Stephanie Denneson used to feel like a completely different person than she is today. That’s because she was carrying too much extra weight and felt uncomfortable about her body.
“I knew I was overweight, but there were so many things going on in my life that I didn’t want to think about it,” Denneson says. “My weight wasn’t a top priority.”
Denneson’s primary care provider talked about weight loss during regular visits, but it was Denneson who had to make the decision to take action.
“My weight bothered me every time I weighed in at the doctor’s office. I wasn’t happy with myself, my energy level was low and I had a hard time playing with my grandkids. I hated what I weighed and hadn’t felt well for a long time,” Denneson says.
Denneson took her doctor’s advice and met with care coordinator, Renea Seagren, to develop a wellness plan. Together, the pair established weight loss milestones, healthy meal plans and exercise goals.
“One of the most important things I stressed to Stephanie was that she would face this goal not as a diet, but would focus on lifestyle changes to improve her health and overall well-being,” Seagren says. “My hope was these changes would become part of her lifestyle.”
As Denneson fully committed to her new wellness plan and coaching, she is making progress week by week. She doesn’t eat soda and sweets and gets active by walking her dog three times a day, even in the cold. Denneson also likes to work out indoors.
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“Since January [of 2017], I have lost 65 pounds and am no longer afraid to tell people what I weigh. I love buying smaller clothes and have found walking gives me more energy.”
Most importantly, Denneson’s habits have created a lifestyle enabling her to be active with her family.
“This past summer, Stephanie wanted to be able to put on a swimsuit and go to the swimming pool with her grandchild. I’m so happy she was able to achieve that goal,” Seagren says.
With a strong support system by her side, Denneson continues to reach more of her wellness milestones.
“Through this journey, I’ve received lots of support from my doctor and Renea. They keep me going. I have never felt better or healthier. I don’t have issues with blood pressure or any aches and pains. I have learned a better and healthier way to eat, and I’m so proud of myself,” Denneson says.
Denneson also offers this advice to anyone hoping to start a journey toward a healthier lifestyle.
“You have to make up your mind to do it. Then, start with a plan and lots of willpower. Talk to your doctor, get weighed regularly and see a care coordinator,” Denneson says.
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