Tracking health goals ends in positive results
October 13, 2016 | Patient Stories
Keeping a journal of her food, fitness and fun has been a tool for success for Jo-Dell Forestier. She has details of her successes and challenges for the last eight years, marking down which workshops she has taken, how much weight she has lost and gained and any solutions to overcome barriers.
Jo-Dell first discussed her health problems of joint pain and sleep apnea with her family doctor, Dr. Sarah Toma, who advised her that these could be weight related issues. She was referred to Alberta Health Services’ Weight Wise Clinic where she received help for three years before seeking assistance through Edmonton Southside Primary Care Network (PCN).
Janice Wall, a PCN primary care nurse, discussed her diabetes and obesity while primary care dietitian Jennifer Norminton provided meal planning and menu ideas, recommended an exercise class and suggested activities to do instead of eating.
“She commended me on tracking my food,” says Jo-Dell.
They referred her to the 5As study, which focuses on obese patients. She explained that all the participants were weighed, measured and asked to evaluate the health team’s support in their weight management.
“That helped me pay attention. I took a meal planning class,” adds Jo-Dell.
“With Jo-Dell, we have worked together to overcome barriers she’s experienced in her goal setting. She’s always eager to set a new goal after maintenance and follow through of her former goals. She tracks and records everything (food intake, labs, exercise, weight, blood pressure) and while this may not work for everyone, it works for Jo-Dell by helping her stay accountable and that’s what has made her successful in her journey to better health,” says Jennifer.
She was also referred to an exercise specialist at the PCN because she was falling and injuring herself. Sandra Stabel, PCN exercise specialist, taught her how to keep fit inside during the winter months.
Jo-Dell, 60, increased the amount she walks since taking the Get Out, Get Active with PCNs challenge in the spring, whether on errands or during her recent move.
Janice noticed that Jo-Dell developed an interest in pole walking after taking a PCN pole walking class.
Her health team has helped her establish goals, which has made a difference in her life.
“They are supportive. I’ve lost more than 20 pounds, which is good for me, because sometimes in my eight year journey I didn’t lose any weight at all,” says Jo-Dell. “I wasn’t proud of myself until a year ago when I finally got the impetus to resume being more conscientious about my food. I felt good this whole past year. My plan is to keep heading to a healthy weight.”