Shelly Hall of Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center’s Rutland Nursing Home
It was on a ski trip with a friend in January 2015 when Shelly Hall knew she had to do something about her weight. Her high blood pressure and shortness of breath were persistent problems, but on this trip her condition was so severe that she couldn’t ski or participate in any activities. “That experience finally woke me up,” Shelly said. “I knew it was time for serious changes.”
Shelly, who is a Patient Access Coordinator at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center’s Rutland Nursing Home, has lost 85 pounds since that ski trip by eating a healthier diet and exercising regularly. The first thing she did in early 2015 was visit her primary care doctor to ask for guidance. “It was more like a plea for help,” she said. “I realized that I couldn’t do this alone, and more importantly, I didn’t have to, thanks to my 1199 health benefits.”
“I feel energized all the time now. And today, I can’t imagine living any other way.”
Shelly soon began seeing a nutritionist to help change her diet. Learning what constituted a balanced, nutritious diet proved to be invaluable, she said. “I was encouraged to try new foods and to revisit things like seafood that I hadn’t eaten regularly in years,” she said. “I was surprised to find out how much I love fish, and now I eat seafood as my main course at least a few times a week.” She also eats lots of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products and low-sodium sandwich meats like sliced turkey.
Exercise has also become a part of Shelly’s routine. She remembers when a short walk used to leave her short of breath, but now, she says, “I walk everywhere.” There are two parks near her house in Canarsie, and taking full advantage of the convenience, she takes brisk walks—weather permitting—several times a week. She also recently joined a health club near her house and is working with a personal trainer to help her tone her muscles and lose a little more weight.
The payoff has been great, she said, boosting her energy and enthusiasm. She has never felt better in her life—her blood pressure is under control, and she’s dropped several clothing sizes. “I feel energized all the time now,” Shelly said. “And today, I can’t imagine living any other way.”
You count on your health benefits to support you in your efforts to stay healthy, whether it’s by getting regular checkups, keeping a chronic condition under control or just improving your lifestyle in general. But has there ever been a time when your health coverage literally saved your life or the life of a loved one? If so, we’d like to hear from you. To share your story with your fellow members in an upcoming issue of For Your Benefit, please contact the Fund at Communications@1199Funds.org.
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Marcella Smart credits her benefits with protecting her health, and our wellness workshops with helping her maintain a healthy weight.