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Wellness Journey: Employee Finds Success in Mission Nutrition Challenge

by on August 29, 2016

AEP cares about the safety, health and well-being of its employees. All employees are invited to share their stories about the changes they are making to live healthier lives. This “Wellness Journey” is from  Lori Stedman, IT support technician sr., New Albany Data Center. These articles represent only the views and opinions of the employee and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of AEP.

Lori Stedman, prior to (left) and after (right) a more healthy lifestyle by using what she learned in the Mission Nutrition Challenge.

Where I was and how I got there:

I was overweight. I had gained a lot of weight in the last two to three years. And I found that weight was not as easy to take off as it was when I was younger. I tried diets and exercise programs, even joining a gym close to my home. Nothing was working and that realization became a reason for “emotional eating.”

My turning point:

I decided to try the Mission Nutrition Challenge in March of this year, through the AEP Wellness Program and Healthways. The four-week program provided education about reading food labels’ nutritional information, including serving size, calories, fats and carbohydrates.

Significant changes:

I began to pay more attention to labels, ingredients, healthy ways to prepare food and what was considered a healthy snack. If the weather was nice, I would take a walk. In the beginning those walks may have only been 5 or 10 minutes, but at least I was moving.

Staying on track:

The biggest takeaway for me was portion size. This is something I had never really paid attention to in the past. Growing up, we were always taught to clean our plates. What an eye-opener! A normal portion of food is actually quite small in comparison to the plates of food I used to get served at home or in restaurants! Before I knew it, I had lost 25 pounds.

Paying it forward:

I think you have to be in the right mindset to be successful. For me, it was telling myself that if I quit dwelling on being unsuccessful at weight loss, I might just end up being successful after all! Maintaining the weight loss consists of reminding myself to only eat if I am hungry – not because I’m bored and not because I have the blues that day – and when I do eat, to try to make healthy choices.

Do you have a wellness journey you’d like to share? Your story can be about weight loss, overcoming an illness or condition, maintaining good health habits or some other topic related to well-being. Just send an email to dpwaitkus@aep.com.

From → Wellness

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