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Treating your body with kindness: Cory’s health story

Emily Leland By Emily Leland

From the series "My health story"

Finding my center I was 250 pounds. My cholesterol was 224. And prior to that, I had been very good at burying my head in the sand. That number was the first spark of saying, “You’ve got to do something. Are you just going to let this happen to you?”

To acknowledge that you needed help, that is a huge step in compassion. Because we all like to be so strong. Katherine, my Aetna health coach, she helped me. Her consistency and her kindness - I could count on those.

I was still so mad at myself and so ashamed. She talked me down off those ledges and set my compass. And I had to develop new habits.

I still have that few pounds to go. But I love that my body is responding to my kindness. That’s what brings me joy.

Cory Metzler is a real member who’s given us permission to use her story.

Cory Metzler had reached a breaking point. After losing her job in publishing during the recession, she began overeating and distancing herself from friends and family. “You slide into it slowly: a bag of fries, some birthday cake, an extra glass of wine,” Cory says now. “All of a sudden, a pound becomes two and then five. But over six years that became a hundred pounds.”

Realizing she had to make some positive changes, Cory started working with Katherine Smith, a registered dietician nutritionist (RDN) and Aetna health coach. “I had to acknowledge that I couldn't do it alone,” Cory explained. “Katherine gently reminded me that I had a fairly significant to-do list.” That included catching up on important preventive screenings that she’d neglected, and letting go of the fear and anger that kept her isolated. “There is nothing bigger than staring down the barrel of losing 100 pounds,” Cory says. “I didn't want people to see me. I hid in my house.”

“We set small, realistic goals, and she never gave up,” Katherine says. “Deep in her is a desire to be healthy.” With Katherine’s encouragement, Cory started walking. She got a mammogram and a colonoscopy. And she began practicing yoga.

“Yoga will take you as you are and love you,” Cory explains. “When you're trying to do something that requires so much focus, like losing 100 pounds, it pulls energy from so many places. When you are in your darkest place, when you don't feel like you can get out of your own way, when you feel beaten down, yoga always welcomes you. It’s about helping your soul and your brain to love more.”

Today, Cory credits Katherine, yoga, and her friends and family with helping her out of that dark place. She practices yoga regularly, has signed up for a marathon and shares her newfound joy and enthusiasm for health with everyone around her.

“Sometimes I just need to get on that yoga mat, say something compassionate to myself and be happy I'm alive and hopeful,” she says. “Those words were missing in my life. And now they're here.”

Learn more about Cory’s health hero, Katherine Smith.

About the author

Emily Leland is a writer and marketing professional living in Charleston, SC. Her goal is more exercise, less caffeine and finding balance as a working mom.