. She was anxious to log in her steps every day.
"The 10K-A-Day program got me motivated and got me paying attention to how much exercise I get-or don't get."
The 10K-A-Day program came at just the right time for 34-year-old Korinne. To help manage a tight budget, she had cancelled her gym membership and was looking for a good way to exercise on her own. She has completed the 10K-A-Day program and no longer wears the step counter that came with the program, but she continues to walk at least five days a week. Korinne credits the program with "jump starting her routine," and she's beginning to lose weight as well.
"I have a walking route. I do two miles up and around the neighborhood in 30 minutes," she says. "I search out the hills." Not one to back away from doing more, Korinne is now thinking about buying weights and working out at home in addition to her daily walks.
The key to her success? She doesn't make excuses. Every day she gets up and walks by herself before work. If her schedule doesn't allow for a walk during daylight hours, she asks a friend to walk with her in the evening after work.
Korinne has worked at Safeway for 18 years. You can find her among the cabernets and chardonnays at the Safeway at Silver Firs in Everett, where she's enjoying her new role as a wine steward. Cheers, Korinne.
Charles Kauffman, 10K-A-Day
Nineteen-year-old Charles Kauffman, a cashier at Shoreline’s Central Market and University of Washington freshman, tried out LiveWell 10K-A-Day with great results. He made a few changes and managed to increase his activity, lose 10 pounds, and find an activity that he and his family enjoy doing together.
Nineteen-year-old Charles Kauffman has impressive experience with making major changes in his lifestyle. When he was a young, overweight teen, he changed his eating habits enough to loose 150 pounds. Now a University of Washington freshman, Charles says he’s open to more changes in his lifestyle, so was willing to take the LiveWell 10K-A-Day challenge.
The program comes with a free pedometer (also called a step counter), and challenged him to be more active. “On the first day I got my step counter I logged only about 7,000 steps and was very surprised, because I thought I lived a fairly active lifestyle,” Charles says. “I decided to make a few changes to see if I could add a few steps to my day.”
Charles is a cashier at Shoreline’s Central Market, working part time when school’s in session and full time when school’s out. He’s starting with some easy changes, like taking a different bus route to school and getting off the bus early to add more steps. Charles lost an additional 10 pounds and found an activity that he and his family enjoy doing together. “I got my family into walking with me and together we have created a nearly three-mile walk, and we have done it almost every day,” he says.
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.