Member Stories

The last 10 weeks have been life changing for me. I have struggled with my weight for the last 12 years; each new week would bring, “I will diet and exercise Monday; I will start Monday”; if I didn’t feel well or ate something I shouldn’t have, I would give up.

Ten weeks ago, the iCount My Gift to Myself Challenge started- I was skeptical. But I thought, what the heck. It has been 10 full weeks and I still have not missed a day-I don’t want to miss a day!! I’m making healthy food choices and I feel amazing. I am back into a size 14 pants and I feel healthy but most importantly I feel happy. I share my journey openly with my friends on Facebook and with my co-workers. It helps me when I get encouragement from others - I needed that to help me push through. However, then people actually started to say that I inspired them….ME!!! I’m truly blessed with great friends, supportive co-workers and a wonderful family. Being a healthy & happy role model is the best feeling in the world. My son Jake gives me the hug test daily to see how ‘skinny’ I’m getting.

If I had one wish, it would be that everyone I love, that struggles with their weight, would feel how I do right this second and that they could say….No More Mondays - It’s my life style!!!

- Vicki L., Cassadaga, NY
Since the NAWBO-OC Wellness Program officially began, I've been walking at least 10,000 steps every day. Everything in my life has become a series of steps. A lap around the front of my street is 600 steps, a lap around my entire block is 2500 steps, and a walk to and from the grocery store is 3500 steps. But walking the walk has taught me some other things as well, things I can apply to both my personal and professional life:
  1. When I walk, I slow down and see things from a much different perspective than when I whiz by in a car.
  2. Every walk, even if I take the same route, is different.
  3. Walking is easier when I travel light.
  4. There is no point in cutting corners, because I will just have to make up the steps later.
  5. What gets measured gets done.
I've now walked about 650,000 steps, which is about 325 miles. That means I could have walked from my house in Orange County to Santa Barbara … and back! One last thing I've learned … I can go very, very far if I do it one step at a time.
- Trina F., Santa Ana, CA
I am grateful for so many things in my life. I feel blessed beyond belief. The iCount wellness program has been one of my blessings in disguise.

Unfortunately, two years ago, my mother lost her battle with diabetes and within a few months after her passing, I learned that my father had cancer. Words cannot express how much of an eye-opening experience that was. The iCount program has motivated me to live a healthier life and to encourage my loved ones to do the same. I am trying my hardest to prevent any disease from affecting me or my family. As a result, I make sure to incorporate exercise in my daily life and in those around me.

How blessed can I be to be employed at a place where staying healthy & active is promoted on a daily basis? I have noticed that the iCount program has brought the staff closer and has made our working environment a more cheerful place to be. I have experienced co-workers motivating each other to go for a walk, a jog or a fun game of basketball. In the end, exercise is beneficial for everyone!

I want to be around for many more years and be able to look forward for many blessings to come.
- Claudia G., Laredo, TX
I am so hooked on the pedometer and entering my steps daily. Can't imagine not continuing with this program.
- Anne J., Irvine, CA
As I get older I realize that keeping me healthy is the most important thing I can do for myself and my family. I have always been able to control my weight. I discovered that just having the right weight does not mean you're healthy. I believe that by eating right and doing exercise you can maintain optimum health. I have gradually built up my exercise routine which includes weight lifting for strength and healthy bones, aerobic exercise for healthy heart, yoga and Pilate for flexibility which reduce aches and pains. For a variety of different reasons, I have reduced my weight lifting and finally stopped weight lifting altogether. I wanted to resume weight lifting but it never happened. I am very happy that with iCount that I am able to get back to a well-rounded routine including weight lifting as my goal. I have added a few more new classes at the gym which I believe will improve my overall health. I intend to continue doing this and keep on improving my health by using the tools and knowledge from the iCount wellness program.
- Diane K., Rochester, NY
Why I Count, because I Count. I am close to retirement and have been very active until the last few years when the dreaded arthritis has taken over most of my joints. I used to walk 3 miles every day, played basketball with my grandsons, and did heavy duty yard work until I developed serious back issues, resulting in diminishing my walking. I love to walk!!! I find it very therapeutic. When I was told to slow it down, I was very upset. iCount came along and I joined not knowing what to expect. It was one of the best things I could do. Even though I am unable to walk the way I was used to, I ride an exercise bike, garden, and watch the grandkids play basketball. I just do what I do for myself and I enjoy it!!!!

I will keep on keepin' on because I Count!
- Donna L., Pittsburgh, PA
iCount, for me, has become about self-awareness. After my recent job change, I get a lot less exercise. I find myself having to put forth more of an effort to get in just these steps, where at my last job, it came with ease. I no longer have a job that requires me to be physically active. Wearing my pedometer has made me aware of my activity…or lack of activity, for that matter!

iCount has changed my views. At the end of the day, I check my pedometer. If I don't feel that I have enough steps in, I do push-ups, jumping jacks or walk around in circles in my apartment until I feel better about my physical activity for the day. On the same note, it will inspire me to eat a healthier snack. My goals were to lose a bit of weight and to take the time to eat lunch. I have accomplished the majority these goals. It was not a surprise to find that on the days I was able to eat lunch, it helped me to feel better and be able to work harder throughout the course of my day. More things get accomplished with more accuracy. Losing a bit of weight gave me more energy, too.

I have learned to be more mindful of what and when I am eating and my physical activity and not to take my normally active lifestyle for granted. I am mindful of making healthier choices overall.
- Leah, Cassadaga
Being healthy and vibrant is important to me because I need to have energy to keep up with my busy life style. Not only do I work full time but I also attend college full time as I work on getting my BA in Behavioral Sciences while I run a house hold and take care of my family. At the beginning iCount I had to get my biometrics done in order to stay on my husband's health insurance. I got a bit of a surprise when my results came back and showed that I had not only high cholesterol but also high triglycerides. This was quite a surprise! This gave me an added incentive to become more vibrant in my life. I challenged myself to lose at least 5 pounds and cut soda and sugar from my diet and to increase my aerobic activity to get my cholesterol and triglycerides down to an acceptable number. I have managed to do what I set out to accomplish, I have lost 10 pounds and have gone down 2 pant sizes. My doctor ran my numbers again and I have made a significant difference in my cholesterol and triglycerides. My energy level continues to rise, my children have commented that I seem to be in a really good mood all of them time and work is going really well. I feel very vibrant and energetic and am ready to tackle any challenge that comes my way. Making myself a priority is not something that comes easy to me or to any wife and mother as I am used to taking care of others, myself, not so much. iCount has shown me that if I take care of myself I will be better able to take care of those that I love around me. Being vibrant is an important factor in living a good life and I will strive to find ways to become even more healthy and vibrant.
- Samantha D., Loring, ME
As the iCount program began on our Center, I saw this as an opportunity to become a part of a healthy culture. The first thing I participated in through iCount was a 5K race. I had never even imagined that I would participate in such an event. I was very apprehensive at first, but through the encouragement of other staff and a practice program that the iCount committee put together, I not only completed the 3.1 miles, but I thoroughly enjoyed the event and camaraderie. I enjoyed it so much I was one of the first to sign up for the next 5K.

After taking on these challenges, I realized there was another daunting challenge ahead of me… cigarettes. I had been a smoker for 26 years. I knew that any progress that I was making by participating in iCount was being offset by the constant use of tobacco. So, I decided to face this challenge head on. To date, I have been tobacco free for well over a year! The iCount program was such a fun way to look at a serious problem in my own health and start on a path to healthier living.
- Terrance B., San Jose, CA
I feel healthier since the iCount program came to my work. I have had a balance disorder for the last four years and a lot of the therapy that I do is exercise. Walking is the most important exercise to maintain proper balance. With iCount I have renewed determination. I challenge myself to be healthier every day. When I started working at my job, I weighed 255 now I am under 210 and with iCount I will continue to drop the weight. iCount keeps me healthier. Walking and exercising makes me feel better about myself. My balance disorder makes me have anxiety but, guess what the walking , exercising and meditation I do takes it away or keeps it in check. I am challenged by the Staff Top Ten Chart. My goal is not to be on top of the charts all the time, my goal is to keep focus, disciplined and to have the continuous determination to keep walking and to be a better version of myself year after year in all aspects of my life and to transmit that to the staff and students I work with.
- Gabriel G., San Diego, CA
I was so proud of myself a year ago when I lost 15 pounds. It took a long time and it was hard for me to accomplish. I was so happy to buy new clothes that were smaller! The rest of the story is that shortly after that, I started my new job, and I put it back on. Our lunches here are great…sometimes too great! I like food and I have very little will-power to push back from the table when it is sitting right in front of me. Thank goodness we started the iCount program! I have started watching what I eat at home as well as at work. I take walks with my husband almost every night. I know I have to log in those steps, so I consciously make more of an effort. I am not where I want to be yet, but I am at least moving in that direction. The iCount program is holding me accountable and motivating me when I need it!
- Anonymous, Ottumwa, IA
Such a great program! Love all the different functions on the website. I have always been active but on those days when I don't feel like doing anything after work, it really got me off the couch and out for a walk. Thank you!
- Shelly F., Irvine, CA