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February Wellness Hero February Wellness Hero

Proud to Be the Biggest Loser

“Since joining Kelsey-Seybold and winning The Biggest Loser Challenge, I’ve seen how being unhealthy made me feel. I felt sluggish and didn’t have any energy. The feeling I get from a better diet and being active has kept me motivated.” – Anita Arizmendez

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Anita Arizmendez, BSN, RN: RN Coordinator, Summer Creek Clinic

February 2023

Anita was in a rut before joining Kelsey-Seybold. Her previous job provided no work-life balance and she found herself just going from home to work and back again. Stress – and stress eating – had caused her to gain weight. But joining Kelsey-Seybold gave her a better work-life balance and the inspiration to not only lose weight, but to be the biggest loser in her department’s weight loss challenge.

When did your wellness journey begin?

My journey began when I came to Kelsey-Seybold in 2021. I had been a runner for many years and had kind of gotten out of the groove, but when I heard about the Susan G. Komen run in October, I signed up. Then the Biggest Loser Challenge in January 2022 really pushed me to do more.

What did the Biggest Loser Challenge entail?

Coworkers in my department chipped in money, which was put into a pot. We would weigh in each week from January to March, and whoever had the biggest percentage of body weight lost would win the money. And I got first place!

What changes did you make to get healthier?

I got back into running. I also started talking to my peers at work about what we eat. We decided to bring food to eat for lunches instead of going out, and we started drinking more water. I had not been drinking much water, so I bought one of those jugs that has reminders to drink every hour and brought it to work.

I also did keto for a bit, just incorporating different things to change my metabolism. I’ve since added more carbs back in, but just modifying my portion sizes has given me a push to do better.

Tell us about your fitness routine and why you love running.

I try to run three to four days a week. Some days I run three miles. On Sundays, I might run between six and 10 miles. When I first started, it would only be a mile or two, so I worked my way up. I typically run before work, usually at 4:30 or 5:00 in the morning.

The euphoria and release of endorphins are why I love running. I just have that feeling of being free. You don’t have another thought. Your mind just goes kind of blank. I listen to music and don’t really think about anything else. And then I feel great when I’m done!

What is your motivation to stay healthy?

My motivation is remembering how I felt before I made changes. I felt sluggish and didn’t have any energy. I want to not only stay healthy for myself, but for my son.

I see people my age coming into the clinic and they’re on 20 different medications and have all of these health issues, and I never want to get there. I don’t want to get to the point where I have to depend on medications or have to tell my son that I can’t do something because I don’t feel well.

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