For Andrew Flaherty, Ways to Wellness was a complete lifestyle change.
"I was a fairly physically fit individual through my high school years. However, once I finished my undergraduate degree and began working I seldom made time for working out. I really started to notice the impact of my sedentary lifestyle when I reach my early 30s and had a family with two small children. My eating habits became about fast and convenient meals which often meant poor choices. Late in 2008, I was having a hard time going up the stairs at work, playing with my children, and in general felt in increasingly poor physical condition."
Flaherty, a Marketing Manager for 3M, had allowed himself to put in excess of 250 lbs on his 5' 9" frame. He had tried diets in the past with limited results that inevitably lead to more weight gain. He knew that as he got older, getting the weight off was only going to become more difficult. Balancing a professional career and a young family left him with a limited schedule to take back control of his wellness. He needed a program that would work with his needs to build a health nutrition, physical fitness, and mental outlook on his wellness program.
At age 34, Flaherty began the Ways to Wellness program on December 30, 2008. At the initial meeting, he weighed 245 lbs., could barely do 10 push-ups, 13 sit-ups, had a 35% body fat measure, and had a combined body age of a 45-plus-year-old male. By the end of April, he had lost 62 lbs. and had transformed his body to only 14% fat and a combined body age of a 24-year-old male.
"I actually tried to rationalize not doing the program on the eve of my first appointment. I was literally scared and did not want to give up my poor eating habits and evenings sitting on the couch. However, once I started the program it became contagious – I could not wait to get to the gym for my 30 minutes of exercise and focus.
I found different foods that I enjoyed preparing and eating. When out on business or for dinner I now automatically think ahead and look for the healthy choices on the menu. It's been a wonderful change in my life and I am ecstatic with the results. I look back now on my pre-first meeting reservations and am so glad that I turned back my self doubt and followed through on the Ways toWellness program."
A New Lifestyle
According to Flaherty, the Ways to Wellness program focused on several aspects that allow you to build out a holistic approach to your personal wellness. "The program taught me not to punish myself if I have a treat for myself. It taught me to look at myself and my wellness as an overall picture and as long as the journey continues in the right direction with good nutrition and exercise, the occasional treat will not derail me. It also taught me to make time for my wellness. Just as many of us do in our professional lives, I needed to take control and manage perhaps one of the most important things in my life, my wellness!"
During the Ways to Wellness program, Flaherty truly began to enjoy exercise. "It's kind of funny, I am now actually looking to run in local 5Ks. Never before have I been interested in this and now that I'm more physically fit, I'm looking for ways to push myself further."
Flaherty also credits the individual Ways to Wellness sessions for focusing on exercise and nutrition gains. "During my sessions, Brenda would help me with different work out techniques to help me pinpoint areas I wanted to improve. In addition, it was great to have someone to share food ideas with and get some new ideas on creative cooking. The sessions were great – Brenda showed a genuine interest in helping me attain my personal wellness goals and was a great coach in my journey!"
Family and Friends Impact
People are noticing the dramatic changes and asking how Flaherty obtained the results. "It's fun to see family and friends that I have not in a while. Inevitably they are all pretty shocked at the transformation that has taken place over recent months. At about the 20-pound weight loss milestone, co-workers started to take note as well. Everyone has been so supportive of my lifestyle changes.
"Whether you just want to lose a few pounds, start an exercise program, eat healthier, or make a total lifestyle change you need to be personally invested and own the changes in your life. The Ways to Wellness program is there to help you with all the steps and I have to say that I would not be in the shape I am today without having entered the program!"