Baptist team member Linda Schultz knows something about battling weight. Beginning in her 20s, Linda worked to lose 60 pounds, only to be derailed years later by life and habits. Fast forward to today and life has a similar theme but perhaps with more hope as she has dropped just shy of 100 pounds.
When HumanaVitality arrived at Baptist in 2013, Linda viewed it as a positive for her. With her family history rife with heart disease and obesity, she first considered a surgical option. “I had already started losing on my own, so the insurance company turned me down. I was so mad it motivated me to do it on my own!”
At 46, Linda faced a reality known to many Americans. With 25 years behind a computer, stress and a penchant for junk food, her weight had increased.
Once she joined HumanaVitality, Linda made a plan. “I went to the gym at 3 a.m. to avoid seeing a lot of people. At first, all I could do was ride the bike for 15 minutes.” She eventually worked herself up to more than an hour and a half, working in other exercises. She bought a Fitbit and began using information to her advantage.
“I began to figure out how I could use my steps and gym time to get points,” she said. More importantly in her case, she uses MyFitnessPal to log meals and food, which gives her points through HumanaVitality. This also helps her with breaking down her diet to analyze sugar, fat and carbohydrates and gives her a clear picture of just how much of each she could eat. “It’s like studying what makes you tick.” As her weight dropped, she was able to stop her high blood pressure medication. Insulin resistant now, she is hoping to manage it only through diet in the future.
Linda believes following a prescribed diet fits her needs. “I love junk food. Now, I follow this diet but occasionally splurge on something like McDonald’s French fries or pizza but get right back on target. The diet has healthy snacks and breakfast foods that I keep here at work, which is a key to success.”
Support also has been a key to Linda’s continued success. Her sister has lost weight, and she knows firsthand the pressures of family. Linda also points to her faith as her primary source of support. “I couldn’t do this without God and His strength. The glory is His.”
Linda knows the struggle against obesity, past and present, and views HumanaVitality not as a program but a lifelong commitment. Her advice to others who feel overwhelmed is simple. “I would love to help people. If I can do this, you can do this, too.”