What’s Health & Wellness Got to Do with It?
How is everyone doing with their 2023 New Year’s resolutions? We are two months into the year, and I am here to be your accountability coach. What is working well? What would you change about your approach so far?
If you are making progress—way to go! Changing our behavior is not easy (as if you did not already know that.). On the other hand, if my asking these questions raises your blood pressure, relax…take a breath. There is plenty of time to regroup, shifting your perspective away from what you have not done towards focusing on one action you can take to move forward on one of your goals. When we take time to assess barriers that may be standing in our way, it helps us break down the task into manageable pieces.
Since one of this issue’s themes is wellness, I wanted to share part of my own journey toward focusing on getting in better shape this year. For me, losing weight has been a decades-long battle that I mostly have lost. I have always struggled with my weight, which has always frustrated me and negatively impacted my self-image.
Some would say that how much you weigh is correlated with acceptance, happiness, health, and belonging. Others might argue that what someone looks like is the other person’s problem because they are fine just the way they are. This is obviously an oversimplification of a very complex topic, but my point is this: if your current weight is putting your health at risk, choosing to shed pounds is a positive step forward. In some cases, it can make the difference between life or death.
During my annual physical in December, my doctor said for the second year in a row that I was too heavy, and it was time to become serious about losing weight. If I did not, I was raising my risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Over the years I have tried the Adkins diet, eliminated carbs, and ate only fat-free food products but for the most part they never did the trick for me. While taking these steps may have achieved my goal, I eventually gained it all back once I returned to my “normal” routine.
That all changed about 10 years ago when I tried Weight Watchers. It is a science-based approach that uses a calorie-counting system that is personalized, based on your age, weight, height, and sex. Every food item you eat has a point value based on its nutritional value and number of calories. Once you enter your personal information, you are given the number of points (which equates to how much food to eat each day/week) in order to lose weight at a safe rate—one to two pounds a week.
Using their simple-to-use app, you track what you eat and how that impacts your point total. When you learn how many points are associated with a given portion size and type of food, you begin to make intentional decisions. This also creates accountability because you are reminded to log your meals and instantly shown your progress. The good news is I have lost 11 pounds since January 1.
Weight loss is one of many health and wellness focus areas where CAMP Rehoboth could consider developing solutions to support our community in the future. Over the years, our programs have included HIV testing and counseling, smoking cessation, support groups for men and women, and offering flu shots, among many others.
In the coming weeks, you will get a chance to raise your voice to the strategic planning task force through a survey being sent to our members as well as anyone on our email list. The data collected will help identify priorities along with which current programs may no longer be relevant given changing demographics and availability of similar services from partner organizations. The strategic planning task force will then analyze the current landscape of organizations that provide services addressing these various health issues to ensure CAMP Rehoboth does not duplicate what is already available.
We need your input now more than ever—so please fill out the survey when it lands in your email box. I thank you in advance for helping the board and staff create the best community center possible. ▼
Wesley Combs is CAMP Rehoboth Board President.
Speaking of health and wellness, CAMP Rehoboth is happy to report that effective February 27, former board member Tara Sheldon assumed the role of Health and Wellness Manager.
Among the many candidates who applied for the job, Tara emerged as the clear choice for the following reasons: Tara has a master’s degree in social work, and her work as a hospice social worker in the area gives her a unique perspective on the mental health challenges facing people in our community.
Tara is passionate about addressing discrimination that is based on sexual orientation or gender identity; in 2016, she was part of a joint effort with PFLAG and the Rehoboth Beach Film Society to address bullying in the community. Finally, having been a board member since 2017 provides her with in-depth knowledge of CAMP Rehoboth’s programs as we complete the strategic plan.
Please join me in giving a warm CAMP Rehoboth welcome to Tara! . ▼