Health coaching and healthy living go hand-in-hand

Rebecca Stevenson Rebecca before starting her health coaching
Rebecca Stevenson of West Lafayette made the decision to take control of her health and was able to do so with resources right here on campus. With just over four years working in the Horticulture and Landscape Architecture department, Stevenson has had time to expand her repertoire of resources and go-to places for whatever she is working on.

The Center for Healthy Living is one of those resources, and when it came time for Stevenson to focus on her health, the center was her landing spot. Stevenson said the center’s proximity to campus makes it convenient to get to so you don’t need to miss as much work, and the flat-fee cost makes it much more affordable. Stevenson credits the center for helping her make her health a priority.

“In January of 2014, I went to the center for my yearly physical and my blood work showed that I was at risk and on my way to developing Type 2 Diabetes,” Stevenson said. “It was recommended at that point that I start seeing a coach to help me try and avoid diabetes as well as reduce my blood pressure with changes in diet and exercise.”

In early 2014, Stevenson began seeing registered nurse, health coach Cheryl Laszynski at the Center. Stevenson said once she got started, she really enjoyed the health coaching aspect of taking control of her health.

“It was clear to me I wasn’t active enough and my diet wasn’t what it should be, but I struggled with finding the self-motivation to take a first step or make any lasting changes,” Stevenson explained. “I figured that seeing a health coach would help me stay accountable to the goals I set, which it definitely has. It also gives me access to my coach’s knowledge of how to make the eating and exercise choices that are right for me based upon my lifestyle and interests.”

Laszynski said the partnership between herself and Stevenson is overall what health coaching is all about.

“Her readiness to change played a significant role in her transformation,” Laszynski said. “Her being ready to do something about her health and being agreeable and setting realistic goals was important. Her accountability of completing her goals with hard work and being dedicated to the process of health coaching was all done very well.”

The hard work and dedication has paid off for Stevenson. She is now off her high blood pressure medicine and recent blood work was in the normal range. She is sleeping much better than before and said she feels so much better in general; the weight loss is a bonus, too. So far, she has lost 106 pounds and 15 inches off her waist.

“I’ve been struggling with my weight most of my life, and for the first time I feel like I have a plan as to how I can enjoy my life and be healthy without worrying all the time about what I should or shouldn’t eat,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson also shared that Purdue offers many programs at the Recreational Sports Center for those who feel intimidated about the physical activity aspect. For instance, there is a campus fit club that Stevenson took advantage of last summer and the Recreational Sports Center also offers year-round options for working with trainers that she has taken advantage of along the way.

“Without all the facilities and support that Purdue offers, I’m not sure that I would have been as successful with my fitness program,” she said.

According to Laszynski, Stevenson is an incredible story of success. “She has worked very hard,” Laszynski said. “It’s about staying healthy. She’s eating healthy, using proper portion sizes and exercising. I’m so proud of her.”

To learn more about health coaching and other no-cost wellness opportunities at the Center for Healthy Living, call 49-40111 or visit the center online. Don’t forget, you can also follow the center on Twitter for additional wellness tips and news.

The Center is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lab hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For assistance after hours or on weekends, please contact the Anthem nurse line at 888-279-5449 for assistance.