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Lisa Williams, MHRM, Sr. Training Specialist, Pearland Administrative Offices Building

The year that Lisa turned 50, she was determined not to enter the next phase of her life with the same knee and ankle problems that had plagued her for years. She set a goal for herself that, by her birthday she would be celebrating not only another year of life, but also a future without joint pain that was a result of her being overweight. She decided to dive right into better health by going to the pool for water aerobics.

Why did you decide to go on this wellness journey?
I started having a lot of problems with my knees and ankles. Every time I went to the doctor, they attributed the pain I was experiencing to my weight and recommended I lose some weight. I didn’t want to go into the 50th year of my life feeling the way that I did.

What changes did you make in your life to be healthier?
The first thing I did was join LA Fitness because they had water aerobics classes. Since I have arthritis in my knees, the doctors recommended water exercises for me. I started out going three days a week, and at the same time I started using the MyFitnessPal app to begin tracking my calories. At first I wasn’t seeing a lot of results and decided I needed some assistance. I had a friend who was a personal trainer, so I began doing a boot camp class with her in addition to the water aerobics. I also walk about two miles a day when walking my dog.

How did you change the way you ate?
The trainer also helped with that. I don’t like the word ‘diet’ because it feels restrictive. She had me take pictures of everything I ate and send them to her, and she would tell me whether my food was rated ‘good,’ ‘better,’ or ‘best.’ Taking those photos helped me to be disciplined with what I ate. She used to joke with me and say that if I didn’t send her the pictures she was going to assume I was eating cake. By doing this, I have been losing inches, and I’m still working.

Did you set any personal goals for yourself?
I’m working toward getting myself into a two-piece bathing suit in time for a relative’s wedding in Jamaica this fall! I’ve already purchased it and it is hanging up on my bathroom door as a constant reminder of what my goal is.
I have seen an improvement in my knees since starting this wellness journey. My long term goal is to just maintain a healthy lifestyle.

What is your favorite healthy meal?
That would be a rotisserie chicken and a green salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and black olives. I like Chick-fil-A’s cobb salad with grilled chicken, too.  When I go out to eat, I look at the menu ahead of time so I know what my options are, and add that to my calorie count for the day.

What is your guilty pleasure?
My treat is a cinnamon roll from Buc-ee’s – they have the greatest cinnamon rolls! Otherwise, fruit usually satisfies my sweet tooth.

What would you tell someone who is just starting out on their health journey?
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see the progress you’re expecting early on. Also, you have to be your own biggest cheerleader and continuously encourage yourself. Maybe even purchase an outfit you want to get into and hang it in your room. That way when you pass by it you are seeing your goal on a regular basis.