Standing in the grocery aisle, Gladys Turnquist rotates a jar in her hands, looking for the ingredients list and nutrition facts. She moves her finger down the label, evaluating the fat, sodium and sugar it contains. Although natural to her now, it’s something she didn’t pay much attention to before she joined the Healthy Lifestyles Program at Holy Rosary last year.
“You’re really not aware of what you eat until you start reading labels,” she says. “I love that I learned to make healthy choices.”
Gladys chose to join the Healthy Lifestyles Program because she was concerned about her health.
“I didn’t want to end up with diabetes,” she says. “My weight was increasing and so was my cholesterol. I needed to set a goal for myself. That’s when I picked up the phone.”
The Healthy Lifestyles Program was designed for people like Gladys: those who are at risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The program offers a series of classes focused not on dieting, but on making long-lasting lifestyle changes to improve health.
Participants discuss a variety of topics including how to avoid hidden sugars, fats and calories in everyday foods and get hands-on experience in cooking classes designed to learn how to cook more nutritious foods. They also have the opportunity to learn the basics of yoga, weight lifting and water aerobics as a group, helping individuals become more comfortable with exercise routines. A follow-up period helps encourage success.
The program has proven so successful that Healthy Lifestyles recently received national recognition from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its sustained success in helping prevent Type 2 diabetes.
Its impact is certainly evident for Gladys, who not only met the program’s goal to reduce her body weight by 7 percent, but surpassed it.
“I’ve lost weight, lowered my cholesterol and been able to cut my blood pressure medication in half,” says Gladys. “This has been the best thing for me. I learned so much and feel so confident I won’t go back to my old lifestyle.”
A new session of the Holy Rosary Healthcare Healthy Lifestyles Program begins in September. The enrollment fee for the 10-month program is $150 with early enrollment discount extended through September 11, saving participants $50. Scholarships are available based on income guidelines. Special corporate pricing is also available for businesses. For more information or for an enrollment packet, call 406-233-4067.
Healthy Lifestyles is funded, in part, under a contract with the MT Department of Public Health & Human Services. The statements herein do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the department.