PORTION CONTROL: FROM A SIZE 12 TO A SIZE 4 DRESS
A growing group of “Wellness Champions,” employees at Christiana Care Health System are helping their colleagues and some patients develop healthy habits for daily living, especially on the job, where they might have left their own health care needs at the door.
Take Wellness Champion Meghan Wilks. “You know that fitness and nutrition work—and so you want to pass that on to other people,” she says. “It’s not about being skinny. It’s about being healthy and having a better quality of life.”
Wilks knows from personal experience that exercising and eating right pays off over the long haul. She keeps her energy level high by working out four or five days a week. The mental-health associate lost 40 pounds and went from a size 12 to a size 4 dress by learning to control her portions and add more protein and fiber to her diet—and still enjoy a healthy dessert.
Wilks and other Wellness Champions are using their positive experiences, as well as information on fitness, nutrition, stress-management and weight-management programs, to motivate others on the job. She shared the good news in the inpatient psychiatric unit at Wilmington Hospital, where she laid out a 1/25th mile horseshoe-shaped walking trail that helps patients to keep fit.
She posted motivational quotes along the route. Wilks also put together a collection of upper-body stretches that help to relieve tension and stress. She posted healthy menu choices in the patients’ dining room and a wellness board in the employee break room with nutritious recipes and exercise tips.