Living with a lifestyle change

Several of you have heard me call it “fat camp”, but the Sky Lakes Wellness Program deserves more respect than my jocularity implies. I love it, and adore the women working to help Klamath get healthier and “Live Young”.

Wellness is a lifestyle, not a quick diet or cleanse. It takes healthy eating habits and thoughtful exercise to live into your best possibility. The local Wellness team is led by Medical Director Stephanie Van Dyke, and Program Director Katherine Pope. They are assisted by Dietitian Jen Lehman, Therapist Jeanette Rutherford, and Administrative Assistant Stephanie Scott.

The program is a yearlong commitment, but I believe there will be short-term opportunities at the clinic in the months to come, such as cooking and yoga classes.

I’ll graduate March 17 and have had the support of the staff and my fellow cohort members to be more thoughtful about my relationship with food and exercise.

If you look at my childhood photos, you’ll see there is a shift in my weight (upwards) in third grade. What happened? Well, for those of us who have worked in the healthcare field, I’ll say I encountered an ACE (adverse childhood experience). My paternal grandmother died. She was my adult and a professional cook. My mourning turned to eating, and it showed.

In high school, I lost a considerable amount of weight. I kept it off for a while, but went back to eating junk food when I heard one of my track teammates had an abortion. I didn’t judge her for the decision; I felt very bad that she was placed in the situation of having to make that decision. I wasn’t 16 yet, and it felt like the world was making us grow up faster than necessary.

Many years later, I would see a John Candy movie and remember he died of a heart attack. I thought I looked a lot like Candy with all the weight. Again, I brought it down and kept it off for a couple of years. Then Dr. Martha Anne Dow fell ill. Her executive staff did not talk about her illness and the implications; we ate comfort food. My liege was fighting for her life, and after a day of walking her through various documents macaroni and cheese was a reward.

Now I know that every day is a new day. One day of poor choices doesn’t mean I’ve blown it completely. I have more work to do, but I have unwavering support from my friends at the Wellness Clinic. I encourage everyone to check into Wellness by giving them a call at 541-880-2770.

The 20 hour class session topics include:

  1. Welcome
  2. Kickstart Nutrition
  3. Understanding Serving Sizes and Portion Control
  4. Move Those Muscles
  5. Healthy Eating
  6. Take Charge of What’s Around You
  7. Being Active, A Way of Life
  8. Problem Solving
  9. Tip the Calorie Balance
  10. Talk Back to Negative Thoughts
  11. Jump Start
  12. The Slippery Slope of Lifestyle Change
  13. Stay on Top of Physical Activity
  14. Ways to Stay Motivated
  15. Making Social Cues Work for You
  16. Healthy Eating Out
  17. Managing Stress
  18. Stepping up to Physical Activity
  19. Coping with Setbacks
  20. Summary

For me, one of the most memorable moments was last session, when I successfully sat on a balance ball. I did it for an hour and didn’t feel like a circus performer.

If you are looking for a change, give it a try. All you have to lose are some weight, bad thoughts, and poor habits.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s