Jolen Stewart wanted to have a baby, but before getting pregnant she wanted to get her health in order and set good habits that would last.
After a doctor’s appointment where she learned her cholesterol was dangerously high, to the point her doctor wanted to put her on medication, Jolen knew she needed to make some changes in her life. She also knew that she didn’t want to do it alone. That is why she chose the Intervent program at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute, a scientifically-based lifestyle and weight management program that pairs patients with a mentor for a year-long program focused on exercise, nutrition, stress management and healthy living.
“I knew I didn’t want a diet,” said Jolen. “I wanted something more. I wanted a program that would teach me different eating habits and how
to fit in exercise, in a way that was realistic.”
Jolen started the Intervent program meeting one-on-one with her mentor two times a week. At each short meeting, only about 15 minutes long, they would discuss her goals and priorities for the week, areas of focus and challenges she was facing along the way, as well as providing education on proper nutrition, exercise and how to lead a healthy life.
“We started slowly, which is what really works. If you change everything overnight it is hard, but if you take one piece at a time and focus on it, you can manage the change. This program builds on itself, and your mentor is always there to answer questions and provide encouragement.”
Jolen also took what she learned home to her family. Her husband started walking with Jolen and they worked together to make healthy food choices. Before long they both started seeing changes in their lives, losing weight and enjoying exercise.
“We really have fun doing it together. We started with walking and bike rides, with the goal to finish a marathon. Now we are training for triathlons too!”