“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.
It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”
So Just recently I had an interview with the healthy at work program at my work. Now you may wonder why do I keep sharing my story? Well it's pretty simple. I want to help others who want to change transform their life also. And when I talk about transforming it doesn't have to be just weight loss. There could be many things in your life you are not happy with, and guess what you can change them. If it's something you can't change well then you just need to find a way to be happy with it. One thing I know from my experience is sometimes you don't realize you need or want to change. So sometimes you need others to reach out to help. If you have never been fit and healthy then you have nothing to compare your current situation to. If you have then what are you waiting for and why did you ever let it go? I am just here to tell you that you can make that change today. How? By believing in yourself and just getting started. Taking that first step. Below is my interview that will tell my story...well as best as it can be told since sometimes I have not idea how to tell it. It feels like a dream but I guarantee you this is a dream I will never wake up from.
New Year, Better You – Kimberly Weaver Did it and So Can You!
For those of us looking to the New Year and what resolutions we will set, take a moment to think about your health and if you are really living a healthy life and feeling good in your body. For many of us, making changes to our health can be challenging and progress can often ebb and flow. However, the important thing to remember is that you can do it. Healthy@Work sat down with Kimberly Weaver, RN, to learn about her inspiring story and how she lost over 50 pounds and went from a size 16 to a size 4. Oh…did we mention she can also lift 200 pounds?
Healthy@Work: Tell me about your journey to better health and how you lost over 50 pounds.
Kimberly: “This is sometimes a challenging question to answer since this journey some days feels unreal. I guess you could say I finally woke up. My body told me it was not just time to change my body but to change my life as well. I was really burned out in my career and had no idea how overweight and unhealthy I was. I found a gym that gave me the support I needed to be successful. I changed jobs to something I had a passion for and that didn't stress me out so much. I hired a trainer and started seeing results. I started feeling energized and happy. I met friends who were on the same journey as me. I was hooked. At the beginning I couldn't even do a pushup. I started doing fitness competitions which helped keep me motivated. For the last couple of years I have been competing in olympic weightlifting until recently ending up 4kg away from qualifying for a national competition and being set back by an injury. I have kept my weight off now for over 3 years. This is my life now and I am never going back.”
Healthy@Work: When you first started exercising, what types of exercises were you doing?
Kimberly: “I couldn’t do much when I first started exercising. I basically did modified push-ups, squats, weight machines, dumbbells and lots of cardio. I used the elliptical machine a lot since it is more gentle on the body. A little seemed like a lot at that point. I also started doing classes like boxing and boot camp. I found support in going to the classes because it helped being around other people and an instructor that was there to push me. In the beginning I was working out about four to six days a week and now I work out about four to five days a week but more intense.”
Healthy@Work: How has your diet changed from when you first started the process to now?
Kimberly: “My diet pretty much changes all the time but when I first started I was eating more of a bodybuilding style diet that included some bread and rice with meat, vegetables, and eggs. During the process I switched over to a paleo diet which consists of meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar. Now even through I am using the term diet this is a lifestyle. I was never successful doing scan diets because it didn't teach me how to live. It didn't focus on being healthy. This is a way of life for me. I focus on eating to be healthy and working out to be fit. I get up everyday striving to be better. This keeps me going. I pay attention to how everything I put in my mouth makes me feel good or bad. I listen to my body now and let it tell me how to eat. I make sure I eat well balanced meals with protein, carbs, and healthy fat. I eat every two to three hours which helps keep my metabolism going, keeps me burning calories throughout the day and helps prevent me from getting too hungry.”
Healthy@Work: Many people find it hard to maintain their weight loss after losing weight. You have been able to keep your weight off for three years. What has helped you maintain this weight loss successfully?
Kimberly: “I set goals to keep myself motivated. I have to have something to accomplish. Some days are better than others. I cheat on my diet sometimes but I don’t let it go too far. I have one ‘cheat meal’ and then I get right back at it. I keep an eye on the scale and I know in the mirror when I don’t look right and then I know to take action right away. I think goal setting is very important and my goals do change. I have short-term goals and long-term goals. That way you are always feeling successful and doing something but still having something to reach for and push you.”
Healthy@Work: For many people, the most common reason for not exercising is lack of time. What is your advice to those people who just can’t find time in their day for exercise?
Kimberly: “There really is no ‘too busy’ to exercise. If you don’t take care of yourself you can’t take care of anybody else. I don’t always have the energy after work to go to the gym but I do, I make it a priority in my life. I am often tired, exhausted even, but I go no matter what. It is what I have to do. After I exercise, I am happy I did it and I feel better. If I didn’t go I would feel terrible. I know I can gain the weight back at any time and I am not going to let that happen. I remind myself everyday who I used to be, how unhappy I was and how great I feel now and that just keeps me going.”
Healthy@Work: How important do you think it is for MultiCare to have a wellness program and improve the culture of health within the organization?
Kimberly: “I think it is huge. Healthcare workers are really the most unhealthy people and we are trying to take care of others and make them healthy. If we can’t be the example how are we going to tell them to be healthier? Many people, employees included, take too many medications for things that can be prevented by just eating right and exercising. If our employees are healthier and happier, we are going to set a great example for our patients and make a big difference. My happiness in my life transfers over to my patients and my career and I couldn't have done it without getting support from others and that is what Healthy@Work is for Multicare.”
Healthy@Work: How has the Healthy@Work Employee Wellness Program kept you motivated?
Kimberly: “I have participated in the physical activity challenges to record my workouts with a team with in my department. I have also done healthy potlucks in my department to try to motivate other people to make healthy food choices. The healthy changes in the cafeteria have really helped keep me on track. It gets hard to fix all my meals at home sometimes so at least I know if I don't have time to bring my own food I will be able to find a healthy option at work. When I get hungry during a busy day and need a quick snack, I can pop into the cafeteria and grab something to eat that I know is healthy and convenient.”
Healthy@Work: What would you say has been the best outcome from this process?
Kimberly: “The best outcome from this whole process has been happiness. I am happy now. I think all of it is great, from losing the weight, being proud of how I look, and just becoming fitter and healthier. But I have to say the mental part of it is a big deal. It allows me to care for people like I was never able to before. I enjoy life now like I never did before. I find myself doing things I never would have tried. My life has brought me in a totally different direction that I never would have imagined being possible. I am able to clean 200 pounds and dead lift over 325lbs and when I started I couldn’t even push my own body weight off the floor. Now that is an accomplishment.”
Healthy@Work: Do you have any goals you are setting for 2013?
Kimberly: “For 2013 I want to finish studying for my personal training certification. I currently have my USA Weightlifting Certification and a Crossfit Certification. Since I have been able to lose the weight it makes me want to reach out to others and help them realize they can accomplish the same thing. I am really nobody special, I am the same as everyone else – anybody can do what I have done. Whatever it is you want to do, you just set your mind to it and it is possible.”
Healthy@Work: Do you have any words of encouragement for other employees who are struggling with weight loss?
Kimberly: “I know how it is to be in denial about your life and your weight. I don’t think I even realized how bad things were until I changed and looked back at pictures of myself. I remember one time when I went shopping and was trying on clothes and got upset because I thought the mirrors in the dressing room made me look so fat. I walked out of the store angry….it was all the mirrors fault. I look back on that now and laugh. The mirror was telling me the truth but I just refused to believe it. I like the quote, “ a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ”You just have to take that first step and it will all come together and you will be able to accomplish what you want.”