Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Individual Interview . . . and a little reminder

Last week our tool was to make a "Bucket List" about lifestyle change. Not just a list, but also why it is on our bucket list. This week we clarified what a bucket list is. One person said it represented goals, and another said dreams and hopes, and still another said it represented her, and who she is. All of the answers are correct. The goal of this exercise was so we can remember what it is we most want out of this journey. The bucket list in the movie represented all the things the man wanted to do, that he had never done, before his soon approaching death. For me, the bucket list represent why I work so hard at the emotional part of this journey, why I don't just stop and sit down, why I challenge the racket like I do, and why I work so diligently to keep shame out of my space. I want to remind myself of all the things that are important enough for me to keep pushing forward. It IS worth it. My bucket list changes from time to time, but what does not change is why I continue to move forward in lifestyle change. Maybe we all need to look at our bucket list monthly or so and revise it when necessary. It is a wonderful reminder of the joy that can come from this journey.

Our second individual interview is with K.T. Champion. It is interesting to see how different our journeys can be, yet still the same in many ways. Enjoy!

Individual Interview
What is your name?
KT Champion

Who is your family and additional support system outside of H.O.P.E.?
Husband Tim and 3 children Julie, Paul and Will
Workout partner, a few friends, Maggie, Meredith and Joan

How long have you been a H.O.P.E Participant?
4+ years

What is the most useful tool you have received in H.O.P.E. and why?
Eat less……move more. I believe that people have issues with weight and wellness for a variety of reasons. Just as we have different reasons for becoming overweight-different eating plans and exercises work for some and not others. No commercially available food plan has ever worked for me. I do pay attention to carbohydrates and portion sizes but I basically eat less and move more. I do try to say aloud if I am eating for emotional needs and I remind myself constantly that food is fuel for my body and that’s all it is. For me there has been no magic to this journey just a lot of hard work and changes in my self talk. Mindfulness with regard to food as well as exercises that include aerobics and strengthening have been keys to my success. I did start with water aerobics and then moved to “land” exercises. It has taken a lot more exercise (and a lot harder forms of exercise) than I envisioned for myself at the beginning of this journey. I guess I really picked two tools: 1. eat less, move more and 2.mindfulness. If I could pick a third it would be 3. “changing my self talk.”

What has been your greatest accomplishment through the H.O.P.E. program?
I have lost 70 pounds and 80 inches but an even greater accomplishment is developing my ability to navigate this journey. Food choices, exercise, lifestyle change, health and wellness are subjects that will be with me forever. In the last 4 years I have experienced medication changes, surgeries, work schedule changes, sleep issues , a new diagnosis of complex PTSD and a new diagnosis of diabetes (after losing 50 pounds) that have challenged my journey negotiation skills.

What has been your greatest challenge on your journey of lifestyle change?
My greatest challenge has been learning to put myself first and to continue to juggle my ever changing schedule so that I can have the right amount of time for me.

What does the H.O.P.E. program mean to you personally?
The H.O.P.E program has changed my life in many areas by teaching me the tools needed to make the changes I have made in my life. I continue to come to H.O.P.E. because this is a journey with no prize, no finish line, and no magic weight at the end. Coming to the meetings is like a “booster shot” for me to help keep me on track and provide much needed support from safe people.

Can you share some words of wisdom with others who are just beginning their journey of lifestyle change?
“It is what it is.” I cannot change my genetic make up or my life experiences but I can choose to handle myself with gentleness and compassion. I can choose positive persistence in my continuing journey of lifestyle change.

1 comment:

Janice said...

Congratulations KT for all that you have accomplished! Seventy pounds is fabulous, especially in the midst of the curve balls that have come your way. "Eat Less, Move More" is a great motto to live by. Thanks for being willing to share.