Joslyn Pribble is Methodist Health: Gaining momentum.
By Joslyn Pribble
1. Congratulations on reaching month three of I am Methodist Health. What has been your biggest hurdle to overcome?
This month, I have had to face those old, nagging desires and bad habits that seem to creep back into my life when I least expect them. After seeing success in this wellness program, it is very easy to talk yourself into thinking that just one treat is okay. In fact, I think I deserve it. I have also thought that it may not be necessary to track everything that I eat every day. Fortunately, with the new skills I have learned, I realize that these are sabotaging behaviors that can lead me down the wrong path. It is definitely hard to stay strong and follow the new path I have discovered instead of falling back onto the old, tempting one. As we near the end of this program, I have come to fully realize that this journey is as much about dealing with the reasons why I chose not to eat well and exercise as it is with actually making healthier choices. I have come to appreciate the emotional piece of the fight for better health and the deep-seeded desire to go back to the former comfortable and satisfying ways. This is much more than just a weight-loss or fitness program. This truly is a life-altering process of learning healthy habits to take me through the rest of my life.
2. What Methodist resources are you using to help you make these changes?
Keeping up with these changes requires many pieces to be successful. Having co-workers who are on the same journey with me has helped tremendously. Knowing that others are facing the same struggles can be so uplifting. It’s great to openly discuss what’s working and what doesn’t. I cannot over emphasize the importance of those leading this program. Having Karen as a health coach has been more helpful than I can ever express. She helped me prepare for the challenges of eating out. That can be really scary when you are just learning healthy habits and how to not give into the temptation of a basket of chips. She also helped me deal with the ups and downs that everyone faces when making significant life changes. What I like best is that she doesn’t just hand me the answer, she asks me the questions to make me think about given situations. I have learned more about nutrition, diet, exercise, and stress management in the past few weeks than I have learned in my entire life. One other resource that I am immensely thankful for is my fitness trainer, Ginnie. She has shown me that I am strong and can do exercises that I never thought possible. She challenges me, never judges, and always pushes me to go just a little bit harder and further. I cannot fully express how important it is to have all of these resources at your side when you go into a major lifestyle change. We are very fortunate to have so many great people to help us at Methodist Health System. They want nothing more than to help us be successful.
3. What progress have you made this month?
Over the last month, my weight has continued to drop as has my clothing size. While those are major milestones, I think the bigger changes I have seen are increased endurance and my ability to make better choices. I simply feel better. I can walk faster, longer, and farther. It has become second nature to actually think of the nutritional value of everything I eat. Making the healthy choice is easier than I expected. I have a much easier time passing by the unhealthy choice because I know how hard I have worked during this program and I am not willing to derail my continued success for one weak moment and a temporary satisfaction. I believe the progress this month has been more on an intellectual level than on a physical one. I am seeing all of the information and work come together to create the total package.
4. What advice do you give your co-workers to help motivate them to make healthy lifestyle changes?
Get a buddy to go through this with you. It is much easier to have someone with you, especially if it is a friend or family member. I encourage everyone to work with their local health coach. That is such a wonderful (and free!) benefit to access when you really need it. This is a very personal journey for each individual and you have to be ready to embrace the necessary changes. I want my co-workers to dedicate themselves to a healthy lifestyle and know that I am here to support them. I ask each person to give up the fear and leave behind the excuses as to why they can’t do this when I know that they all can.
In February, my biggest sense of accomplishment came when a co-worker that I see infrequently did not recognize me! She smiled politely and said “Hi.” As I was leaving the room, I heard her ask, “Is that Joslyn? She is a shadow of her former self!” It felt so great to be nearly unrecognizable because I am thinner and much healthier. I even heard about people who asked others in the lab if we had a new employee because they had not seen me before that day. They had seen me before alright — just a whole lot more of me!