“How I Learned to Eat Smart and Move More”

Joe Williams, Director of Benefits, describes how Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less has impacted his life below:

On a recent vacation, my wife and I stayed at an all-inclusive resort. It was wonderful…beautiful beach, free food/drinks, great activities, etc. I found myself really excited about the free food. A buffet was always open, three restaurants were open at lunch and five open at dinner. To enjoy my vacation and “get my money’s worth” I ate and ate and ate. I was already struggling with my weight, but this vacation pushed me to my highest weight ever. I am 6’2″ and weighed 248 pounds when I got home from vacation. 

I took a hard look at myself and realized I needed to make a change. It took me years to get to my weight and I realized it would take time to get healthier. I did not just want to lose weight, but really get healthier overall. HollieJoe.png (1)

Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less (ESMMWL) is a program that is sponsored by the office that I lead, HR-Benefits. It was created by NC State and the NC Division of Public Health. I had helped sponsor these classes/events many times as HR-Benefits leads the Staff and Faculty wellness programs at NC State University. I decided to take the ESMMWL class which was held  in June 2016. 

Greg Moore was our facilitator; he is amazing! He makes the class fun, interesting, and engaging. He is a walking example and shares his personal journey as well. I quickly discovered this is not a weight loss class, not an exercise class nor a fitness class. It is a place where you can learn to eat smarter, move more in a fun way and as a result, weigh less. 

I LOVE to eat out. It’s like a hobby for me. I love trying new restaurants and going to places where I can “pig out”. The ESMMWL class taught me how to make better food selections when I go out. It encouraged me to track what I eat and drink. I chose to use the My Fitness Pal app on my phone; it works great. I can put in the types of food I want to eat, see the calories and determine if I want to do that or go with another food choice. 

I have a desk-type job. I have learned that my body is designed to move. Now, I take quick walking breaks every hour and walk around the office for a few minutes. I track my steps with my iPhone health app and I now have a FitBit. I try to get at least 10,000 steps in a day. The beauty of moving or exercising is that it burns calories and is great for your overall health. 

I have just completed my 12th week of class and I feel better overall. I’ve lost over 15 pounds and my blood pressure numbers are much better. As a Wellness Leader, I need to be a good example of wellness. May I encourage you to join me at the next Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less class? It starts Thursday, September 8 at 11 a.m. here on campus at Carmichael Classroom 2037 (no you do not need to be a gym member to participate!). 

The cost is $30, but if you attend 10 of the 15 classes, the program will refund you $25 (for State Health Plan members only). I love the fact that I only paid $5 to receive information that has literally changed my life. I’m enrolled in this class again and hope to see you there.  Sign up here.