Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My workplace wellness

In 2008, one of ALA President Loriene Roy's initiatives was workplace wellness. I received this June/July 2008 issue of American Libraries and read it with interest. You see, on April 1 of that year I decided it was time to get healthy. I was pretty sure I would be granted tenure. I received the good news May 14 and was tenured effective July 1, 2008. That meant it was time to focus on me. The tenure process was a great excuse for why I didn't get any exercise, why I ate so much fast food, why I had such high blood pressure, and why I was gaining so much weight. There would be no more excuses.

April Fool's day, I used elliptical machine for 5 minutes.

Five. Agonizing. Minutes.

Slowly I got better. Five minutes turned into seven. Seven turned into twelve. Towards the end of the month I found Sparkpeople and signed up on April 28. I began tracking my foods and exercise. I incorporated basic workout DVD's and online videos to add variety to my exercise. By the time I went to the Annual Conference in Anaheim, I'd lost 12 pounds.

I slowly but surely made progress.

People didn't start to mention my weight loss until 2010. During the ALA Inaugural Banquet, an ALA member who'd just seen me at Midwinter asked if I'd lost weight. Soon everyone noticed. I suppose I was finally at a point where it was hard to ignore.

2007-2011 January photos of weight loss progress1/07, 1/08, 1/09, 1/10, 1/11
-70 pounds

I'm very proud of where I am three years later. I still have my copy of American Libraries with the articles I found inspiring. What I no longer have are high blood pressure and sixty-five pounds. 65 pounds and counting.


  1. Congrats....Now the really hard work begins. As you may (or may not) remember, 5 years ago I was in a similar battle. (I blogged about it a little here.)

    Moving to New Orleans did not help. I am back up to 230 (from 200), but still down from 275. I'll be trying to be trimmer by the time you get to town!

  2. You have lost weight! And you look fabulous! I couldn't figure out why you looked different at CIL two weeks ago; I thought I was misremembering you from when we first met at ALA MW '10 over a year ago.

    Looking at your photo progression, I let out a "holy [crap]". You've come a long way and you should be damn proud of yourself. I find your progress inspiring!

    Oh, and my first time on the elliptical? I thought my brother had taken me to the gym to kill me. And that was only ten minutes worth.

  3. You look great Courtney! I'm impressed. You've inspired me, due to stress, then the move, then the new job my weight has been creeping up, but its time to stop making excuses and get back on track! Slow and steady does it!

  4. Thanks Michael! I'm looking forward to seeing you in NOLA. It's been far too long.

    Andy, you're too kind. It's fantastic how you knew something was different at CiL. That elliptical machine takes no prisoners when you first start.

    Aw, thanks Bobbi! You are spot on. It's so hard not let excuses be excuses. My recent move and all the travel have been potential crutches, but I've tried to keep it to a minimum. You're pretty fabulous so I know you'll accomplish whatever you feel you need to do.