Why Workwell Works for me

Workwell Lawrence is, if you didn't already know, a part of the Livewell Lawrence coalition, and promotes wellness policies and practices in workplaces with a focus on physical activity, nutrition and tobacco use.

If you know me, you know that I am not the image of health and fitness. So it would seem odd to the random onlooker to find out that I am the chair-elect of this group for next year. How is an aging, overweight, workout hater like me possibly qualified to help lead a group charged with improving the overall fitness of the community, specifically in work spaces?

Well, here is my answer: I am the target audience. Because I am not in perfect health, and because I work outside my home, Workwell is for me. Here's a little story that might help illustrate. For several years I worked in a place where I sat still all day and my desk was near the cafeteria, so when I would get up, I'd just be waddling across the hall to the dining hall to grab oh, a delicious pancake or a hamburger. In a few years, I had put on 40 lbs.

Then, that same workplace began intiating efforts toward workplace wellness, including an on-site Weight Watchers group. I joined. And the cafeteria started focusing on healthy and delicious offerings. And there were lunchtime walks to participate in, workouts to select during the day, and other programming to encourage health and fitness to be forefront in my mind. And I lost the 40 lbs. I did it because my workplace supported me. I knew that with my busy life, small child, household, and commitments, fitness and weightloss programs were hard to fit in, so being encouraged at work to utilize opportunities available to me just made sense.

When I left that place, I was pregnant, but I knew I'd want to continue my efforts toward health and wellness during pregnancy and I knew there would be baby weight to take off in about 9 months. So I started looking for ways to replicate that workplace support at my new office. And while it is a different environment with a much smaller scale, I am still working toward that. Am I successful every day? No. Do I still have pounds to lose? Yes. But because I have engaged in a process that pushes me to create a culture of health at Ballard Community Services, where I now work, I am constantly challenged to improve. Workwell is for everyone, not just for fitness gurus or organic eaters.

Workwell is for those of us who struggle, who need support in our constant battle with sedendary life and unhealthy foods.

So, why am I in love with Workwell and its goals? Because they are about me. And because I need them, and I know it works. This community is important to me, as is my own imperfect health.

Please join us for our monthly meetings, and for our upcoming symposium in September. I promise you will not be disappointed.

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