Debra Cochran joined the Journey to Wellness program offered by Hancock Health in late 2016. With support by Hancock’s nutrition, fitness and behavioral health experts, Debra gained knowledge needed for developing a healthier lifestyle.
“After just a few meetings, I knew that I could make the changes that I needed to make,” said Debra. “I was able to begin a lifestyle-changing program by making small steps every day and not becoming overwhelmed.”
Providing participants education which focuses on their unique, individual needs is important to the Journey to Wellness program. For Debra, some of the key lessons included the following:
- Learning the value of meal planning – With a full-time job, active community involvement and owning her own business, Debonair Marketing & Events, Debra maintains a busy schedule. Stopping for take-out or convenient fast-food options has been a time-saving convenience. However, Journey to Wellness helped Debra learn more about how to effectively plan, shop and prepare healthy meals at home. “Meal planning has been life changing for me. It alleviates so much stress. I work during the day, go workout, and have healthy foods ready to fix as soon as I get home,” said Debra. “It even helps me with meal shopping, eating foods I never would have tried, and has saved me money.”
- Experimenting with a variety of fitness equipment and programs – Exercise equipment and unfamiliar fitness classes can be intimidating. Therefore, Hancock’s team of fitness experts provide training and education to ensure proper use, confidence and encouragement for using the equipment.
- Maintaining accountability toward the goal of wellness – With tools such as recipe ideas, exercise tips, and food tracking apps, Debra received support which helped maintain personal accountability. Recording behaviors also helped break old habits and start new, healthier routines.
- Taking time to take care of me – “Knowing when to rest and appropriately pace myself is so important,” said Debra. “Whether it relates to exercise, eating or something else, I’ve learned that it’s okay to have an ‘off’ day and that I still can take care of my body and my health in many other ways.” For many, this is a valuable lesson which is key to adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
For Debra, and other Journey to Wellness participants, the Courage to Learn is a critical step in the path to improved health. Next, learn more about Debra’s Courage to Change. Check out Part 3 of Debra’s Journey to Wellness next week.