Shelley’s Wellness Transformation

Published by HealthSource Solutions on

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Taking that single step...

For Shelley Murray, an employe at Land O' Lakes, January began in September when she was selected for LOLfit's Wellness Transformation program. She was one of 10 people selected for a 10-week program that focused on achieving weight loss through physical activity, life balance and nutrition guidance from staff.

Fortunately, the program came at a pivotal time in Shelley's life.

"The Wellness Transformation sign-ups happened to go up right after I was diagnosed with a neurological disorder called Pseudotumor Cerebri (PTC). It's basically when pressure inside your skull increases for no obvious reason. I found out I had it when I started having partial blindness on a daily basis—scary," says Shelley, an administrative coordinator for Strategic Assessment Management.

Shelley knew she had to make some changes.

"My doctors strongly encouraged me that losing 10 percent of my bodyweight could help me see improvement in my symptoms. I had already started making some lifestyle changes when I saw the sign-ups for the Wellness Transformation," says Shelley. "I'd been a member of LOLfit for a few months and gone all of twice. I hoped the double whammy of the medical motivation plus the Wellness Transformation program would be the motivation I needed to make a really big change in my life."

Q&A with Shelley Murray

Jerrod Tarman, LOLfit Program Manager, sat down with Shelley to learn more about her transformation journey — the progress she made and advice she has for others who are looking to improve their physical health.

What was your goal?

My first really big milestone was to lose 10 percent of my starting bodyweight, which I managed to hit right at the end of the Wellness Transformation program. Hooray!

How did the staff help you achieve your goal?

It's really encouraging to have more than just the scale to track my progress. Being able to see my measurements change and the inches come off, and seeing how much lean weight — a.k.a. muscle — I'm putting on while I'm losing fat is really awesome. Sometimes the number on the scale doesn't move, but I'm still losing fat and inches and gaining muscle and that's what's important. The scale is a vile betrayer and must not be trusted. Jerrod [Tarman, program manager] was also super helpful with figuring out how to help me ease into things, because I was coming from the land of the couch potato and couldn't do a squat (solution: use a strap on the TRX machine for balance) or a push-up (solution: do a standing push-up using the squat rack).

What are you most proud of?

So many things. I started out doing push-ups with the bar on the squat rack at the 6-mark (standing almost all the way vertical) and now I lower it down to the 3-mark (almost horizontal).

I also went from having to hang on to a strap while doing a squat because I couldn't balance well enough to do one on my own to being able to squat with a 35-pound weight (and I can get pretty darn low, too). I also just feel more comfortable in the gym and I'm not afraid to ask questions about how to use a piece of equipment if I'm not sure.

What advice do you have for people who want to do the next Wellness Transformation?  Or just start working out?

Every journey begins with a single step. It might seem super intimidating, but you have to start where you are, and the team at LOLfit are really great about meeting you where you're at and making it work for you. And if you can't do a squat, don't be afraid to speak up and say, "Hey, I'm not quite there yet, how can I modify this so I can work my way up to that?"

The Wellness Transformation program focuses on nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle so you learn about how to eat better while you're also getting your butt kicked in a weekly workout. It's great motivation—having that accountability to check in is really great. And hey, if you ever want a workout buddy who is going to complain through the entire workout, come find me at the gym.