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Employee Story: Ronna Hampton, T.E.A.M. Systems

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Preventative health is what inspired the 50 lbs weight loss for Ronna Hampton, a Software Engineer at Magna T.E.A.M. Systems.

Ronna tried many ‘fad diets’ in the past, but didn’t see the long-term health benefits she was hoping for. Yet, she didn’t give up!

She wanted to develop a plan that would allow her to incorporate more exercise into her life. However, trying to balance work, personal life, and life’s challenges while trying to start on a new diet and exercise plan, can often be very difficult. But Ronna found a way!

 “I started exercising with a peddler (miniature stationary bike) under my desk (at work). Being able to exercise made a big difference for me. I found it extremely difficult to lose weight without exercising, and I had trouble finding time to consistently exercise until I found the peddler.”

Being able to use the peddler at work gave Ronna a new appreciation for exercise and the motivation she was looking for.

In addition to adding more exercise into her daily life, Ronna also made adjustments to what she was eating.

“I keep a food journal to monitor what I’m eating. I aim for 1700 – 1800 calories and 1 hr of exercise each day. I eat a lot more vegetables and fruits. I cut carbs and eat more lean protein such as – turkey, chicken, tofu, cottage cheese, protein drinks, yogurt, and eggs. I also often eat soups and salads.”

When starting a new diet, food journaling can be very helpful. It can give insight into what one is really eating on a daily basis in terms of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and sugars.  It is a good tracking tool that can help change how people look at different foods; and as Ronna explains, there’s an app for that!

“In the beginning, I used an app – MyFitnessPal -- to track my calories. Now I track calories with a spreadsheet and Google non-labeled food items for nutritional information.”

As one can see, improving health for the long-term does require effort and in some cases, requires a major lifestyle change. Through that change can also come many challenges.

“My biggest challenge was adjusting to much smaller portion sizes. I had to strictly control portion sizes until it came more naturally to me. Exercising helped me limit my calorie intake, as it reduced my appetite and food cravings.” Ronna stated.

Even though Ronna faced some challenges in the last 11 months, she has also seen great success. Some of that success comes from the support she has seen from her family and co-workers. 

“My mother-in-law is (now) counting calories and exercising more, so we trade tips and recipes. Many of my coworkers have also complimented my weight loss success which helps motivate me. I’ve talked to several colleagues about healthy foods we like, recipes, exercising and other ideas to that facilitate a healthier lifestyle.”

Lauren Cool, Wellness Coordinator at T.E.A.M. Systems adds, “Ronna’s success has really inspired a lot of our employees here at T.E.A.M. Systems. There are quite a few employees that have seen Ronna’s transformation and started using the peddlers not only at their desks at work, but also at home. Her story has sparked many conversations about health and wellness that has motivated people to begin their own weight loss journey.”

There are many diet and exercise tools that are on the market, but finding the right fit for you is key. Ronna found her motivation in exercising with her bike peddler; and it has truly changed her life.

For those that might be struggling to find something that works, Ronna gave some words of advice, “Keep trying, don’t give up! Find the things that work for you and keep adding new ways to meet your goals.”

If you are interested in learning more about the desk peddlers (miniature stationary bike) you can find them at Amazon.com, Meijer, or your local sporting goods store. Models run for between $35-$150 (USD). In Canada, find them at Staples, Walmart, or Amazon.ca.

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