Susan's Story

Susan Schooner, Senior Account Clerk – BGSU Biological Sciences
WellAware Participant

What small steps/changes have you recently made to improve your health?

I set small goals, such as getting certain mileage on my bike, or taking the stairs more often. I think about what I can do to move more. Exercise has always been my biggest challenge, so I have to think about that all of the time to stay active. I also try to avoid anything processed and try to include as many organic foods as possible.

While in HeartFord, Connecticut, in what heart-healthy habits did you engage?

Every day I make the effort to put myself in someone else’s shoes, and think how they would like to be treated. Even difficult people can sometimes be defused by a kind word or action. I also made the effort to reach out to friends I hadn’t seen In a while, just to reconnect. Some of the suggestions (like picking up trash and helping out neighbors) are things I do whenever possible. I also make the effort to be grateful for what I have and to make the effort to thank those who do nice things for me.

What motivates you to live a healthy lifestyle?

I have a lot of reasons to try to live a healthy lifestyle, but the ones that motivate me most are feeling good both physically and mentally. I would also like to lose some additional weight, but that takes time and patience. I had a goal of biking my first “century” (100 mile ride in one day) that I worked toward all spring and summer, and that helped keep me focused. (I completed that ride on Sept. 7 in just over 7 hours!) I just keep setting goals and working towards them - with WellAware participation encouraging me to do so.

Do you have any tips/advice you would like to give others on how to be more active, reduce stress, eat healthier, family/work life balance, etc?

I find that if I don’t work out at least every other day, I lose my motivation. That is when I also tend to eat all of the wrong things and start feeling sluggish. My best advice is this: if you feel sluggish, do something to move around, anything, and know the feeling will eventually pass. I like to take the philosophy “fake it till you feel it.” Once you’ve done a workout a few times, eventually you will look forward to it and even miss it. I also post little motivational notes on my elliptical, my favorite one is “I may not always love the workout, but I always love the results.” I find that working out also relieves stress. Usually after a good workout, I’m too tired to care about the petty stuff. Just push yourself a bit harder than the day before to keep moving forward, and only compete with yourself.

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