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Stephanie Jordan, R.N.

November 2016​​

 

Once you find something that motivates you, use it!
In Stephanie Jordan’s family, women die of heart disease. So when she was diagnosed with high blood pressure in 2013, she vowed to make changes. She wanted to be here for her three children and 12 grandchildren. Stephanie began by changing what she was eating. She cut out sodium as much as possible, started making green smoothies, and made sure the foods she was eating are low-carb, low-fat. Past surgery on her neck limits her exercise to mostly lower body strength training such as lunges and squats. She also walks, loves Zumba and Tae Bo, and uses her elliptical and stationary bike at home. Stephanie has lost 16 pounds, is off medication and has never felt better. Her new goal is to stay healthy and active, keep up with her checkups, but still have fun, too.  

What got you started on trying to be healthier?
Heart disease runs in my family and I didn’t want to die young. When I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, I really kicked it in high gear. I vowed to change. I want to be here for my grandkids. I have three children and 12 grandchildren.

What are some of the dietary changes you’ve made?
I’ve cut sodium out as much as possible. I read food labels to check for sodium. I don’t add salt when cooking.  I also started doing a green smoothie cleanse. I really like it and I still do one to two a day. It involves mostly greens – spinach, mixed greens, kale – I add some frozen fruit to it for a little sweetness and add a little organic yogurt. I also make sure the foods I’m eating are low-carb, low-fat because I was borderline for high cholesterol.

What kind of exercise do you enjoy?
Because of surgery that I had a couple of years ago on my neck and spine, I’m not able to do any weights or lift anything above my head. But I do some lower body strength training such as lunges and squats.

I love Zumba and Tae Bo. I sometimes go walking and I have an elliptical and stationary bike. I also have exercise DVDs. So I can do everything at home.

What are some of the roadblocks you’ve encountered?
Drinking enough water is a challenge. I’m not a big water drinker. But I’m doing better at it. Other than that, once I have something in my head, nothing can deter me. Life and longevity are good things to push for.

How do you keep from giving up?
Because I’ve been at so many different weights in my life, I know how easy it is to fall back on old habits and how quickly one can get out of shape. Experience helps me stay on track. I constantly talk to myself. 
My kids and my grandkids are my motivation. Once you find something to motivate you, even if it’s a dress you want to get into, use that.

How do you feel since implementing changes in your lifestyle?
I’ve succeeded in getting off blood pressure medication. I watched a lot of women in my family take lots of medications and I did not want to do that. I also don’t have the headaches I used to have and I’ve lowered my cholesterol.

What are your goals now?
My goal is to stay healthy, stay active and keep up with my checkups. But still have fun, too!

What advice would you give other employees?
Most people think they have to give up things they like. I tell people, I haven’t given up anything I like. I just do it in moderation. During the week, I stick to eating healthy and then I splurge with my husband on the weekend. But don’t overdo it.

What have you learned about yourself?
I’ve learned that I have the will to succeed. If I say I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it.

Do you have any other words of wisdom to share?
Everybody is different. Try a group or a gym to get started. Try the apps. Try the portioned meals. What works for me may not work for you. Find what works for you and take it one day at a time. Don’t try to rush it. Find time to exercise – even just a little.