Mary and Karen: Results improve over a hot month

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 9, 2018

One of the funniest things that has happened since we started reporting on a yearlong wellness program in the Post just got obliterated. Several years ago, one of our participants was in the line about to order at McDonald’s and a reader walked up to say, “Should you really be eating here?” I was told that the participant left without placing an order.

A good personal trainer has eyes everywhere, and just a few days ago, Karen Leonard had to wait on a group of runners to pass by on the sidewalk before she could turn into Krispy Kreme. I heard those runners hollered, “You don’t want to do that. It’s not worth it!”

Karen drove on in anyway and was reported to load her car with donuts. “For work,” she said! Karen admitted that she felt like driving on over to the police station and turning herself in.

It’s a good thing that the whole month didn’t go that way. Mary Burridge, project manager at Smart Start, actually starting eating fruit and vegetables!! She also pushed her son in a stroller at the recent United Way Sunrise 5K. Mary said, “I know full well that my time was TERRIBLE and I only won 1st place because there were just two females in my age group (and we were both pushing strollers). That medal has given me a desire to want to push harder so that I can truly earn another one. I am thankful for that medal. I think God allowed me to receive that as an incentive to keep pushing.”

Mary also went back to visit Novant Health registered dietician Michelle Henrickson. She said, “I was questioning my nutrition intake. This proved to be a very helpful reminder of how/what to eat. Michelle is a fountain of knowledge and she offers great support especially since she knows and understands my history of bariatric surgery.”

Karen, activities director at Oak Park Retirement, found a way to ramp up her exercise intensity. Karen said, “Yes, two runs in a day has been a big highlight for me. It allows me to increase the intensity of the workout for the day and work around my schedule at the same time. Another highlight is just my overall quality of life. I feel much better by eating healthy and exercising each day. I can tell a huge difference in my overall well-being.”

While both ladies have busy schedules, I continue to ask for more intensity and variety to better continue the improvement. I reminded them that our weather is going to improve. Mary said, “My goal is to be at the gym seven days a week. I know this is a big commitment but since classes rarely fit my schedule, I have to do something to make my body continue to change. In January, what I am doing now was completely new and therefore I saw positive changes. However, my body sees what I am doing now as the new normal, so the results aren’t there. I have to ramp it up, so that my body knows that I’m still serious.”

Karen said, “As far as ramping up the intensity, I plan to increase the distance I am running on my second run of the day. Variety will come by adding another workout day to the week in September.”

Mary has dropped a total of 38 pounds and wants seven more in September. She has been working with Rayna Gardner at the Forum to find the right classes to attend. Karen is down 16 but has made huge cardiovascular gains and wants four less pounds at the end of September. Both ladies have lost dress sizes.

The next goal for both are these strength and conditioning classes. Mary said, “While I would love to attend a full one-hour class, making 30 minutes of a class will be better than nothing. This would be in addition to my AM hour workout.”

It sounds to me like both ladies are starting to get it. To emphasize the point, Karen said, “I promise I don’t even want a doughnut!!” That is good because lots of eyes are watching.

See you back here at the end of September!