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Being Committed to Wellness

Choosing wellness is such a challenging decision to make. Think about it, on TV you are bombarded with ads talking about liposuction, new crazy dance exercises that say we are the best to get that sexy body, ads for new fandangle exercise equipment that can whip your butt into shape fast, and eating plans that promise a significant amount of weight loss with the least amount of work. It is so overwhelming. It is enough to make a grown man or woman crawl under the bed and cry and hide from the world. I have read a ton of diet books, seen a ton of ads on the TV in my 42 years on this earth. It drives me bonkers. It has stalemated me from making a commitment for my own wellness. I have done some of these crazy things, from starving myself, to eating only this one set of foods, and crazy diet fads. I have even considered having bariatric surgery in hope that it would be a simple and easy solution, believe me it isn’t. A couple of years ago, I quit. I stopped believing in fad eating plans and exercise regimens that hurt me more than help me. It was getting too overwhelming. I felt overwhelmed and overly emotional because I kept hitting this giant wall of failure, of contempt, of wellness sabotage. Stop I yelled a lot.

I have been overweight my entire life. I am smaller than I was ten years ago, but bigger than I was in high school. A long time ago, I gave up on getting that bikini body. I am not built for that. My goal has been for a long just to be strong physically, mentally, and emotionally, and feed my body what it needs. And not to rely on my emotions to feed my body. I did forget about one important component for living a wellness lifestyle. That is commitment. Being committed to a set of goals that will lead me to where I want to go. I now know that I have to stop listening to the propaganda of the media, celebrities, and self-proclaimed gurus.

While talking to my friend Summer. Who I have interviewed and who is partnered with Karen Clemenson from Wellness Works NW both in business and marriage. I had an epiphany. You see, Summer and I have known each other since our young teenager days. We have been overweight together. We have bemoaned the perils of being obese, and are now even sharing our woes of having chronic illness’ that would be alleviated if we shed a few pounds. Both of our chronic illnesses will not be cured, but they will make living a wellness lifestyle much easier. We have watched each other grow, decline, and get sick because of our choices. She was talking about making the decision to be committed to her own wellness path. That hit me in my own heart and my own soul and it hurt. I haven’t been fully committed to my wellness when it comes to nutrition or exercise. I want fast results. I want it to be taken off in a matter of days and not the years it is going to take. I haven’t accepted that I have to be committed like I have been towards other things in my life. Why is it so easy to be committed to others, but when it comes to ourselves it is hard? I don’t claim to have the answer to that conundrum. I doubt anyone does. WE humans have so many complexing reasons for making the decisions that we do. But I do know some things that I am learning on this journey.

  1. Wellness goals are not a one size fits all decision. WE all have different needs. Require different nutrition and even different types of movement. For me doing any type of cardio is out of the question due to my tracheal stenosis. Most nutritionists and exercise gurus do not take that into account. I know Karen does and that is why I’m thankful she is on my team and on my friend Summer’s team.
  2. Letting go of the image we want because we want to be acceptable to the public, our friends, our family, or spouse is hard to let go of. It is a down right tug-a-war. At least for me it is. I’m slowly learning things about myself and my own thought life that I know will making choosing wellness easier.
  3. Support is vital. The right kind of support. The support where someone encourages you to exercise without being cruel about it. Encourages you to eat well and doesn’t try to sabotage your diet. Someone who understand sand accepts that you might say no if they go to places that will damage your health.

wwnw

Here is what Summer is learning and why she is a great support person for me and I am to her:

 

Summer Clemenson my rocking friend from Wellness Works NW, she does the book keeping and keeps Karen sane:

 

 

 

 

1) What is your experience in working with people with Chronic Conditions?

 

My experience with people living with Chronic Conditions is personal. In my own body and throughout my family and friends, there are also many chronic mental and or physical issues. All of these things cause us to live with necessary lifestyle changes and special rules so that we can all manage and work toward our personal states of wellness.

 

2) What are some of the chronic conditions you work with now?

 

I live with Morbid Obesity, Generalized Anxiety Disorder with Depression, Hiatal Hernia & Acid Reflux, Lipedema & cellulitis. My wife has high blood pressure and we both share a Pre-Diabetic state of being.

 

3) How do you hope to help those with Chronic Conditions to achieve their wellness goals?

 

For my wife and I, we encourage each other to eat a healthy and balanced diet and stay on our personal exercise plans. We also remind each other to ignore our inclinations to stay up all night and enjoy our natural state of being night owls so we can work and be social to the standard we enjoy. For ourselves and those we love, we cheer them on, as they reach their goals and encourage them when they experience failure to get back on track. When I have a huge flare up, my wife is gentle and generous with her time and help, whether that is help with leg care or doing the dishes because I am too weak to stand long enough to do them.

 

4) What is one exercise that your clients with chronic conditions have had success with doing?

 

I don’t know what it is called but the exercise I do at least once, daily is to lie on my back with one knee bent, and straighten the other, then bring the leg up to my chest, the best I can. This exercise works all muscles from my feet to my upper abs.

 

5) What is your approach to working with someone with a chronic condition?

 

I appreciate people who listen to me and ask questions but also are blunt to tell me what I need to know to live well with my conditions.

 

6) Are you willing to do your own research and find out the best way to help them?

 

Yes. I have done light research to understand my conditions and the conditions of the people around me. This helps me have compassion for them.

 

7) What are a few of your own wellness goals?

  1. Exercise for 15-30 minutes, 2 to 3 times per day. Increase reps as I become stronger.
  2. Once I reach my first goal of losing 25 more pounds, I will add walking to my routine.
  3. I want to be able to dance for an hour without pain; right now I can do 2-5 minutes.
  4. My next weight loss goal will be to lose 50 lbs so that I can say I have reached my high school graduation weight.
  5. I want to experience a 5K walk.
  6. I want to be able to wrestle and play on the floor with kids.
  7. I want to have the stamina necessary to have kids.
  8. I want to be able to walk the Boston Freedom Trail and shop all day with my nana, if that is what she wants to do.
  9. After that, I want to reach another weight loss goal of 50 lbs so that I can say I have reached my lowest adult weight.
  10. After that I want to keep being healthy and see where it takes me.

8) What are a few of your favorite tools that you have used for wellness?

 

The renewing of my mind. I have had to become honest with myself, accept my situation, hold myself responsible for what I can do to be well and…most important…stop making excuses!

 

Also having Karen measure me every Wednesday and keeping track of my weight when I go to the doctor…which for the last few months has been every 2 weeks.

 

9) What are some of your non-food rewards for reaching your goals?

 

Enjoying the feeling of success when I reach a new level of strength.

Enjoying the pride of my nephew making healthy choices.

Praising Jesus for helping us both.

 

10) What is one thing you would tell a person with a Chronic condition to focus on?

 

Own your body. Know it is yours. Appreciate what you can do and do something every day that leads to health regardless of how you feel physically or emotionally. Drs don’t know everything and they don’t know my body. They can give general ideas for what I should do, but I know how far I am willing to push myself and I know I have to push myself. My physical and emotional conditions are made worse by my weight, yet they also can make the pain worse—but if I don’t move my butt every day, I will die a miserable death and be a huge burden on my loved ones and I don’t have to let that happen. So balance in exercise, water intake and portion control is vital to reaching my goals.Isn’t Summer so inspirational? She is part of my support team.

Karen

I first met Karen Clemenson in 2002. She made me laugh and I made her laugh. I enjoy Karen’s encouraging way and her views on living a well life. I have enjoyed getting to know her and her infectious laugh while talking and hanging with her and my best friend Summer. We have had some interesting conversations and she has inspired me and I know I have inspired her.

Although, I am a positive person. I do have moments where I am negative. Especially when old triggers hit me or the worries of my health and money come in. Karen is ready to admit her own short comings and also find the solutions for herself and her family and even for those she trains. She has even helped me to recognize my own issues with food and exercise and tries to encourage me to keep on rocking. I hope I do the same for her. Although, Karen is not my trainer, she is still a vital part of my support team, along with her wife. They both have listened to my struggles and have tried to encourage me, even when I am grumpy about it. We forgive and allow each other to blossom to who we are.

 

Karen the Rocking lady of the gym from Wellness Works NW and my pal’s better half:

 

 

1) What is your experience in working with people with Chronic Conditions?

 

I am a personal trainer, wellness coach, fitness assessment technician, I have been a CNA and personal in home care provider as well as a counselor’s assistant.

 

2) What are some of the chronic conditions you work with now?

 

Diabetics 1&2, Fibromyalgia, all types of Arthritis, Obesity, Lupus, Bariatric surgery participants, High Blood Pressure, Mental Illness, Lipedema, Cellulitis, Stroke victims, Cancer warriors

 

3) How do you hope to help those with Chronic Conditions to achieve their wellness goals?

 

Developing a personal wellness program just for them; in that program I would like to establish some nutritional and fitness goals and help them stay focused on those goals.

 

4) What is one exercise that your clients with chronic conditions have had success with doing?

 

Exercising upper body, while seated in an upright chair.

 

5) What is your approach to working with someone with a chronic condition?

 

First of all we need to get a good evaluation of their past health history and their current health history. After that we want to try to get them to develop some goals because what is important, is what they want to do. Some people want to walk a 10 K, some people want to be able to walk to Safeway, and some people want to be able to get out of bed every day; it’s so personalized. The whole magic is in customizing a plan that they truly desire.

 

6) Are you willing to do your own research and find out the best way to help them?

 

I am currently doing that. This is the best way to do it.

 

7) What are a few of your own wellness goals?

 

I want to be able to manage my own high blood pressure and continue to walk my own wellness path which would be exercising at least 3 times per week, learning how to eat a more nutritional based meal plan; you never stop because you are always learning to do things better.

 

8) What are a few of your favorite tools that you have used for wellness?

 

Exercise. Better nutrition. Goal setting. Being a life-time learner and encourage others to be a life-time learner.

 

9) What are some of your non-food rewards for reaching your goals?

 

I am still working on that.

 

10) Why should someone choose you to be their trainer?

 

I think they should choose me to be their trainer because I am a solution oriented thinker; meaning that when most people come to me they are coming for a reason whether that is to be able to walk better or they need to stop smoking or any other reason. We are not just working together for no reason. I am the solution. I will work out with you. I will encourage you. I will constantly be looking for the solution.

 

11) What is one thing you would tell a person with a Chronic condition to focus on?

 

Remember that everyone is an individual.

 

If you would like to get in touch with Karen check out her website and or her Facebook page.

 

One Response so far.

  1. Great job Jamie! I would love to see your answers to your questions. Hugs!

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