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Debra Mounts, Manager, Physician and Recruitment Services

Slow and steady always wins

 
Forget the shortcuts. Debra Mounts knows the key to true success is hard work and perseverance.
 
Debra credits her mom for preparing nutritious meals and being a good exercise role model. Today, Debra’s job can get stressful, and she often works long hours. But she and her husband get up at 5 a.m. three to four times per week to hit the gym before work. She says there’s no magic bullet to better health, but if you chip away at it every day you’ll get there.
 
How did your mom help give you a good, healthy start?
My mom had gestational diabetes, and that was dire back then. Diabetes runs in her family, and that frightened her enough that she prepared healthy meals and exemplified an active lifestyle. Sugar scared her, so we didn’t have sweets. She’s 84 now and still works full time at a health food store.
 
What do you do for exercise now?
My husband and I get up at 5 a.m. three or four times a week to go to the gym. I love the treadmill and run about 5 miles each time, and I enjoy lifting kettlebells. I wear earbuds and like to listen to new country and pop music. That makes the workout so much easier and pass more quickly. If we don’t go to the gym, we walk for an hour, or we cycle. We’re accountability partners.
 
Is your job pretty stressful?
I love what I do, and I’m passionate about it. I really want high-quality doctors to be a part of Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. I’m on the phone or in front of people all day. The days can get pretty intense. I believe exercise gives me somewhere to put all that stress. I tell people in the office, “I go work out, and you will like me better!”
 
How does exercise help you in your daily life?
When I don’t exercise, I’m mentally and physically sluggish. If there’s a problem I need to solve, a lot of times I’m able to work it through on the treadmill. It calms me down, almost like meditation.
 
Are there any roadblocks?
The biggest challenge is finding time and making it a priority. I have to schedule it. I’m not a morning person, but I don’t like to go to the gym after a long day at work.
 
Do you diet to stay healthy?
We don’t really diet – it’s a lifestyle. I pay attention and get enough protein because I work out, but I try to keep carbs low. It’s not very exciting, but it works. We eat a lot of turkey burgers, chicken, and fish. Every now and then we eat red meat. We eat out about once a week, and we may have a glass of wine or a margarita.
 
Any pointers for those beginning to live healthier?
You have to want to start the process and begin a new journey. It’s a new opportunity for growth, but, like everything, it’s a discipline.
 
Unfortunately, there’s no magic to it. It’s hard work, and you just have to make up your mind to do it. Tell yourself you’ll try it for 30 days and if you don’t make it perfectly, don’t give up.
 
Just start. Walk. Ride a bike. Move. If you fall off, get back on. We all have challenges in life. Life is about process, not perfection.