Prior to coming to the Y, Flora was severely overweight. Medical complications due to her morbid obesity resulted in numerous surgeries over a four-year period, and left her feeling low with diminished self-confidence. In 2002, she lost her job and her overall health created barriers to finding new employment. She had no energy and her situation began to isolate her; she rarely left the house other than to visit family.
In November 2011, she elected to have bariatric surgery, which was a positive first step. “After having the surgery, I had to promise my doctor that I would do one hour of exercise each day so they would let me go home. I told him I would, but I knew it was a promise I would not keep,” Flora admits.
In December 2011, Flora came to the Y. Although she had been a member for three years, she had not really used her membership benefits until then. It took several visits to the wellness center with consistent encouragement from staff before Flora accepted help in getting on board with a plan. “I talked with Scarlet in the Wellness Center and she was so helpful. I was hesitant to walk on the track and she encouraged me to do it, which began my fitness journey. Later, she introduced me to the Coach Me Program. It was there that I met my coach Jill,” said Flora. “I didn’t know how fortunate it was going to be to have Jill as my coach, but it has been terrific! I explained my health situation and she began instruction, bringing me the knowledge and tools that have given me the strength to move forward day by day.” These relationships were the first of many at the Y that would change Flora’s life.
As a result of the Y staff believing in her, Flora was able to start believing in herself, too. “Coming to the Y has been the best thing I have ever done for myself and to have all these people care and help me along in my journey has been beyond words,” shares Flora. “I will tell anyone who asks me, ‘where is your happy place?’ It’s the Y… I truly know they have saved me from my past and have given me a happier future. Today, I feel more confident as I continue to pursue my fitness goals.”
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