At 30, Catherine was navigating a lot of life events: finishing her degree, working, and planning a wedding. Catherine considered herself a relatively active person using the word “gung-ho” to describe how she felt about taking on new health challenges. However, her enthusiasm tended to taper off, leaving her feeling frustrated. Her busy life made it hard for her efforts to become habits. When she first heard about Take Control, she didn’t really know what the program would entail, and felt a bit intimidated not knowing what she was getting herself into. Once she got started on her “coaching journey” with Coaches Richel and Linda, Catherine learned new tools to ensure her health practices would become habits, no matter what life was throwing her way.
Health and fitness journeys are unique to each individual, and programs with a one-size fits all approach don’t always work. Rexanne tried many programs in the past that were too general and didn’t help her learn the behaviors necessary to stick to her goals long term. Instead of ‘checking the box’ on another weight loss program, Rexanne made the decision to pursue gastric bypass surgery, and sought out resources that tailored support to her specific needs. The Take Control program and Health Coach Katie Delaney were the catalysts she needed to ‘check the box’ for good.
When Take Control's enrollment team reached out to Michelle about joining the program, she was a little taken aback. It felt somewhat intrusive, and she already had a full plate with her job, kids, parents and other responsibilities. She didn't think she had time or needed a health coaching program. She had already started improving her health on her own, by losing 20 pounds. She had learned to say no to new commitments and did not want to take on more. Ultimately, she was persuaded by additional incentives that her health plan offered to Take Control participants. She hesitantly agreed to join the program.
When Gabriel joined the Take Control program, he was a regular at the gym, but wasn't seeing the results he wanted. Even with consistent workouts, his weight was not decreasing. With a BMI of 38.3, his weight put him at increased risk for developing chronic health conditions. In addition, his health screening showed very high triglycerides, putting him at risk for stroke, heart attack, and heart disease. At age 40 and a father of young children, he was ready to admit his attempts at weight loss were not working, and he needed to try something new. After his first few appointments with coach Kat he said, "It dawned on me that everything I had done before was not successful. It became clear very quickly that she knew what she was talking about. Because you can't BS a BS'er."
As a young professional scientist in her twenties, Clara didn't think she needed help when her health screening report showed high blood pressure. She knew how to live a healthy life with regular exercise and a low-fat diet, and made plans to ramp up her exercise and fitness. She enrolled in Take Control simply to utilize the gym and personal training benefits that the program offered. The surprise came when the health coaching part of the program became the key that transformed her health.
There is no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to improving your health, and Brett's story is a great example of persistence combined with a customized strategy. When asked why he decided to work with a health coach he said, "You get to a point where you look in the mirror and say "I’m tired of this." It hit him after a WellCheck with poor results. He realized he had been leaving his shirt untucked to hide his stomach, and couldn't keep up with his grandkids. Brett has always been an athletic outdoorsman, so it took time to come to terms with reality. He said, "I felt like I could either give up and die young, or get serious and do something about it."
Everyone wants to wait for just the right time to begin focusing on their health, but Hayley decided to jump in without waiting. She was struggling with depression, she was in a new job, had a husband and two young children, and was about to have leg surgery, which would impede her ability to exercise for a while. She had no free time, and a lot of responsibilities and pressure. In addition to her very busy schedule, she worried about missing work for the coaching calls. When she started working with health coach Katie Delaney, she said "I would schedule the calls during my lunch break, because I was afraid to miss work."
Pregnancy brings a host of excitement, questions, and worries. Even if it’s not your first baby, new questions arise, including fears about juggling priorities and multiple children. Randi really valued her Take Control health coaches because they were so supportive and understanding. “It was really nice to have somebody that I could relate to and talk to, to make sure I wasn’t way off base mentally and physically in comparison to other people,” Randi said. She appreciated having somebody to relate to when she had questions and concerns about her pregnancy.
A life-long battle with obesity is agonizing; and when it interferes with your desire to have children, it’s heartbreaking. Ashlie spent years developing coping mechanisms to live with a body that didn’t respond to popular programs like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, including developing an internal dialogue that was self-defeating, self-shaming, and hypercritical. These mental roadblocks became her biggest obstacle to good health. The Take Control program and her health coach Kat Van Fossen turned out to be the perfect program for, as Ashlie said, “being vulnerable, and really just getting out of my own way.”
Emily is a natural caregiver who loves to focus her attention on the students she advises. As often happens with giving people, she spent all her energy on others, and left none for herself. When the pandemic hit, she found herself working from home and finally had more free time. It was the beginning of the summer, and when she weighed herself, she was the heaviest she had ever been. She made the decision to take the energy she usually spends on others and invest it into herself. Exercise had always been a part of her life, and she had an “accountabilabuddy” at the gym who she worked out with. But she said, “It made a lot of sense to add a partner like Take Control to help with the experience I did not have with changing habits.”
What happens when a running coach gets high blood pressure? Yes, even people who are athletic and healthy have unexpected results on annual health screenings. When Chris’ results showed elevated blood pressure, he was alarmed. As someone who focuses on health and wellness, he was eager to talk to a specialist to find out what he was missing, and to learn more about how to reduce his risks. He really appreciated the holistic approach of the program, rather than only focusing on food and fitness.
“Nate accomplished more in six months than most people accomplish in 5 years.” That is how coach Kat introduced our next success story. Nate had started losing weight on his own prior to joining the program, but he wanted confirmation that he was doing the right thing, and to work with someone who had the knowledge and experience to help maximize his efforts. Nate said, “I had tried tracking calories before, but it never really stuck.” He also credits his health coach for giving him new insight and knowledge about himself, “She helped me along the way with things I didn’t even think about. It was a process that took time to stick to it. This accomplishment feels good.”
Taking time for herself and working with a health coach gave Bonnie momentum and confidence. She said, “In the past when I used food for comfort and gained weight, I began doubting myself, and had very low self-esteem and self-worth. But over time, I started putting myself first and began to realize and tell myself that I’m worth the effort. That is the phrase that kept me moving forward to become a healthier version of myself.” When it came to the monthly coaching calls with Linda, Bonnie said “it was never a dread, I looked forward to it. This was one thing during the pandemic that did not get canceled.”
Coach Katie was impressed with Theresa’s consistency and perseverance, “Theresa was very driven; even though she had some setbacks she still stayed the course, showing her motivation and perseverance. The program helped her identify tools to stay the course, even during challenging times when most would have thrown in the towel. She dug deep and was committed.” Theresa said “It took me 30 years to gain all the weight, I’m not going to lose it all in a year. I’m okay taking longer and making sure that I can keep it off.” Her coach said, “every time she got down on herself, her commitment to her goals led her back on course, and she kept going.”
When Julia first came into the program, she really wanted to be free of feeling like food was an issue or a “problem” in her life. She came in with an open mind, and was ready to make small changes. She wasn't looking for an overhaul that would take over her life, but simple things that would help her to finally live healthy. Julia inspired me personally -- I could really relate to the way she felt about food. Watching her make simple adjustments, and integrate them into her life without some big, dramatic mix up to the scheme of her everyday living was really inspiring. When she told me, “I finally have a healthy relationship with food” my heart sung for her.
Stephen was highly dedicated in so many areas of his life, with many responsibilities at home and at work. Yet, to be successful in the program, he made time for matters that are most important to him. He did this by making a plan and going after it - not perfectly, but steadfastly. His meal planning rarely left anything to chance, and was a large part of his success. In addition, I found it inspiring to see his knowledge at the gym expand. Working with a trainer was a big shift for him, and really gave him lots of tools for his toolbox in the future. Stephen said, "Try to be easy on yourself. The kind of thing you're working on in this program is more complicated than it might seem, and it's not entirely fair to yourself to expect that you'll do everything correctly all the time."
Right from the start, it was apparent that Megan was a mover and shaker. She had a well-developed vision of where she wanted to be with her health and wellness in a year’s time. She was determined to find the best possible fit for her life! She is a wife, mother, and works full-time, so she needed to find the right balance between work and home in order to remain positive. During the program she spent time working through what might work—and what might not work—in the way of food, groceries, prepping, etc. Megan said, "The quote that sticks with me throughout this process has been 'Dreams don’t work unless you do.' It’s true. I can’t sit idly by wishing for a magic pill and I definitely didn’t want to sit back and let the situation get worse. I can take baby steps or big steps. Either way, moving in the right direction is better than not moving at all."