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Motivated to change
It’s said that a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. For one Aetna employee, the journey to lose 100 pounds also began with a single step: metabolic testing.
Deep down, Emilee knew she wasn’t healthy. The 34-year-old mother of two had been morbidly obese for 10 years. But she never thought about how it was affecting her well-being.
The results of testing for metabolic syndrome opened her eyes. Her test numbers included a 50-inch waist. Her triglyceride level was nearly 115 points above the healthy target range. In short, she failed. The findings unnerved her. But they also inspired her. “I gave myself three days to mope. And then I never looked back,” she said.
“October 24, 2011, was my ‘Day One.’ I began with eating better and walking on the treadmill a mile at a time regularly. Every Friday morning, I weighed myself. I kept a record with a goal of striving to see a smaller number the following week,” she continued.
A few months later, Emilee began running. She clocked a 15-minute mile to start. About that same time, she started working with an Aetna wellness coach. During their phone sessions, her coach offered encouragement and helpful tips.
One of the best suggestions? ”Downloading an app on my smartphone to keep track of my food intake and exercise,” said Emilee.
Little steps became big successes. In June 2012, a still-overweight Emilee ran her first 5K race. And when next year’s metabolic syndrome testing rolled around? “I passed with flying colors, and cried,” she said. “And I never felt better about myself.”
She stayed with her new-found healthy habits, and kept running, incorporated strength exercises and continued to embrace healthy eating.
In October 2012, a full year from her “Day One,” Emilee completed the 13.1-mile Hartford Half Marathon.
100 pounds later
Before I had no energy… it was difficult to do things… I did not feel healthy.
I spent a lot of the time in my bed or on the couch, just watching TV.
I was over 100 lbs overweight.
My employer put out the communication that they’re gonna do Metabolic screening.
It’s extremely convenient.
I went down at the scheduled time, got tested within 5 minutes and got my results within two days.
I didn’t want to look at it, and I did, and it was not good.
I’m Emmye. I’m a wellness coach here at Aetna.
Emilee is a huge success story for me.
I do feel proud. It’s a great feeling when you see somebody achieve their goals.
I attribute the success to being determined, and to help me be determined, I worked with a wellness coach.
She’s achieved so much, and now the struggle is ‘how do I maintain?’.
I really have to prepare people that things are going to go wrong.
I had a lot of struggles during this period of trying to get healthy.
When you know your kids are home sick from school and you have meetings all night long, what are you gonna do?
Mindfulness I think is a difficult thing, and a lot of us have a lot of things going on in our life. We’re multitasking.
I try to tell people, right now, what’s important to you, right here?
Are you taking the time to relax at night? Are you getting enough sleep?
Emilee had difficulty with snacking at night, and she realized her behavior was really the result of stress.
Yoga was my pathway in to helping with the stress.
Yoga’s great for your peace of mind. It really makes you feel good – it really brings everything together.
As I kept getting more fit & making more dietary changes based on really just asking her.
She was able to tell me what I needed when I needed it.
To me, she seemed like she was available 24/7.
It’s on the phone. It’s where you are.
I feel like she’s there for just me.
Ramsey (Emilee’s husband):
The dinners she makes, no matter what recipe she comes up with, they’re always fantastic.
It’s been a great change, I think it’s beneficial to all of us.
If I start the day with a run, the rest of my day feels better.
Running is my best stress reliever.
I started running 2 miles, and I was gonna spend the next 5 months working towards a 5k, and she said ‘you’re ready now!’. She said ‘I want you to sign up for this race’.
And I thought, yeah I can do this.
Emilee’s transformation is-is fantastic. I think it’s had a huge effect on our whole family.
I tried to think of how I could make myself better.
I tried to think a whole-body wellness.
I lost 100 pounds, but it’s more than that. I feel healthier, more in control and empowered to do anything.
Emilee found her path to well-being.
We can help you find yours.
Aetna Healthy Lifestyle Coaching
100 pounds later
With a half marathon under her belt, Emilee went big. In May 2013, she ran her first 26.2 mile marathon. In 4 ½ hours.
That year, Emilee also hit her weight-loss goal: 100 pounds. She completed two more marathons. And developed a newfound confidence in her abilities, too. She noted, “When I started running, I always used to think I couldn’t possibly get to that next level. But I never stopped pushing. Now, I know I can do it.”x
These days, you can find Emilee training for her first 50k. (Yes, that’s a “zero” after the “five.”)
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