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Thrive Stories

Mary Adams was Ready

The Buddhist proverb, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." aptly describes the transformation of Mary Adams, an IT senior systems analyst.  

Between mid-February, when the Thrive program offered Unity Health System employees a Zumba class, and mid-April  Mary Adams lost 22 inches and almost 50 pounds. 

Her first Zumba class wasn't easy. "I died. You had to scrape me off the floor to get me out, said Mary. "I crawled to my car and sat on the couch for the rest of the night."

But Zumba is where she found her teacher. She liked him so much that she started taking his Sunday class
at the Henrietta RAC. His tough, no-excuses approach appealed to Mary. 

And since she was going to RAC anyway, Mary started using the treadmill, the stationary bikes, and the ski machine. She also began weight lifiting.

Yet the changes went beyond pounds, inches, and emerging muscles. Mary no longer lost her breath climbing stairs or tired herself out walking through a parking lot. Her blood pressure also improved, moving from too high to normal.

The physical change Mary had looked forward to most was how her clothes would fit.

"I tried on a shirt I hadn't worn in about eight months because it was way too tight and I didn't like the way I looked in it," said Mary. "It's big on me now."

The change in her body wasn't all due to exercise. Mary had found that one thing led to another. Her personal trainer continually adviserd her on what to eat and warned her not to lose the muscle she had bult. Consequently, about a month and a half after she had started at RAC, she found a way to make herself accountable for what she was eating through Weight Watchers at Work.

The most profound change Mary experienced was in her self-talk. She used to say thing to herself like, "You can't wear that. You can't show your fat. You don't want to be seen."  

The key to Mary's success was her readiness for change. It started with a vision of a July vacation in a lake-side house in Maine -- her first vacation in eight years. She wanted to be happy with herself at this idyllic place with no TV, radio, clocks, or telephones.

While she planned the vacation, she told her daughter she wasn't going to wear a bathing suit there. Her daughter replied, "Yes you are. You're going to wear a bathing suit and you're going to be in the pictures."

As fate (or luck or mere coincidence) would have it, two weeks after setting her vacation lpans, the Thrive program's Eat Well, Live Well and 2012 RAC Thrivin' contest began. These too appeared just as Mary was ready.