Hi my name is Jenelle Copenhaver and I am a Compass SLS client. I want to talk about health and exercise. I weighed 315 pounds in November of 2014. I now weigh 262 pounds and I am still working towards my health goals. I did several things to lose weight. The first thing was change my diet. I cut out sweets totally and only ate food with natural sugars like fresh fruit. I stopped eating candy, cookies, cake, pie, etc. I also stopped eating chips and wheat potatoes (I do eat sweet potatoes or yams). I stopped eating regular breads and pasta meals. Instead, I eat gluten free breads like English muffins, tortillas, bagles, and pasta. Changing my diet has caused my taste buds to change. I don’t like sweets anymore and even feel sick if I consume too much.
The second thing I did was exercise. I go to GCD fitness which is a low cost gym specifically for Far Northern Regional Center clients and care providers (Learn more about the gym in the FNRC newsletter here). It costs clients $8.00 a month and it costs staff and providers $10.00 a month. The gym is off of Bechelli and in mission square right next to Roots Juice bar. I exercise almost every day for at least 20 min. Sometimes I am able to work out for a half hour and up to whole hour! The gym has treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, and weight equipment. It’s a great deal!
So that’s what I did to lose weight. I stayed away from sugar and carbohydrate based foods. Once I was in a better place health wise, I started to eat them only once in a while as a treat. I really don’t like sweets any more. I prefer the healthy options. I am still working on my health goals. While I can do most things now, I’d like to be able to do those
things for longer periods of time. I’m doing great with my goals. I am losing the right amount of weight at right amount of time so I don’t gain it back. Life keeps getting better. I’m happy, feel good and have energy again. I know it’s hard to change eating habits but it can be done! I did it and I feel so much better! Overall, I am doing great. They say it takes 2 or more months to change your habits and speaking from experience, I agree. You only have one life to live. If you want to live a long good quality life where you feel good please work on eating healthy and exercising. Anyone can do this!
Q & A with Jenelle
Q: Tell me how you feel about life now vs. how you felt before you started pursuing your health goals?
A: Before I started working on my health goals, I was tired all the time I couldn’t do the things I enjoyed like dancing, playing sports, hiking and even walking was hard for me. I was even too tired to do all my grocery shopping in one day so I had to go 3 times a week instead of 1 time. I was depressed and I didn’t feel good about my life because my health kept me from enjoying it. I was diagnosed pre-diabetic. This scared me because my biological mom died due to diabetes. The doctor told me if I didn’t lose weight, I’d become diabetic for the rest of my life and it could potentially kill me. If I couldn’t control my eating habits before I became diabetic, how was I going to do it after? This was a wake up call for me. I decided to change my life style.
Q: Prior to this change, what kept you from pursuing health goals?
1. I felt that it was too hard and I wouldn’t get to eat the foods I enjoyed.
2. I didn’t think I was going to die because of being over weight but when I learned how serious it was, it was a wake up call. I didn’t want to die that way.
3. I wasn’t motivated. I didn’t care how I looked or how other people looked at me in the world. I remember little kids, and some adults even, would stare at me. People in cars would get frustrated because I was too slow to get to side-walk. This was hard for me.
Q: What did/does support look for you from the people around you as you pursue your health goals?
A: My staff and team helped me with menu planning. They encouraged me when we were grocery shopping to pick the healthy choices and they encouraged me to exercise. They helped me look up healthy recipes and pick things that I would actually enjoy. My mom has been a big support in all of this. I know she cares about me and wants me to be healthy.