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A happier, healthier you

Healthy Habit Heroes: Valerie’s Story

by Yes Health Team

Valerie had lost 90 pounds a few years ago, but when she found herself in pain with hip and knee problems and severe arthritis, she gained it all back. She was ready to try and lose the weight again, but this time she wanted it keep it off for good.

“I found myself under a lot of stress. I got laid off after working for the same company for 15 years. I injured my ankle and one thing led to another. When I was hurt, I got depressed. And when I was depressed, I used food as comfort. The weight I had lost all came back. I’m in my 50s, but I felt so much older.

With my new job came new insurance and I suddenly had a lot of options for extra support programs, like Yes Health. I was tired of being in pain and I needed someone to hold me accountable for the choices I was making. My grandfather and my mom both had diabetes and my sister may have it too. I wanted to do all I could to avoid going down that same path.

The Yes Health coaches helped me cut out processed sugar and watch my sodium. I learned to read ingredient labels. There’s a lot of sugar in milk. I had no idea! Even if something seems healthy, it’s not always good for you. It’s amazing how quickly certain foods affect my blood sugar. I feel so much better when I’m paying attention to what I’m eating and when.

I hit my 5% weight-loss goal within the first two weeks, so I reset the goal and the weight kept coming off. Sometimes it was just one or two pounds a week—not a lot but it adds up. I control my portions and eat more protein and fiber. For me this has been the key to steady weight loss. I also make choices that support both my health and my happiness. I’ll use yogurt in my salad dressing, but never on my tacos. A little sour cream is okay here and there, as long as I’m eating a balanced meal.

I’m competitive, so taking pictures of my meals, weighing myself with the wireless scale and monitoring my activity—whether it’s Zumba or weights—with my Fitbit keep me honest. I don’t like getting yellows (I’ve never gotten a red!), but I always learn something new from the comments. When I’m shopping and I grab a box of ice cream bars, I know I’m going to have to show the coaches, so 9 times out of 10 I put it back. It’s nice to know someone is checking in on me.

I avoid processed foods and stay away from pasta. I do zoodles (zucchini noodles) now instead of spaghetti. I’ve found if I eat half the portion I think I need I’m usually satisfied. That was huge for me. I don’t feel like I’m on a diet. I still eat what I like, but in a way that works better for my body. I limit certain foods, but I don’t deprive myself. It’s all about balance.

I like that Yes Health supports a “most-things-in-moderation” approach. Instead of a whole candy bar, I’ll treat myself to a single Peppermint Patty. And instead of two pieces of pizza, I’ll have just one with some salad.

I’ve nearly lost all of the weight I had gained back and know I can keep it off because I’m living differently than I was before. I’m always telling people they should download the app. This program really works.”

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