CLEVELAND — My wellness journey began several months into the pandemic. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I admit I wasn’t happy with what I saw. My suits were a little too tight. Staying home meant I wasn’t exercising and I turned to food to help me cope.
As I asked around, I found out I wasn't alone.
There were so many people who were out there who were not only struggling with their weight loss but also going through what I call the mental health roller coaster. The pandemic was creating many stressors, and road-blocks to living a well-rounded healthy lifestyle.
So, my hope was to inspire other people to take control of not only their mental health but also their physical health. I wanted to demonstrate that not only are we going to get through this, but that we can get through this together.
It's why I partnered with the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Center, and two 3News viewers, Kim and Kati, to get things back on track.
The mission of the program wasn’t just about learning how to lose weight. It is about a full mind and body transformation in how you view food and your overall wellness. There were several things i learned. First, I had to understand that I didn't gain the weight overnight, I didn't get here overnight and it was going to take time.
Throughout this process, I had to say to myself a couple of times, it's going to be okay, you're going to get through it. Small changes lead to medium changes and medium changes lead to bigger changes.
There were some other things I admit I struggled with. I was anxious about acupuncture…and I admit, I'm not the biggest fan of yoga.
But there were other challenges, too. At some point, I hit a plateau. I was losing weight, and things were good, but then I just hit a wall where I wasn't losing any more weight. That was really hard for me, because then that meant okay, well, I need to adjust something to continue.
But there were some perks, too. My favorite part of the program of course involved food. Working with Chef Jim Perko, the Executive Chef at Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Center, taught me about the concept of making sure you're eating foods that love you back. Now, I'm always asking myself as I'm eating something - is this a food that's going to love me back?
So how did I do? Well, that depends on how you evaluate success.
When I went for my last appointment, there was good news and bad news. I'll share the bad news first - my cholesterol numbers were still fairly high. That's something I will continue to work on improving.
My other numbers were better - my vitamin B levels got better, and I am happy to report I lost 17 pounds. So many viewers contacted me to say that they noticed my face was looking slimmer, and I think 17 pounds is fantastic when you think about doing this over just a two month journey.
While I know I have more weight to lose, I have to appreciate the progress I have made. Committing to a healthy lifestyle takes commitment, it takes discipline, it takes time, and it also takes having a conversation with yourself and saying - I'm not happy with what I'm seeing in the mirror, I'm not happy with what is going on in my life. It's okay to have that conversation, and there's always an opportunity to for a fresh start, and a new you.
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Editor's Note: The below story aired on January 25, 2021