MY Y STORY
Why did we join the Y? We are in our 60’s and we joined the Y, because we needed a new “lifestyle”. Now we love the people there, the chance to talk to other people that are there, and we even like the exercise and how we feel from it. The Y has become family!
In June 2014, we joined the Y in conjunction with Health Management Resources (HMR) of Floyd Memorial Hospital. With the addition of a new educated lifestyle of healthy eating, we had to exercise; a new word in our vocabulary. At first we were using the track at the fairgrounds to get our walking done. Due to multiple medical issues, we needed a more level surface and with all weather and stable environment. The Y met these requirements.
Combining HMR and the Y, our life has changed! The Y has an affordable family membership, plus the help from the Wellness Coach has been exactly what we needed. We went from a couple with major heart problems, high blood pressure and other medical issues to a much healthier pair. Together we have worked to lose a combine weight of 175 pounds. My wife, Evelyn, is at her ideal maintenance weight and I still have approximately 60 - 65 pounds to lose.
You think that you have too many medical issues to join the Y or to do exercising, you are wrong! Since I am limited to certain types of exercises due to medical problems, the Y and their staff have been a great asset in helping us on our journey. Is has enough equipment to allow us to realize our dream of weight loss, health improvement, eating healthier, decreasing and eliminating prescriptions, seeing the doctors less, and enjoying being more active together.
Thanks to the YMCA of Harrison County and their staff for their assistance in our new lifestyle.
My family has been members of the YMCA of Harrison County off and on since 2007. I’d come and workout occasionally, attend a Yoga class here and there, or swim on a hot day. The people there were always friendly, but I never really utilized the programs at the Y or took advantage of all the benefits.
Then, in mid-December 2012, the Y saved my life when I found out about its pre-school program. I was in college with two weeks left in the semester when I found out that I’d lost my child care. There was nowhere else to take my daughter, Salem for care so I was forced to drop out of classes the week before finals.
I thought my academic career was over, or at least postponed significantly because I couldn’t find any child care enrolling new children. Then, right before Christmas, a friend told me about the Y’s pre-school program and that she knew one of the teachers and it was a really good program. So, I looked into it and knew immediately it was the right place for my daughter, Salem.
After I enrolled my daughter for the upcoming semester at the Y, I enrolled myself into classes for the spring semester at college. Salem quickly fell in love with the people at the Y and her classmates. She’d cry on the weekends because there was no class and had to wait for Monday. She loved al the volunteers in the after school care program and was often reluctant to leave.
In the summer, in order to make up the semester I had to repeat, I enrolled her into their Summer Day Camp program as well. They did so many fun things at camp, went on field trips, played games, and helped teach Salem how to socialize with children of all ages, and behave with honesty and respect.
She had the best possible teacher who was incredibly patient and refused to give up on her. Salem is a bit of a handful, but her teacher had faith in her and stuck with her to the end. All the people who have worked with the youth programs have been nothing but kind and loving toward my daughter, in spite f her mischievousness and often times taxing nature.
When Salem began Kindergarten this year, I explained to her that she wouldn’t be going to school at the Y anymore and she had a fit! She was so mad, she didn’t want to go to Kindergarten if it wasn’t at the Y. So I told her that if she wanted to, she could still go to the after school care program and see all of her friends. After that, she was excited to start her new school and happy she could still go to the Y every day.
When Donna Schulze took over as head of the youth programs, I was very impressed at how smooth the transition went. Donna jumped right in with both feet and a huge smile on her face! She always has time to listen to any concerns you may have as a parent. She takes time to get to know the kids and their parents, and is an active part of the programs. She has always treated me with kindness and respect and I believe she takes genuine joy in her work.
So that’s the story of how the Y has affected my family. Because of the Y, I was able to graduate from college on time, with honors, and know that my child was getting a great education and excellent care. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Donna, Kaity, Ashleigh, J.D., Gabe, Austin, Catherine and everyone else that has had such a positive and loving influence on my daughter. Thank you for helping my family when we needed it the most.
A little over a week after my 47th birthday, I just started walking.
Before that, I used all the excuses you've ever heard - too busy, too much responsibility, too tired. I had been praying for change, but didn't feel like it was coming. Then, inexplicably, on September 1, 2011, I started a regular, daily habit of walking. In the beginning, I couldn't make it two miles. My legs felt tired by the end of my walk. After a few, weeks, I started to get discouraged, thinking I'd never break through that two-mile barrier.
I really don't know how much I actually weighed at my peak. I hadn't voluntarily weighed myself at home in years. I waited for each doctor's visit, cringing as I stepped on the scale. The highest I remember weighing was somewhere over 290 lbs. By September 1, just after a Lake Cumberland houseboat vacation, I was probably more. But I put in my head that my actual peak weight was probably 285 - probably not wanting to admit it was more. Sometime in mid-October, after realizing my pants were fitting looser, I jumped on the scale. I was down to 260. So I was able to say I had lost 25 lbs.
To get to this point, I was walking every day. I missed 3 days during the month of September due to schedule conflicts, but after September 24, I don't miss my walking appointment. One day in January, 2012 I had to miss, but otherwise I've walked every day for 257 days through this writing (June 6, 2012). Almost every day, I walk in the morning around the residential streets near my neighborhood. On weekends, or in the afternoon, I use the beautiful Indian Creek Trail to log miles. My usual route is 4.2 miles every day. Once in a while, I'll cut it down to 2.5 miles, or some days I'll walk both morning and evening, racking up over 6 daily miles. I've worn out 3 pairs of expensive New Balance 993 shoes, shivered cold and sweated hot and I wouldn't trade a second of it to be sitting on the couch. To date, I've lost about 80 lbs. - at least according to my unofficial benchmark of 285. I've been "plateaued" for about 8 weeks. So, starting June 11, I plan to trade three days a week of walking with a weight routine at the YMCA. Instinctively, I know I have to change up my habit once in a while. Having had success so far, I have no doubt that I will lose the final 20 pounds to meet my 100 lb. goal by September 1, 2012, the one-year anniversary of this effort.
I believe I have adopted a habit that will last the rest of my life. I've tried running but it's too tough on my knees. Someday, I know that walking will be hampered by years of abuse on my knees, so what's next. Biking? Probably. Whatever method I can find that I can still do, I plan to keep this up as long as I can."
I joined the Y in January 2009. When I joined I weighed 288 pounds. I was taking nine pills a day - six for diabetes, two for blood pressure and one for cholesterol. Since joining a little over four years ago, I have lost a little over 50 pounds but was also taken off all nine pills. I still have my blood sugar checked regularly, but do not have to take anything for it. I credit the Y for this. I come to the Y about five times a week, usually Monday – Friday. I have met a lot of really nice people here and walk about two to three miles each day with some of my new friends. I also use some of the machines regularly. I really think the Y has really helped me.
When I started my journey at the Y on January 2, 2012, I told Erik Mann (Wellness Director) that I would be the poster girl for the Y. I had Kim Wilson, my first Zumba instructor, take my beginning pictture on this date and I posted my weight, my vision and my heat on Facebook. I have had many people following my journey. I did this through the Y classes offered such as Zumba, Turbo Kick, RIPPED and Saturday Surprise, and by using the weight room and eating as close to natural as possible. I have also enjoyed walking and bike riding. Going on my second year at the Y, I have added Pilates and Yoga. I now (as of March 20, 2013) have lost 94 1/2 pounds and have kept a diary of my journey.
I would like to thank the YMCA, and supporting partners, for all that they do for our community, our children, and my family. My daughter begin the YMCA program in 2014, and the YMCA family has been wonderful to us from the beginning. The staff and leaders of the camps/after-hours care have become like an extended family to my daughter and I, and I am glad that we have a facility like this in our community. I would also like to extend my gratitude for the “Open Doors” program that is offered for families in need of financial assistance. As a single parent, this program has enabled my daughter to attend the YMCA. If it would not have been for this wonderful program, we would have never been able to be a part of this wonderful YMCA family. It gives me peace of mind, to know that while I am working, my daughter is in a safe, happy, and educational environment. The leaders of the children’s programs, the director and individual class leaders, have went out of their way to make sure that we are taken care of and that all needs are met. They are friendly and kind, and I admire the things that they do to help our younger generation develop and grow. I wanted to take a few moments to Thank You for a wonderful job, and let you know that there are many parents, just like myself, who are truly grateful for the YMCA and the programs offered. This facility, and staff, are an asset in our community!
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