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Time to get healthy

Nov 12, 2019, 11:00 AM
Patient decides it's time to get healthy with the help of Primary Care Provider and Nutrition Counseling Program.

Katie Johnston makes changes with help of health coach

Nutrition Counseling Patient, Katie

Katie Johnston was about to turn 30 and decided it was time to get healthy.

In early 2018, without visiting a primary care provider since moving to Mount Vernon five years before, she made a resolution to “get on track with my health.”

She started by making an appointment with Janice Gatzke, DO, a Skagit Regional Health Family Medicine provider in Mount Vernon. After an extended conversation about Katie’s goals, Dr. Gatzke referred her to the Nutrition Counseling program at Skagit Regional Health.

“I was super nervous,” Katie said, noting she was driven by her mission to live a healthy lifestyle.

“The biggest step was that first meeting. I just needed to get started on my journey, regardless of my fears,” she said.

Katie started meeting with health coach and Registered Dietician Joani Pfeiffer, RD, CDE, RHCIII who walked her through conversations around what she was eating, what a typical day was like, what were her goals and what did she enjoy?

Katie describes Joani as “uplifting,” a “cheerleader and support person” and a “major motivating factor” in helping guide her through making changes to benefit her health.

Joani applauds Katie’s self-discipline and drive.

“She is intelligent, strong, receptive and very kind to herself,” Joani said. “She is very disciplined and that’s what it takes. You have to set realistic goals and acknowledge that this may take two years, so you look at taking baby steps and making progress.”

Meal Prep Lunch, Quinoa, Chicken and Cabbage Salad

Katie set small, manageable goals about activity levels, switching from sugary soda to drinks using Stevia as a sweetener; replacing cheese-based lunches with legume-based meals; and replacing bread with higher fiber options. With some goals, she started with three days a week, gradually expanding to seven days. She plans her meals and makes lunches ahead of time to eat at work at her job as the Senior Manager of Volunteer Support for the Girl Scouts of Western Washington in Everett.

“All my goals are achievable, not drastic. I make smarter choices each time I make goals because I am educated on what I am putting into my body,” she said. “This hasn’t been a drastic overhaul of my life to get to this point and I think that is really important. Small incremental changes can make a big difference.”

Joani gives Katie all the credit.

“She really directs traffic. I just provide a little direction and she really sets the goals and makes decisions on what is going to be attainable and sustainable,” Joani said.

The results, for Katie, show in her smile, her bright eyes and her enthusiasm for her life today. And, she has lost more than 90 pounds in 18 months.

“It was not about losing weight. This is about getting healthier. Weight loss is just a nice side effect,” Katie said. “I have more energy and the ability to move more. I want to do more on weekends because I can do more on weekends.”

With a goal right now of reaching 5,000 steps per day on her pedometer, she has had days that totaled 20,000 steps or more.

“I never thought I would get to a day when I could do that and walk the next day,” she said.

The Nutrition Counseling program works best for people, such as Katie, who are honest about their lifestyle, their personality and their willingness to make the changes, Joani said.

“You need to think about your life. Are you going to make time for physical activity? Are you willing to try a vegetable you haven’t tried before or use a new recipe?” she said. “You have to know your personality and know if you are ready.”

Katie has embraced it all.

“I am more confident and have established good habits. I have direction and focus on the health side of my life,” she said. “I am very much the same person, I am just the same person who wasn’t taking care of herself who is now taking care of herself. It helps me fill back up some of my glass so I can continue to give.”

For more information about Nutrition Counseling, consult your provider or click here.

Blog

113 posts

Last post : 12/14/2019

Time to get healthy

Nov 12, 2019, 11:00 AM
Patient decides it's time to get healthy with the help of Primary Care Provider and Nutrition Counseling Program.

Katie Johnston makes changes with help of health coach

Nutrition Counseling Patient, Katie

Katie Johnston was about to turn 30 and decided it was time to get healthy.

In early 2018, without visiting a primary care provider since moving to Mount Vernon five years before, she made a resolution to “get on track with my health.”

She started by making an appointment with Janice Gatzke, DO, a Skagit Regional Health Family Medicine provider in Mount Vernon. After an extended conversation about Katie’s goals, Dr. Gatzke referred her to the Nutrition Counseling program at Skagit Regional Health.

“I was super nervous,” Katie said, noting she was driven by her mission to live a healthy lifestyle.

“The biggest step was that first meeting. I just needed to get started on my journey, regardless of my fears,” she said.

Katie started meeting with health coach and Registered Dietician Joani Pfeiffer, RD, CDE, RHCIII who walked her through conversations around what she was eating, what a typical day was like, what were her goals and what did she enjoy?

Katie describes Joani as “uplifting,” a “cheerleader and support person” and a “major motivating factor” in helping guide her through making changes to benefit her health.

Joani applauds Katie’s self-discipline and drive.

“She is intelligent, strong, receptive and very kind to herself,” Joani said. “She is very disciplined and that’s what it takes. You have to set realistic goals and acknowledge that this may take two years, so you look at taking baby steps and making progress.”

Meal Prep Lunch, Quinoa, Chicken and Cabbage Salad

Katie set small, manageable goals about activity levels, switching from sugary soda to drinks using Stevia as a sweetener; replacing cheese-based lunches with legume-based meals; and replacing bread with higher fiber options. With some goals, she started with three days a week, gradually expanding to seven days. She plans her meals and makes lunches ahead of time to eat at work at her job as the Senior Manager of Volunteer Support for the Girl Scouts of Western Washington in Everett.

“All my goals are achievable, not drastic. I make smarter choices each time I make goals because I am educated on what I am putting into my body,” she said. “This hasn’t been a drastic overhaul of my life to get to this point and I think that is really important. Small incremental changes can make a big difference.”

Joani gives Katie all the credit.

“She really directs traffic. I just provide a little direction and she really sets the goals and makes decisions on what is going to be attainable and sustainable,” Joani said.

The results, for Katie, show in her smile, her bright eyes and her enthusiasm for her life today. And, she has lost more than 90 pounds in 18 months.

“It was not about losing weight. This is about getting healthier. Weight loss is just a nice side effect,” Katie said. “I have more energy and the ability to move more. I want to do more on weekends because I can do more on weekends.”

With a goal right now of reaching 5,000 steps per day on her pedometer, she has had days that totaled 20,000 steps or more.

“I never thought I would get to a day when I could do that and walk the next day,” she said.

The Nutrition Counseling program works best for people, such as Katie, who are honest about their lifestyle, their personality and their willingness to make the changes, Joani said.

“You need to think about your life. Are you going to make time for physical activity? Are you willing to try a vegetable you haven’t tried before or use a new recipe?” she said. “You have to know your personality and know if you are ready.”

Katie has embraced it all.

“I am more confident and have established good habits. I have direction and focus on the health side of my life,” she said. “I am very much the same person, I am just the same person who wasn’t taking care of herself who is now taking care of herself. It helps me fill back up some of my glass so I can continue to give.”

For more information about Nutrition Counseling, consult your provider or click here.