Monday, December 30, 2013

Final thoughts


It's hard to believe it's been twelve weeks already! It's been a road of ups and downs for me. I came into this thinking I could just change everything overnight and found out that I was wrong. I was disappointed at first, but thanks to some great conversations with Michelle Graham from the YMCA, I learned to think of what my accomplishments were each week rather than what my failures were.

My number one goal was to quit smoking. I found myself cheating once in a while and sneaking a smoke here and there, but my goal was to quit completely, so I did, cold turkey. The first week was tough, but with each passing day I found that the urges would go away as quickly as they came on. I have been tobacco free for over two weeks now and it gets easier every day. I can feel a difference already and it feels good to know that I don't smell like a smoker anymore as well.

Now that I have kicked the smoking habit, I can focus more on fitness and healthy eating. Trying to do it all at once was just a little more change than I could handle at once. With that said, I can say that I didn't lose any weight. At first I found myself noshing a bit more, but I have been trying lately to make a conscious effort not to replace smoking with snacking.  

I am thankful for the BetterU program, and thankful that they picked me. It gave me the motivation I needed to make positive change. This time next year I will be able to look back and say that in the last year I gave up cigarettes, embraced exercise, and learned how to make healthier food choices.


Twelve weeks are finally done and this is my last post, so let’s see what I have learned:
You never know how a person lives their life just by looking at them.
Some of us are capable of big changes, some of us make smaller ones over longer periods.
Habit’s might not be broken, but they can evolve.
All movement is forward movement.
Fruit is ……okay. :)

The pictures in the American Heart Association book of all the different women wearing red outfits was the first thing I noticed, they were all shapes and sizes.  Maybe, I thought to myself, being slim isn’t the goal? Perhaps, it is important to look at what is going on inside and if I need to make changes there.

Some of us made huge changes in such a short time frame, they accomplished in 12 weeks what I have been struggling with for 5 years. But does it matter how long it takes? Does it matter if you just change one thing at a time or if you make sweeping changes? I don’t think so, I think it all count’s equally, it’s all a step forward.

Which brings me to habit’s, good & bad, everyone has them, so why not use them?  Hate breakfast, then put a small dish of finger foods by the computer and munch on dried fruit & nuts.  Hate to exercise, start walking, it’s only a mile to the store, walk there! Husband hat’s fish, then eat it for lunch at work.  I made some small change’s, I did them over and over until they became a habit. Good habits!

There was a plank challenge this fall that I started, I got to the 90 second and hated it so I quit doing the whole thing. But I knew I could do it so I went back to when it was fun and added it to my day. As a matter of fact, I just stood up from the computer and did a 45 second plank and 10 squats. Everything I do that is not just sitting here is a forward movement, it is a choice to live strong.

Meh, fruit……….. I do not get the fascination, but I will listen to others who are smarter than I and I guess I like dried cranberries & cherries!  Okay, honestly, I learned a lot about the food choices I was making and not just a “Don’t eat that!”  I look at WHERE my food comes from, WHAT is in my food and going in me, WHEN to buy my produce and WHY do I need this.  It is okay to be hungry, eat! Just eat more of the protein and less of the starch, look for fiber to balance your carbs, try new things. It’s about balance.

To finish, let me say, these are not the things I thought I would find when I started, although I’m not sure what I wanted to find.  I found out the Y is a really friendly place, despite the torture rooms.  I found ways to help myself and my family eat healthier, without turning our lives upside down.  I learned that I am doing a really good job at taking care of myself and to keep it moving forward.  Merry Christmas & Happiest New Year!

Oh! And Thank You, everyone!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Looking back on BetterU


Well, our 3 month program ends this week. It has been a great experience. Since the beginning of the program my main goal was to loose weight. As of today, I lost a total of 10 pounds in these 3 months! My goal was to loose 15 but I'm satisfied with the 10 as my original goal was to loose 35 by mid-January 2014. I have now lost a total of 30 pounds since January of this year. The program really came in perfect timing as my weight loss hit its plateau over the summer so this was just the kick I needed to jump start again! I really enjoyed the support and knowledge I gained from Michelle at the Y. She unknowingly helped me tap into my love for running by making me try the treadmill again. Now I can't imagine going more than 2 or 3 days without running. She has also helped me realize that working out is way more than just cardio, so from her Rip class I have totally gained the desire to continue and explore more with weight lifting to help further me in my new healthy/fit lifestyle. Michelle was also a huge motivator in helping me set and aspire to meeting little goals through out the process. I have also gained some knowledge on how to better incorporate nutrition into my life and fit it to my own personal lifestyle. Thanks BetterU for all of the motivation and the impact that you have had on my journey! 

Feeling blessed,

Patricia Hovorka: 

It’s hard to believe that 12 weeks have gone by already.  When I first started on this journey with BetterU, my goals were to lower my cholesterol through diet and exercise rather than through medication, to make healthier food choices, to get active and into a daily exercise routine, and to lose 20 pounds.  I am proud to say that I am well on my way to meeting all of these goals!

For all of us selected to participate in the North Country Better U Program, this was an amazing gift… a chance to change our lives for the better.  Along with the camaraderie of fellow participants, the program supplied us with the people, the resources, and the tools to help us achieve our goals.  I would like to truly thank all of our counselors, mentors, and coaches from the American Heart Association, Samaritan Medical Center, Dr. Joseph Wetterhahn and Gina Wetterhahn, the YMCA, Feed The Soul, and Joleene Moody for their patience, assistance, and guidance along the way.  They did an amazing job!!

I feel very blessed for having had this opportunity.  The knowledge I have acquired along with the confidence I feel will carry me forward as I work toward achieving my long term goals and living a happier and healthier life.