June > UT System Success Story

UT System Success Story

Name: Cindy Lira
Institution: The University of Texas at San Antonio
Email Address: cindy.lira@utsa.edu

"I saw my family members being diagnosed with heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and seeing how dialysis affects their lives.  I didn’t want to live that way.  I needed to change!"

Cindy Lira
The University of Texas at San Antonio

Resources available to you and your dependents to help you incorporate exercise into your busy schedule

Learn more about Cindy Lira Health & Wellness Success Story

1. What health behavior did you change?
I started exercising regularly, I just start moving more.   I started low-fat, low-calorie eating habits, and started exploring new activities I have never done before.

2. Why did you decide to make this change?
I saw my family members being diagnosed with heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and seeing how dialysis affects their lives.  I didn’t want to live that way.  Taking medicine, pricking my finger, and being on dialysis is not what I wanted.  I needed to change!

3. How did you accomplish your success?
I changed my eating habits and started walking with my daughter in the beginning.  Then I slowly started adding aerobic activity that was being offered by the Rowdy New U program.  I started taking a variety of classes and found the ones I liked and worked to stick to this new habit. 

4. How did the University of Texas System Living Well: Make it a Priority or your Institution resources and tools help you?
Through the wellness program; I had resources available from the wellness coordinator, education classes, cooking demos, and fitness classes.  My main help with eating habits was suggested by the wellness coordinator to log my calories into my body, and see how many I am burning each day.  I also see what I am eating to help make better choices for energy and health benefit, and I can always have it recorded.

5. What goals and obstacles did you have?
My goals were to lose weight and body fat.  I wanted to be more active and fell less tired.  I wanted to like myself inside and out.  The main reason was to avoid the health problems my family members have battled. 
A few obstacles were saying “no” to things…saying no to going out to eat or to certain places.  It was really hard to say no when you get invited to eat and you haven’t exercised…I had to decide.  I also wanted to exercise in the morning, and it was tough.  Now it is part of my daily routine and I feel great the rest of the day.  I even have enough energy I sometimes exercise again in the evening.

6. Who supported you during this experience?
My daughter, she also made the same changes I have.  My co-workers, they cheer me on and they are involved with the same programs or activities I am.  My friends and family are all on board with me.

7. What advice do you have for others who want to make this change?
I would tell people to stick with it.  It’s not going to happen overnight, in a week, or a month.  But the good changes will happen.  It took me a long time to gain weight and form bad habits; it’s going to take a long time to change and for it to stick.

Stay away from fast-food! 

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