In Control: Person of the Month – Megan

Linda Hogg, RD, LN, Take Control Health Coach

October 9, 2019

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.

Throughout the year, she tried new things, found valuable lessons from those experiments, and then moved forward with low-carb, high-nutrient foods to support her. As she worked through the program, she continued to explore, reflect, then make a decisive choice on what tools would keep her moving forward. Megan stepped outside her comfort zone in many ways to find the right healthy lifestyle tools that worked best for her and her family. She didn’t dive off the deep end, but instead, edged herself toward slightly uncomfortable changes and trusted the process of goal-setting and accountability to make it happen.

What made you decide to join Take Control’s Lifestyle Management program? I needed to have an accountability partner. The coaches provided so much insight and great advice into how I could overcome any obstacles. I have always started the process of getting healthy and then once I reached a plateau, would lose the drive I had in the beginning. Having someone to talk to about my successes and weaknesses was very beneficial to the success I have had.

What were your reasons/motivation for wanting to make changes regarding your health? My children were the biggest reason. I wasn’t feeling like I was the best mother I could be, as I often felt like I was in a slump and had no energy. I wanted to be the playful mom that would get outside with them, or to always have the home kept up. I noticed I was sluggish, and I felt like my kids deserved more. I knew being overweight and not eating right was the largest contributor to my mood. Once I started with the right habits it all started to change for the better.

What did you do to stay motivated? I found different apps for tracking my weight and meals. I found that logging different foods was something I enjoyed, and I also liked the visual aids. I joined a few support groups online and also started motivating others at my place of work with challenges to stay healthy. My job is very sedentary, so I wanted to motivate others which in turn kept me motivated.

What have you gained through this process? I realized that this is not a diet or a temporary process. Once I accepted that this has to be a lifestyle change I started to see things differently. Sometimes I fell off, but the main thing was not to let that stop me and just get back into the right habits right away. Eating one bad thing didn't ruin the rest of the day if I went right back to the healthier options. I also learned not to beat myself up if I miss a day or two of working out. As long as I do something for the day, whether it be a small walk or a very high intensity workout, doing anything is better than doing nothing.

What differences do you see in yourself and the impact it has had on your health and life? I definitely have experienced an increase in energy and a new insight on nutrition. I love to look up new recipes and I try to stay on the outskirts of the store. Walking the perimeter instead of using the center grocery aisles is a trick of the trade for me. I’ve included my children in learning the benefits of whole foods and the fun that we can have together cooking in the kitchen.

What advice or encouragement would you give others in our program? 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. Get up, go outside and breathe the fresh air. Instead of “You only live once” I prefer… “You can live everyday”.

There were plenty of things that were uncomfortable but Megan found a way to make the best of them and create the most successful experience possible. She went bravely into changes with a mindset of curiosity about how the changes would help her be the best version of herself. She found it challenging to join a gym, yet she did it, and now misses it when she doesn’t go!

She began shopping differently at the grocery store, and set herself up for success in every way possible without overloading her lifestyle. She is a role model for her children who are learning and incorporating her habits of healthy living into their everyday lives, which sets them up for success in the future, PLUS she’s been a huge inspiration to coworkers - as she said, motivating them has in turn motivated her. That network of family, friends and coworkers who are now all part of her healthy living lifestyle are a formula for continued success and maintenance without making it feel like work.

Megan lost 30 lbs., 17% of her body weight, by approaching her goal in a steady, consistent manner. If she bumped into a hurdle, she found realistic, individualized ways to think through it, coach herself within, and then maneuver her way around it, over it, or even remove it from her pathway.

“Surround yourself with only people who lift you higher.”  ~Oprah Winfrey