Supply Chain Department - June 2021 Wellness University Success Story When many gyms were closed…
Kathy Schubert – June 2017 Wellness University Success Story
Kathy Schubert, a Senior Physical Therapist for Home Health, has adopted a new lifestyle habit that many find challenging — consuming a whole-food, plant-based diet. “Unlike other diets that restrict you, give you a list of what not to eat, or make you count calories, I walked into a program where I felt there are so many possibilities,” Kathy said. No stranger to diets, Kathy knew that making temporary changes to lose weight doesn’t necessarily lead to a healthier mind and body. “Focusing on weight loss leads to yo-yoing, it messes with your mind and you don’t end up making any changes” she said. About four years ago she decided she was done trying to lose weight and wanted to make sustainable lifestyle habits. It started with small changes, like drinking more water, eating less starchy, sugary foods, watching portions, and eating more vegetables.
Then she incorporated exercise into her life, walking daily and attending an occasional yoga class. She now has two half marathon races under her belt. When she noticed her coworkers receiving rewards in Wellness University, she enrolled and started tracking her activities. Through the employee wellness program, she also learned about Be Here Be Well, which rewards employees for achieving perfect attendance and participating in Wellness University classes and activities. “I was going to work daily and trying my best to maintain my wellness, and to see that Kaiser Permanente rewards you for that is great,” she said. This past January she attended a lifestyle medicine informational session and learned about all the different plant-based offerings. She registered for Wellness University’s 21-day Plant Power challenge and the Plant-Based 101 one hour workshop. “The hardest part of plant-based nutrition is finding out what to eat,“ Kathy said. When she decided to enroll in the Plant Strong 10 week program, that’s where she learned how to build meals, obtain recipes, grocery shop and so much more. “All the support I needed was there. They even had a plant-based snack to try at each class so we could see what to eat,” she said. Everyone in the program received a FitBit and formed a virtual exercise group that offered daily challenges to be active. Her current daily exercise goal is to get at least 10,000 steps per day and do modified push-ups each morning. And now that she consumes only real food, eating has become an entirely new and enjoyable experience. “Strawberries are sweeter, nuts are nuttier. I can’t believe at one time I used to drink two 34 ounces of soda daily. When you cut out the sugar, fats and processed foods in your diet, real food tastes so much better”. Kathy said her big motivator is wanting to live a long, active life. Her parents and grandparents died young, so Kathy’s children missed out on having a relationship with their grandparents. “My husband and I want to be around for our grandkids,” Kathy said. Through her wellness journey, Kathy has lost weight, but more importantly, eliminated her blood pressure medications and achieved normal blood sugar levels for the first time in years. “My memory, skin, teeth and digestive health are so much better,” she said. “These things drive me to be active and eat healthy.” Her advice to others is to take one step and a time. Making changes toward lifelong healthy habits, she said, takes time. “No one is perfect, we all have set backs,” she said. “But it doesn’t mean you give up, just keep going. As health care providers, we always help others. Don’t forget to take care of yourself.”