We recently sat down with Jennifer, to hear her inspiring journey to better health using the Motion Connected tools provided by her employer. She found her true motivation to stay focused on living a healthy lifestyle, as defined by her unique situation, all within a pandemic.
Here's what she had to say about her journey:
For Christmas I asked for a Fitbit. I thought if I got a Fitbit that would motivate me and kind of hold me accountable. It was something visual I could see. I thought okay, January 1st, 2020, I’m going to get fit. But at the end of 2019, I got a cold and got really sick—it was difficult to breathe and I was a smoker.
I had gone to the doctor and realized I needed to quit smoking to get better. I noticed “the New Year New You” to help you stop smoking in my Motion Connected Scorecard.
I met with a coach and I thought okay, now this is my fresh start. It was around February and I was ready to start exercising, but then I got seriously sick again. I was run down and exhausted. The doctor recommended CT scans and many other tests.
Going into quarantine, I got diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I thought, how am I going to get to gold status now? Some days I felt really low and I could only do 1,000 steps. So I started looking at what I COULD DO—the modules, I learned about sugar and other health topics. I kept working and pushing myself and thought wow, I’m almost there!
| At the beginning of 2020 my energy level was so low, and I didn’t think I could make it.
But now, I realized you can do this even if you have a chronic condition.
When I first told people that I wanted to make a healthy lifestyle change, everyone said, “Do it for yourself, do it for you, not anyone else."
But my granddaughter really inspired me, and I was going to do this for the two of us. You know kids, they have crazy amounts of energy, and my granddaughter lives with me—we do everything together. She’s my whole world. I wanted the energy to do things with her, and she would notice when I wasn’t feeling well too. I thought, I have to do better. I wanted to get healthy not just for myself but for her too.
I have to live with this chronic condition, but I can still enjoy life—and have energy. Before, I needed every bit of energy just to get to work and then go straight to bed when I got home. When I started getting active and feeling better, it was like wow!-- this is good for me. I was getting my steps in, and I wanted to do more.
I also reminded myself that smoking was a very expensive habit. To hold myself accountable I started saving money that I would have spent to buy cigarettes and putting it into an account for my granddaughter. I also saved enough money to buy a treadmill. I got it put together. Going to a gym wasn’t going to do it for me- so I found something that I could do during the wintertime. This wasn’t just something I was going to do for now, this was going to be a new lifestyle.
There were some things [ in the program] I wasn’t interested in, but I found what worked for me. I started out trying to get at least 4,000 steps per day, and now I strive for at least 6,000. And I did this all in less than a year, even with health issues. You just need to keep working at it.
I didn’t think of how this program could improve my health in the beginning, but I got there and was like wow, look what physical activity can do!
I realized that my chronic condition is something that’s going to be forever, instead of poor me, I said I’m going to get better. I’m still working on it—always looking for what the next step is. If I can do this in 10 months, during quarantine and with health issues, anyone can do this. I want to tell people if you don’t think you can do this, you can!