Recently, Sarah Sutton joined our team here at Nova. Sarah is a Wellness Coach. It made sense to me that we should have such expertise here at Nova – and, for that matter, at all practices – to help us to motivate patients to make the changes in their lives that are important. With that being said, I really did not have a frame of reference to understand how Sarah might make some changes in my life, but I was willing to find out.
Sarah presents herself in a confident and cheery, non-threatening manner. She has a “Can-Do” manner which really helps when we must face things in ourselves that we would like to improve. Sarah asked me what I would like for her to help with. I braced and responded, “Sarah, I need to lose weight.”
Sarah responded that “need” was the wrong verb to use and that it implied some degree of desperation. I agreed that it did, but perhaps it was accurate, since I did feel desperate to get the weight off.
Not only do I need to get the weight off, but I need to get in shape too – and I know that it’s not going to be easy! After all, I had a left total hip replacement 3 months ago and was tired of not completely having my life back. I gained 10 pounds since surgery and that is not a good direction to continue…
Around the same time that I met with Sarah, I decided to also cough up $20 and join “The Biggest Loser Contest” at Nova (How lame would it be if I came last place!?). To start the competition, I got a BIA done…Karen, the nurse team lead in Ashburn, got me through it. It really was not that bad, but I learned that my BMI is 26% and it needs to be below 25%.
Sarah asked me “How would you like to approach this goal?” I responded that I eat quite well, but I need to cut out drinking all alcohol and I need to work out. She asked me what was blocking me from doing this. I responded, ”Getting it on my calendar.”
I was really embarrassed that I was not capable of getting this on my calendar, I mean really…!!!!! I was worried that Sarah might pass some judgment about this, but she did not. She said, “Well, let’s do that right now.” So, we did. I booked a time on Monday and Friday to work out and then planned to get up every morning, to have some time for myself before the children got up. I would go through some gentle workouts at home, as instructed by my Physical Therapist.
She suggested, rather than cutting wine all together, how about limiting to just one or two glasses per week, versus my 5-6 routine? That sounded good to me. Sarah reminded me that she would be checking up on me and that if I was not adhering to these simple changes, to write down the issues that were blocking me from achieving my goals.
So, since then, (1 week), I have worked out three times, performed my PT workout daily, met with a personal trainer twice and am now scheduled to do so every Monday and Friday at 8 AM. That time works and is not as difficult as my prior routine of getting up at 5:30 AM and working out in my home. Once I get back in the routine, I think that I can rely on myself to do this more at home, but for now, I need the accountability to Sarah and my Personal Trainer. I also signed up for a weekly Pilates Class, but am required to have 4 private sessions before starting. I will learn to use the Reformer for the first time. Yes, it is true… you can teach an old dog new tricks!
And… I met my girlfriends for dinner for Friday evening, had a seafood salad and one glass of wine. I was satisfied with an unsweetened ice tea thereafter.
So, I have my weekly weigh in tomorrow for the “Biggest Loser” competition. I intend on winning that pot of cash that is now at $700 (Now that Cyndi S. has joined up…)! Yes, the competition is fierce, but I am intent on making a good showing…if not winning that cash! If I’m not the overall winner, maybe I will just enjoy losing a few pounds and feeling a bit better about how I look and feel.
So, I now understand how a Wellness Coach can help me. She has motivated me to tackle something that I do not like about myself and must change, and…..I am having some fun doing it!
I am currently chowing down some Kale Salad for lunch, because my loyal colleague Megan is competing against me and this will definitely give me an edge today. She ran 2 miles yesterday though, so, the pressure is on! Just about three months to go to reach my goal of losing 23 pounds.
I will keep you posted….
-Posted by Grace Keenan, MD