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Throughout my travels sharing the message of wellness and self care, I have witnessed so many inspirational stories of people who have tackled health and wellness challenges with incredible, long-lasting results. And I’ve found that when you share those stories, others are motivated to do the same. The “If they can do it, I can do it” mentality can go a long way. That’s why I’m excited to introduce a more grassroots approach to my blog that will feature the wellness journeys and success stories of people just like you.

Real Stories, Real Results:
True-Life Stories to Get You Motivated

Throughout my travels sharing the message of wellness and self care, I have witnessed so many inspirational stories of people who have tackled health and wellness challenges with incredible, long-lasting results. And I’ve found that when you share those stories, others are motivated to do the same. The “If they can do it, I can do it” mentality can go a long way. That’s why I’m excited to introduce a more grassroots approach to my blog that will feature the wellness journeys and success stories of people just like you. So let’s get started.

Meet: Leslie Zeck, CMP, CMM, HMCC, Director of Meetings, International & American Associations for Dental Research

Leslie had been overweight for 30 years. She’s always been a flashy dresser, concealing her weight with nice clothing and accessories. Feeling physically lousy and seeing how lousy she felt she looked in pictures, Leslie reached a breaking point in fall, 2015. Her family history of heart disease coupled with her realization that she couldn’t see herself sustaining a career in the meetings/events industry (where she was on her feet all the time) were strong motivators for change. Additional motivators included: damaged knees from carrying her excess weight, overall poor lifestyle habits (overeating, drinking, extensive travel, sleep difficulty) and the realization that she needed to take charge of her health and life.

Leslie’s Vision For Her health:

  • Going on long walks with her dog without pain
  • Losing 60-80 pounds
  • Learning more yoga moves and practicing yoga better, including taking up hot yoga
  • Pursuing stand-up paddle boarding

The Wellness Change and Journey

Leslie dropped 100 pounds in 9.5 months! Way to go!!! How did she do it? Here’s how:

  • Gastric sleeve gastrectomy to kick start her journey into action
  • Diet and healthy eating (eliminated sugars, carbs and alcohol; eating lean protein, fruit and vegetables; no beef)
  • Motivational supports (podcasts, periscope, motivational quotes and success stories)
  • Education and support from the Obesity Action Coalition
  • Exercise (high intensity, interval training workouts)

Leslie’s Biggest Successes:

  • Eliminating medications and four co-morbidities: high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, high cholesterol and osteoarthritis in her knees
  • Feeling well and not sick
  • Sleeping more comfortably (and being able to awake before the alarm rings)
  • Noticing improved skin and overall complexion
  • Starting the day with an early gym workout and concluding the day with a dog walk
  • Getting into the same-size dress that she wore in high school

Roadblocks/Challenges Throughout the Journey:

  • Hair loss from the surgical procedure
  • Dinners and industry events that include global cuisine and an abundance of food that Leslie cannot experience
  • Shopping time and costs associated with a constantly changing wardrobe to accompany each new clothing size along the weight loss journey

Here’s how Leslie Stays Motivated on the Road:

  • Brings her own snacks and protein shakes
  • Eats gluten and sugar-free on the plane
  • Asks for menu substitutions
  • Fills her body up with protein first before eating other foods
  • Uses the gym at the hotel in the morning or before evening networking events
  • Takes a long walk at the end of the day
  • Takes a bite of desert and immediately sets it aside
  • Plans meals around one desert treat a week

What’s Leslie’s biggest regret?

Not having made a weight loss and wellness change 10-20 years ago.

Leslie’s Inspirational Tips:

  • Just do it!
  • Start somewhere – start walking or cut something unhealthy out of your diet. Remember, it takes 21 days for a change to become a habit
  • Don’t be afraid to have a cheat day – like one day a week for desert
  • Stick with it and don’t get discouraged; if you fall, pick yourself up
  • If you are feeling frustrated, read motivational quotes or listen to motivational speakers and stories

Leslie’s Final Words of Inspiration:

Success is infectious. Once you see success (results), you’ll be motivated to have more success. Don’t go backwards. Look forward.


Do you have a story how you achieved a lifestyle goal? Or maybe you’re in the middle of your journey and looking for some extra motivation by sharing it with others? We want to hear from you. The vision for this blog is for it to become a supportive gathering place of inspirations and ideas, so send us your story and let’s all get healthier together!

Contact us to tell your story!

 

Leslie Zeck: Before

Leslie Zeck: Before

Leslie Zeck: After

Leslie Zeck: After

Move of the Month

CRUNCHES

  1. Hold chair for support
  2. Keep back straight
  3. Lift both legs up and down 10 times
  4. Try not to let your legs touch the floor
  5. Keep breathing

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