September’s Health Hero: Those Who Are Taking The Steps

Posted by: | September 7, 2010

“This is your life. No one else’s.”

This is the phrase that spurred Mahara to action about her health after years of avoidance.

Mahara’s doctor had been telling her to lose weight for quite a while,  but she had heard it all before. It was only when she changed doctors and heard the same thing, but in a different voice, that she realized there was a real problem. 

It was at this critical point that she learned about the 12 Weeks to Wellness program, offered free through the Employee Family Assistance Program.  Through life coaching, health assessments and nutritional counseling, Mahara started thinking more deeply about her body and her life.  She came to understand that her life was her own; that she was the sole person responsible for making her life (and her body) feel good.  Thus, Mahara began making steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

Mahara has since joined an after-work boot camp coordinated by her department.  Since the class is right at the end of her workday, she now has a solid reason to leave work on time.  Having the class right after work, at work, has meant that she arrives home with more energy to do the everyday stuff of home life.

She talks about how she feels stronger to face life’s challenges because her fitness program has taught her that she can do far more than she believed was possible.  She tells me that she thought she would never find relief from the chronic back pain she has from an injury 3 years ago, but now finds that her pain is better due to her newly found core strength. 

A few of Mahara’s tips for making a healthy change:

  • Consider help, such as a personal trainer, to help you stay on track and focus on your goals.
  • Realize that you have to push yourself in order to get results.
  • It’s good to have a buddy, but don’t ditch out if he/she does. Go on your own: take responsibility for your own health.

I meet people who know they need to lose weight every day at UBC.  In talking to Mahara, I learned more about how difficult it is to start a new fitness routine, particularly for someone struggling with weight issues. 

Thanks to Mahara for so candidly sharing her story, and for taking on the challenge to make change every day, with cooking different meals, sharing her successes and challenges and continuing to push to reach her goals.

We dedicate September to all UBC staff and faculty who are taking steps to reach their own health goals.

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One Response to “September’s Health Hero: Those Who Are Taking The Steps”

  1. Dana says:

    Congratulations Mahara! Beautiful story.

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