July> UT System Success Story

UT System Success Story

Name: Juanita Dowell
Institution: UT Southwestern Medical Center
Email Address: Juanita.Dowell@utsouthwestern.edu

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Learn more about Juanita Health & Wellness Success Story.

1. What health behavior did you change?
I changed my activity level by taking the fitness challenge. I never noticed just how sedentary I used to be prior to this challenge. I also changed my eating habits. I am lot more conscious of my caloric intake than I have ever been.

2. Why did you decide to make this change?
I decided to make the change because I hit my highest weight ever. Also, I noticed how little energy I had.

3. How did you accomplish your success?
I started by only changing my activity level. Knowing that I needed to log my activity helped me to get up off the sofa and take the walk around the block that I used to dread so much. After a few weeks of logging I began a food diary with no real change and it really showed me where I could make serious changes for myself and my family. It was at that point that I began counting calories.

4. How did the University of Texas System Living Well: Make it a Priority or your Institutions resources and tools help you?
The logging and the e-mails showing what week you were in helped to know it was not far off from completion for the challenge. The website was helpful because of the stars achieved when you completed a week.

5. What goals and obstacles did you have?
My biggest obstacle was myself. I was used to going home and sitting in front of the television or going straight to bed after work. My goal was to just complete the six week challenge. Now that I have lost 19 lbs since starting, my new goal is to continue with what I have started and build on it so I can lose and additional 25 lbs by 15th wedding anniversary in October.

6. Who supported you during this experience?
I received support from co-workers that got out and walked during lunch and decided to eat healthy. My family also supported me by walking in the evenings with me and playing basketball or volleyball to make it fun.

7. What advice do you have for others who want to make this change?
My advice would be to just do it! being active for 30 minutes a day everyday is not really as hard as it sounds. After the first week, I found I had a lot more energy than I anticipated.