“I just decided to do it.”
In less than a year, Scott Davis has lost 50 pounds and a few clothing sizes.
But what you don’t see may be even more important. Since he started using MNPS Employee Wellness Center services, his doctor has taken him off cholesterol medication and reduced his blood pressure medicine dosage — a significant move, since he had hypertension that started when he was a teen.
Scott wasn’t an early adopter of the Center, but when he attended a school meeting there, he decided to see what the new facility had to offer. The MNPS administrator was impressed that fitness associates were available to work one-on-one and create a customized fitness plan.
He figured he’d try it for a couple of weeks to see if it could work with his schedule. That trial period led to a firm commitment.
“I just decided to do it,” he says.
Soon, he started stepping up his number of weekly visits.
“At first, I went three days a week, then four — now I go five times a week,” he says. “If I miss a day, they want to know where I was.
“It became about setting goals, prioritizing what I wanted to do, and being able to work with fitness associates who are always positive and encouraging,” he adds.
A new way of thinking
Scott found another element of support in health coach Bobbi Nickel. She turned out to be a key player in his healthy lifestyle successes.
Her emphasis on the role of the stomach in overall health was something new to him.
“It’s the whole notion of gut health, as opposed to just dieting,” he explains. “I learned the stomach is an organ. Even though I’m an educator, I had never looked at it like that. Now I work to keep it healthy just like I would any other organ like my heart, kidney or liver. That information really brought things into focus and I knew I could manage it.
“Following her suggestions, in addition to the workouts, has served as a double whammy to improve my overall well-being,” he continues. “It’s not about a diet — it’s about a permanent lifestyle change.”
Now, along with his weight loss, he just feels better.
Overcoming nutrition barriers
Scott’s road to better health hasn’t been without some speed bumps. Hitting a plateau where the scales won’t budge has derailed many a weight-loss plan. But when he experienced his first plateau, he didn’t let it discourage him; instead, he downloaded an app that tracked exactly what he was eating to figure out why he had stalled.
“What I found was my sugar intake was a little high, so I needed to watch how many grams I was consuming,” he says. “Once I realized that, it only took about a week to break that plateau. Just being aware of what I ate made a huge impact.”That wasn’t Scott’s last plateau, but he was more prepared for the next one.
“I know I’m a stress eater,” he says. “I buy the groceries for my house, so if really watch what I purchase, then I don’t have extra things at home to eat. Now I have healthy snacks, so when I get stressed, I don’t go straight to eating a whole bag of chips. And if I want a chocolate chip cookie, I can have one — I just don’t eat 24.
“Someone said this to me and it’s true: Being thin feels a lot better than sugar tastes!”
Putting his body to work
Scott’s physical education background helped him understand the right way to exercise. And his Center fitness associate provided the support he needed. She made sure he was exercising correctly and kept the workouts interesting.
“She changes it up so it’s always something different,” he says. “I do a combination of dead weights, and then use the Nautilus machines. I’ll jump rope sometimes, or I’ll get on the treadmill or Jacob’s ladder … it’s never the same thing.”
He appreciates other Center perks, including its early morning hours and shower facilities.
“The gym opens at 5:30, and I’m there at 5:15 waiting,” he says. “My schedule is so busy, and it’s the one time of day just for me. I can get up early and get it out of the way before my day starts. Then I don’t have to think about it — I’m done. And because I can shower there, I can work out, then go straight to work.”
He also takes advantage of the Center’s Kroger pharmacy, and he likes the healthy options the Daily Grind café offers. An onsite blood-pressure reader also helps him keep tabs on his numbers between doctor visits.
“Every morning I check my weight and blood pressure at the Center,” he says. “It’s been amazing to see the results over the last nine or 10 months.”