Meet Wilma Davies
DTE Energy Employee for 14 years
Senior IT Business Analyst
In 2005, Wilma Davies decided to do something about her health. With a focus on healthy eating and increased activity in 1.5 years she went from a size 16 to a size 8 and has kept it off. It wasn't a' diet' (statistics tell us 95% of diets fail), but changes in behavior that have be key to Wilma's success.
How she did it:
- Eliminated refined carbohydrates like white sugar, flour and starches and incorporated whole grains (whole wheat flour, pasta, rice, etc.)
- Treats herself every now and then, but sticks with her high nutrient plan the majority of the time. (A treat is a treat, not an everyday occurrence).
- Eats off a salad plate (built in portion control).
- When dining out, immediately puts half her portion in a carryout container.
- Uses substitutes to increase nutrients and decrease calories. One of her favorites is mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes.
- Eats slow.
- Takes a 2 mile walk every day no matter what the conditions.
- As Wilma describes, she "got inside herself to do it." By journaling, she identified areas that were challenging. She was also able to express gratitude for her husband and daughter's support.
- Stopping wasn't an option she allowed herself to consider. When she felt 'out of sorts' she got right back on track regardless of what her 'mind' was telling her.
- Keeps herself motivated with new recipes, gadgets (she recently purchased a treadmill) and new goals. She wants to run a marathon next year!
- Realizes the importance of sleep to her overall health and as a link for weight loss and weight control.
American Heart Association
Wilma's brother passed away at 51 from a massive heart attack and her sister of a stroke at 55, six months after she took control of her health. Within two weeks of her sister's passing Wilma received an email about the American Heart Association (AHA) heart walk. She volunteered immediately and has been an active AHA champion every year.
Meet Bernice Jones
DTE Energy employee for 31 years
Office Administrator, Redford Service Center
Bernice knows what motivates her. In fact, she contacted EYL for this story to celebrate her health success and keep on track.
Since January of 2011, Bernice has lost 50 pounds, 8 dress sizes and 8 BMI points. She is halfway to her goal and knows the value of taking it one day at a time. She states, "I didn't gain overnight so it going to take some time, but when I am doing everything right and don't see the scale move, it can be frustrating."
Bernice credits her weight loss and healthy habits to Weight Watchers, but this time around, the right way. She lost 72 pounds right before her wedding 27 years ago with the program, but didn't follow the plan and often skipped meals. She signed up again with a health focus. Her ah-ha moment came when getting life insurance. Due to her BMI she was notified she had to pay an additional premium. Bernice had enough! Bernice states she wants to feel good, live a healthy lifestyle for 'herself', and be around for her kids and grandkids to come. With her health success so far she is feeling energized and as an added bonus, her premium was reduced.
- Use a pedometer. Bernice is what she calls 'pedometer obsessed.' She makes it a game and is currently on track to log 1 million steps by October 17th, her birthday!
- Have social support. Weight Watchers provides an opportunity to learn from one another. It helps to share struggles, receive support and come to terms that real success isn't always measured by the scale. It is often getting in touch with what is creating stress in your life and figuring out how to manage it.
- Eat breakfast. Put it in the car, your desk, purse, but do what you have to do to make it a priority.
- Exercise. Look at your life and find a way. (Bernice went from walking under a mile in 30 minutes to 4 miles in 60 minutes between the treadmill and elliptical.)
As Bernice says, "You don't have to be Jennifer Hudson to have Weight Watchers work. It can be successful for real people."
Bernice chose the exercise room at Redford for her photo because that is where she spends time at lunch working out. The elliptical and treadmill are her new companions, along with co-workers that have been inspired by her perseverance and commitment to health. Way to go, Bernice!
Meet Jason Hatfield
DTE Energy employee for 11 years
Technician, Grayling Service Center
Did you know … Grayling, Michigan is the number one place in the United States for canoeing racing and the strongest city in the country on the racing canoe circuit! No one knows this better than Jason Hatfield, from Grayling Service Center, who is a major contender in the annual AuSable River Canoe Marathon. Folks come from all of the U.S. and world to participate. The marathon is a challenging 120+ mile race (no stopping), taking 15 or more hours to complete, which means you are competing in the dark. It starts in the middle of town with participants running with their canoes in tow ¼ mile to the river.
Information about Jason:
- Started in 2006 when he moved to Grayling
- Enjoys the conditioning, community, family support (his wife is active and he sets a positive example for his kids 9 and 11), circuit community ('We look out for each other'), nature (often sees eagles, fish, geese, ducks, deer and bears!). He also enjoys teamwork (this is a 2-man race) and feeders (pit crew) follow them to provide food/fuel and hydration/drinks, pick up discarded materials and provide extra shirts, hats, rain equipment, etc.
- Training is year round! Jason runs, mountain bikes and paddles (even in the winter as the AuSable doesn't freeze), cross country skis, and lifts weights. Training is intensified months before the start of the race, usually in July. (FYI. Running is important (cross conditioning) because during the race you need to pick up the canoe after being seated for a length of time and portage - carry the canoe across a dam or set of big rapids).
- He eats a healthy diet and cooks at home
- Fits in conditioning when he can (early in the AM he may bike and then paddle at night).
How he recommends getting started:
- Start with small races (check out miracing.com - Michigan Canoe Racing Association)
- Find a person to help mentor
- Listen and take in all advice
- If serious, purchase your own canoe (the lighter the better)
- Have fun! Don't take it too seriously.
Jason came in an impressive 8th place out of 71 canoe entries!
To learn more visit www.ausablecanoemarathon.org. There are also YouTube videos from the race and a Facebook page.
Meet Karyn Kazyaka and Lorri Hanner
Case Coordinator, Case Management
DTE Energy Employee for 7 years
Legal Executive Assistant
DTE Energy employee for 10 years
Karyn Kazyaka spends much of her workday like 80% of Americans- basically sedentary with minimal activity throughout the day. Recently, she started to notice she was getting hip pain, which she was convinced was due to all the sitting. Although she was an active person outside of work- running, doing sit-ups and push-ups and taking yoga- the inactivity at work was starting to take a toll. She decided she needed to do something differently at work to help the pain. Karyn decided to forgo chatting with co-workers during her breaks and instead take walks. Soon after establishing her walking routine she noticed the hip pain lessened.
It wasn’t long before one of Karyn’s co-workers, Lorri Hanner, took notice of Karyn’s persistent walking. She found it inspiring and asked to join. Now, together, they walk everyday during their break at a very quick pace for 45-60 minutes (equal to three miles).
Karyn’s hip pain is thing of the past
Both feel more alert and awake; no more mid-afternoon sluggish feeling.
They find it relieves stress
They enjoy the social aspect – having the chance to share the experience with a friend and spend some time talking about family, friends and their lives outside of work.
They have inspired others in the department to walk, too.
Karyn and Lorri’s Steps to Success
By walking together it adds accountability; even if they don’t feel like waking they do it so as not to let the other one down.
They keep their shoes and socks in their desks so they are always prepared.
To keep it interesting, they mix up their walks by taking different routes, such as on the river walk, the DTE indoor route and (during bad weather) the DTE Energy parking structure.
To make it more of an aerobic workout, they avoid stopping, such as adjusting their route when lights turn red.
They track their laps by using post-it-notes on the wall. In addition, they know the distance of all of their walks. For instance, once around the parking structure floor is equal to 1/3 of a mile.
They also use pedometers they received from RedBrick Health.
It is great to see people taking charge of their health at work. And, it’s another example of how a small change in lifestyle, such as walking during breaks, can make a big difference in your health! Nice work and keep it up!
Meet Gershon “Gersh” Blumstein
Senior Continuous Improvement Specialist
DTE Energy Employee for 4 years
Like many of us, Gershon Blumstein found that as his age went up, so did his weight. He noticed he would get winded walking up a flight of stairs. His doctor also told him his blood pressure was creeping up and unless Gershon lost weight, he’d have to start taking medication. At that point, Gershon decided to do something about it. He knew he needed added support, so he turned to RedBrick Health (RBH)—EYL’s wellness partner.
Through RBH’s programs, Gershon lost 28 pounds—now fitting into clothes he couldn’t wear for years (including his wedding day suit)! He also reduced his blood pressure, allowing him to avoid taking medications. Some of the other benefits have been improved mood, more fulfilling work life and better sleep. So how did he do it?
Gershon’s Steps to Success
- Teamed with a RBH Phone Coach through the Weight Management coaching program for added support and accountability. This was a great way to get him started and to help make weight management a habit.
- Participated in RBH’s Winter Warm-Up Challenge.
- Completed Asset Health’s online courses.
- Boosted his mental and spiritual health by participating in the Meals on Wheels Care Corp activity and teaching martial arts at the Friendship Circle for special needs children.
- Continues to track his daily physical activity through Boost™—RBH’s online tracking tool.
Congratulations, Gershon, for remaining curious, challenged and open to new experiences along your health journey. You are an inspiration to us all!
Meet Steve Roberts
Distribution—Newport Service Center
DTE Energy Employee for 14 years
We all experience setbacks now and again. But what matters is how you choose to respond to those setbacks. Steve worked hard and lost about 50 pounds through Weight Watchers® and achieved Gold Key Status—only to gain it all back after eleven months. Instead of getting upset and giving up, Steve used this setback as motivation and chose to keep a positive outlook, stating, “It worked in the past, so why not try it again”. Steve learned about a number of helpful techniques and tools through Weight Watchers®, but this time around he decided to look more inward and uncover what would personally work for him.
Here are some tips Steve is passing along based on what he found worked the best for him:
- Eat nutrient-dense foods every two to three hours—i.e., yogurt and nuts instead of chips and soda
- Keep a workout bag in the car so you can workout at a moment’s notice
- Set small realistic goals
- Exercise with a buddy for added support and enjoyment
- Carry water around —can’t drink it if you don’t have it with you
- Celebrate milestones with non-food rewards—you’ve earned it
- Make food on Sunday night for the week
- Keep on track by writing your goals on sticky notes and placing them in key areas as constant reminders
- Take 10 minutes a day for just you—this dedicated time may help you determine if your hunger may, in fact, be something else you are wanting
In the past, Steve kept Weight Watchers® hush hush as it wasn’t a perceived ‘guy’ thing to do.
Now, he realizes that reaching out for added support and encouragement is far from a sign of weakness. Instead, it means gaining strength and the power to change anything! Steve’s outlook on life improved as his physical, emotional and mental self improved. He exclaims that while his environment stayed the same, it was his internal changes that made the difference.
Way to go, Steve!
Sometimes It Takes a Community
A Team of DTE Energy Employees Decide: “It’s Time to Lighten the Load at Allen Road”
A team of employees at DTE Energy’s Allen Road Center have lost over 300 pounds collectively over the past 10 months through the Weight Watchers At Work Program. It all started with one person—Cheryl Holden. As a supervisor and an EYL Ambassador, Cheryl was eager to share the success she personally was experiencing through the program so as to help others. Soon the Allen Road facility’s Weight Watchers At Work group grew to nine people (and is currently at 20 members and counting)! They all shared the desire to make a positive change in their lives, yet each has their own story. See why they chose Weight Watchers At Work, what they like best about the program and how it’s working for them.
- Cheryl Holden
DTE Energy Employee for 25 years
Supervisor- Gas Operations
Cheryl lost 25 lbs!
“Helping others in the program allowed me to stay motivated.”
Before: I wasn’t eating well, was inactive and felt my life was out of balance.
After: My eating habits improved,
I now sit on a yoga ball at my desk to develop my core muscles; tennis and hula-hooping are my activities of choice and I removed stressors and bad influences from my life.
Results: I lost weight, have more strength, no longer feel the pain associated with my disease and stopped needing daily pain pills.
- Lena Hoskins
DTE Energy Employee for 34 years
Lena lost over 49 lbs.!
“I like the supportive conversations, helping each other plan meals and the hands-on practical tips.”
Before: As a stress eater I ate a lot of processed foods, which were full of calories, fats and unhealthy additives.
After: I walk to relieve stress, which also keeps me away from snacking. I traded fast food lunches for balanced meals with veggies, and I keep a water bottle handy at all times.
Results: I lost weight, which led to decreased blood pressure and I was able to reduce my diabetes medicine. I became a role model to my granddaughter, who now eats healthier too.
- Terry Nelson
DTE Energy Employee for 33 years
General Metering Technician
Terry lost 63lbs.!
“The Weight Watcher’s® Point System really helped me put my eating choices in perspective.”
Before: I lived on fried foods and soda.
After: I cut back on the fast food, chose to make “eating better” a lifestyle rather than a diet and started running, which helps me get over the weight plateaus.
Results: I lost weight and increased my energy level.
- Joe Watkins
DTE Energy Employee for 37 years
Meter Reading Clerk
Joe lost 25 lbs.!
“I joined Weight Watchers® as a result of a recent onsite health screening, which showed my blood pressure was very high—a condition that ran in my family and was life-threatening for some. By trying to lose weight with others, I found the added accountability kept me on track.”
Before: Ate out of habit or social pressure, not hunger and drank a liter of soda a day.
After: I gradually improved my eating habits for permanent results and stopped feeling the need to eat whenever I socialized—I focused on the people rather than the food.
Results: I lost weight and decreased my blood pressure from 275/150 to normal range (about 120/80).
Meet Barb Gillis
DTE Energy Employee for 10 years
Barb refers to herself as a historic couch potato, or rather a recliner potato. She would spend most of her day sitting—at her job, at home and even when doing hobbies. Her health began to deteriorate, with her weight and blood pressure both increasing tothe point where she was struggling to stay mobile. But in 2000, after knee surgery, Barb made acommitment to become healthier.
Her journey started with nutrition. After trying countless fad diets with poor results, Barb focused on changing her eating habits rather than “dieting.” Over ten years she brought her weight down about 50 pounds, yet she knew she needed to increase her activity level before she’d really get the results she needed. In 2010, Barb watched a close friend, who also lived a sedentary lifestyle, be forced into early retirement and a state of semi-disability because of her poor health and lack of mobility. “I realized I was sitting my way down that same path. I didn’t want to do that…I still had too many things I wanted to do that required mobility. This was a big wake up call for me,” Barb shares. That pushed her to TAKE CHARGE and begin exercising.
|- Lost 57 pounds—and is keeping it off||- Has more stamina and energy|
|- Her body now craves activity||- Sleeps better at night|
|- Lower blood pressure||- More flexibility and strength|
Barb’s Steps to Success
- Focused on eating healthier—more fruits/vegetables, switching to low-fat dairy and using healthier food preparation techniques like steaming and baking.
- Joined a wellness center using EYL’s membership discount program and works out 2-3 times a week.
- Uses EYL’s Boost™ program to track her activity.
- Routinely reviews the EYL website for ongoing ideas and fun ways to get moving.
A great example of determination, Barb! Congratulations and thanks for sharing your story to inspire others to Spring into Action!
Meet Dave Roose
River Rouge Power Plant
DTE Energy Employee for 5 years
Inspired by Barb Gillis’s story, Dave Roose decided to come forward and share his story.
“I’m only 27, but I felt so much older—I was overweight, lacked energy and was having a hard time keeping up with my kids. I wanted to set a good example for them. I wanted to show them that you have a CHOICE in how you live your life… so I decided to TAKE CHARGE and gain back control of my health.”
- Has more energy
- Lost 25 pounds—and counting
- His soccer game has improved, thanks to increased endurance!
Dave’s Steps to Success
- Changed eating habits—starts his day with a healthy breakfast, cut down on junk food and sweets (now gives away most of the baked goods his wife makes), packs healthy foods for lunch rather than getting fast food, eats more fruits and veggies, cut his soda intake from two cans a day to one every couple weeks, watches his portions and helps with meal planning and grocery shopping.
- Started moving more—runs consistently and has increased his overall time/speed and distance. He also plays soccer regularly.
- Made working out a priority—wakes up early to work out at the Plant rather than waiting until he gets home when kids and family commitments may come first.
- Set goals along the way—such as running the Detroit Marathon Relay in October and planning to run a half marathon in 2013.
- Created accountability and set up a support system—sharing his goals with co-workers who help keep him on track and motivate him to do his personal best.
You’re an inspiration Dave, congratulations!