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.
What made you decide to join Take Control's Lifestyle Management program?
I heard about it through the benefits program, and was initially enticed by the gym membership and personal trainer benefits. After calling and finding out more about it, I realized that the program was probably going to offer more benefits than those alone, and would be quite helpful to me in a number of ways.
What were your biggest reasons/motivation for wanting to make changes regarding your health?
Mostly, I just have a lot of things that I like to do for recreation, and I knew that I'd be able to enjoy those activities more by increasing my overall physical health. Beyond that, I want to be able to keep up with my kids and set a good example for them in terms of what a healthy lifestyle looks like. Of course, some financial motivation was also involved. As I've gotten older, I've developed a pretty keen sense that it's less expensive to stay healthy than it is to fix problems related to poor health.
What did you do to stay motivated?
With regard to exercise, I started by simply hiring a personal trainer to give me someone to regularly meet at the gym. But doing so also forced me to define some goals, and I came to realize how much more instructive, useful, and fun working out with a trainer could be. I began to see results slowly but eventually, which then became its own motivation. Diet-wise, the coaches were really helpful. They gave me some suggestions about how to approach my overall diet differently from how I was before, and about how to manage some specific challenges I was having. I appreciated the ability to talk with the coaches each month. Knowing that the meeting was coming up gave me something to work toward and make sure I wasn't going backwards with anything.
What have you gained through this process?
Aside from the measurable health benefits, I've learned a ton about exercise, diet, and myself. I'm much smarter in the gym, and wiser about how my diet and exercise interface with my lifestyle. I have an entirely new set of habits and routines I follow now, and feel much more capable of managing the health issues I'm at risk of having to deal with in my future.
What differences do you see in yourself and the impact it has had on your health and life?
The weight loss and biological health benefits are certainly rewarding. The fact that it did not happen right away was actually an important confirmation of my belief in the value of setting and sticking with goals even when it doesn't really feel all that good to do so. Everything worth having requires a lot of effort, and that makes my current state of health all that much more valuable to me.
What advice or encouragement would you give to others in our program?
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. Enjoy your life, but try to remember that you're doing this program (and the hard stuff that comes with it) so you can have more life to enjoy.
Stephen saw improvements in almost every aspect of his health metrics, and it was incredible being on his team! His metric improvements were great, but more importantly, he improved the quality of his life and is so intentional about every day and everything he does in each day.