Happy Birthday to Me, The Wakeup Call I Needed
A Story by Ileana Miranda, Benefits Educator at Sapoznik Insurance
Visiting the doctor gave me the wakeup call that I needed. I had just turned 60 years old and went for my annual check-up. Everything seemed normal until the doctor prescribed cholesterol medicine. My heart sank. Never in my life did I have cholesterol issues, but on my 60th birthday, this changed. Happy birthday to me!
Having the attention of my doctor, I was desperate for him to give me another option. He told me it was time to get into shape, stop eating everything in sight and stop starving myself when I feel guilty.
Driving home from the appointment, I had a rush of feelings that I was forced to confront. Was the reason I was feeling uncomfortable with myself, not fitting into my clothing, and my lack of energy due to my unhealthy lifestyle? The wheels were turning in my head, and I knew I had to make a change.
At first glance, I may not appear unhealthy or overweight, but my body was telling me otherwise. There is nothing worse than feeling down about yourself, and my weak attempts to lose weight made me feel worse. Having turned 60, I thought my age was the reason I was feeling increasingly tired. It wasn’t. It was my poor diet and my on the go lifestyle that had finally caught with me.
Having observed our internal health and wellness efforts over my tenure at Sapoznik, provided me the environment I needed to make a change. They offered seminars for healthy eating, rumba classes and so much more. But frankly, I wasn’t ready to make the drastic change that I needed to. My responsibilities at work require that I am available to clients at any given moment, thus spending most of my time on the road. I convinced myself that eating fast food multiple times a week was the only option.
Enter Sapoznik’s latest endeavor, UnitedHealthcare’s Real Appeal. Real Appeal is a weight loss program designed to help people like me learn how to lead a healthy lifestyle. The program is provided to eligible members over the age of 18 at no additional cost as part of our benefit plan with United. Through Sapoznik’s partnership, they provide support, instructions and one-on-one coaching. Taking an active role in my diet, I have lost 30 pounds in three months.
At this point, I don’t even consider it a diet. It is a lifestyle change, and approaching it one day at a time has made all the difference. The best part about the program is that the weight loss is sustainable.
The biggest lesson that I have learned is that there is no secret to healthy eating habits; it is taking the time to prepare your food in advance and not waiting until the last minute. In the moments where I feel weak, it is incredible to have a support system to get me back on track. Not only have I lost the weight, but I feel amazing on the inside and found a new pep in my step. Spending time with family is a joy. Sharing jeans with my daughter is a bonus, and not having to take cholesterol medication is the cherry on top.