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3 Questions with our Wellness Champion

By Gabrielle Miller on June 25th 2018

OUR WELLNESS CHAMPION

EMILY KITCHENS


What have you done in the past for health and weight management and what actually worked?

I started weight watchers 10 years ago and had initial success but went back to old habits. I’ve always been in to walking because it fits my lifestyle for the most part. I use a Fitbit and it’s a great motivator and really shows that with my sedentary work life I need to purposely do something to get moving. It’s also motivation when I’m so close to meeting my goal to make sure I finish out strong. One thing that my husband and I have done is to continually increase the lengths of our walks. We even have several of our routes named according to length!

I started Weight Watchers again in 2017 – my motivation along with wanting to feel better all-around was to be able to keep up with my grandkids. Plus doing this program with my husband has helped us both to stay accountable and to encourage one another.

Food prep is key!!!

One thing that I’ve noticed being empty nesters is that we go to the grocery every day. For some I think this may seem like a daunting task, but It works for us and helps with planning a healthy dinner, especially when we’re shopping primarily for produce and meat.

I believe that I wouldn’t be as successful with living a healthy lifestyle and participating in Weight Watchers without the app. It’s a great tool that assists with knowing what’s actually in food and with comparing different brands of similar items.

Weight loss only works when you follow what your plan, have a healthy mindset and create a routine to stick to. Make the time!

How has the support of your husband impacted your healthy lifestyle?

My husband Jim has been on diabetes medicine to lower blood sugar for years and finally the time came last year when the doctor stated it might be time to have the “insulin talk”. That’s when he decided to join Weight Watchers with me and became determined to lose weight and eat better.

Even though Jim was shedding pounds and feeling better he continued to take his diabetes medicine as instructed. Little did he know that the medicine was no longer needed until he had an episode that I thought were signs of a stroke. When the EMS arrived they went through the motions of diagnosing and treating Jim and finally came to the conclusion from checking his blood sugar that it was critically low and he needed sugar. They asked us if there was any juice, pop, or anything with sugar in it in the house but because we were eating healthy there wasn’t. They were finally able to stabilize Jim, but instructed him not to take his medicine until he saw his doctor. The benefit of the weight loss naturally bringing his blood sugar down and continuing to take the medication to bring it down was hurting Jim. The doctor then told Jim that from his weight loss and healthier lifestyle that he no longer needed to take his diabetes medicine!

Does workplace wellness assist in her wellness goals?

Having wellness at work has definitely made it even easier for me to stick with my healthy lifestyle; with the strong emphasis and encouragement to be well at work from upper management and co-workers. Our company in the last year has made a point to give employees 15 minutes in the morning and afternoon to get up and move. From this encouragement to be active, I’ve noticed employees taking walking breaks and even establish walking groups. I have also noticed with our transition to this culture of well-being that when someone brings in pastries or treats they don’t go as fast anymore. The overall culture of wellness has definitely had a positive effect on our company as a whole and I see it continuing to benefit our employees as we progress in our company’s wellness journey.