Meet Stephanie - CMH employee and fit individualMeet Stephanie, a CMH employee and fit individual. 

Stephanie had a wake up call on her 31st birthday. Below, she describes her health transformation in her own words. We hope she serves as an inspiration for all of you.

Growing up, I was always moving. Outside, adventure seeking, swimming, playing ball, you name it, I was doing it! Until I got older... I became a lazy teenager that took advantage of my high metabolism and developed horrible eating habits! Especially, after I started my first job. However to top it off, I completely devastated my body in my 20’s. Not caring what I put into my mouth, NOT exercising, the lack of appropriate stress management and the lack of appreciation for my God given health. Between college, nursing school, studying countless hours, taking care of my sick Mother, having small children, married life, and every other excuse I can bring up... I did not take appropriate actions to preserve my health. 

So, onto my 30’s. My 31st birthday was about to come up, and I was having a conversation with my cousin (who is like a sister and the same age). She had reported to me that she (at 31 years of age) was on 12 different medications: of those including: blood pressure, hypothyroid, sleeping, anxiety medications, and pain pills for back pain. At that time, a light switch went off, because at the exact moment, i was about 15 lbs heavier than her! I was Momma Cass in the flesh! Not to mention, everything else that I was limited too because of my weight. I asked the question, “Well, how does she have all of these problems, and I don’t?” The answer was simple: NOT yet! I didn’t have those problems yet! Because we ALL know that if we do not take care of something (whether that be a plant, a car, etc), including our human bodies - it will quit working properly and die prematurely.

Body in September 2011:

Triglycerides: +300, B/P 140’s/90’s, Resting HR low 100’s, waist 54in, weight 230lbs, BMI 38.3 (class II obesity).

Dedication of my health in my 30’s - September 2011.

Tired of my inability, it was time to enable me. Slowly but surely I started incorporating exercise back into my life. Walking, eliptical, aerobics classes, and then (you guessed it) Zumba. Zumba changed my world! It was the reason I got up off the couch to go to the gym. A one hour class of 100% pure enjoyment yet you burn hundreds of calories. Sign me up!

Since September 2011, I have changed a lot of my ways: Lost 65lbs. Quit smoking. I enjoy eating God’s rainbow (fruits, vegetables, etc) - and yes, I still eat steak, potatoes, and rolls! Oh can’t forget chocolate cake!  I enjoy exercising and improving my body and health. I have learned to manage my stress through various ways. I go to church regularly (which makes about 100% of the previous allowable). All of these things did NOT happen over night. To make the change you have to go for it! Our health is priceless. Sorry, there is NOT a magic pill for this, only 100% dedication!

To pass on this love for health, I became a Zumba instructor! Don’t tell my students that I am having them exercise, because they will be in shock!  I instruct multiple classes throughout the week, and we have a great classroom environment... A carefree - worry free environment.

Find that one thing that clicks with you. There are lots of options in Bolivar, MO and the surrounding areas. Need suggestions or help, contact me!

My advice for people starting is: (a few of my lessons that I learned)

  • Take time everyday for yourself. If you don’t make the time today, you will tomorrow with sickness, diseases, mental illness, etc. - go on a walk, run, Zumba class, yoga, weight lifting, etc.
  • Take my advice: Don’t worry about anyone else in the gym because they are NOT worried about you.
  • Have a motto. Mine was “Excuses are for those who do NOT want something bad enough” and “Have you ever seen a fat runner? Keep trucking it and go!”
  • Take pictures of your progress (from start to finish). You will be glad you did!
  • Eat a variety of food! I adopted a clean diet, if a man made it somewhere (a factory or in an industrialized packed) or can stay on the shelf for more than a few days without spoiling, I probably do NOT want that in my body... Might mutate my genes - cough cough carcinogens.
  • QUIT the pop/soda/high sugar drinks/diet soda/alcohol beverages.. Diet soda is NOT a healthier option for you vs. the sweetened sodas. Drink water.
  • Remember: You are human. You will have good days. You will have bad days. Just keep focused on your mini-goals that you have set, and stick to them.
  • You can choose to eat whatever you want but in moderation, and No cutting the cake does not make the calories leak out of it. Sorry!

If I can do it, anyone can do it. Start with baby steps and work yourself up. I am still going strong after 2 years, and have even picked up biking. I am not saying it was easy because there was a LOT of frustration, sweat, and tears poured into 1lb weight loss, needless to say 65lbs! I have a BFF who have lost 122lbs! WOW!

My workout includes: Zumba (great way to get that dreaded cardio out of the way), lifting weights, walking, running, biking, & swimming. I do some kind of exercise everyday besides 1 day. I pick my days I am exercising and cannot make excuses, because you know what that means.

Body in January 2013:

Triglycerides: 79, B/P 110’s/60’s, Resting HR 50-60’s, waist 34in, down 65lbs, BMI <28.

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