One Step At A Time

DarlaAtchleyDarla Atchley, a long time SoutheastHealth employee and coding supervisor of Health Information Systems, knows what it’s like to be overweight and suffer with multiple health issues.  She came face-to-face with the reality of how her weight was impacting her health when she was being treated for a herniated disc.  Her physician told her that losing weight would positively impact her condition.

“I knew I needed to lose weight, but Dr. Reis made it clear that I needed to make changes in my lifestyle,” said Darla.  “I looked at my newly-married children and knew I wanted to be healthy and active for any future grandchildren.”

In March 2018, Darla began the Starting Point Weight Loss Program at HealthPoint Fitness.  “SoutheastHEALTH employees are so lucky that our benefit package includes coverage of this program.  It was the extra incentive I needed to begin my weight loss journey.”

Darla had no weight loss goal in mind when she started the program.  “Raina and Mary Etta are so skilled at helping you stay on course and keeping you motivated,” she noted. “The program is medically integrated so they are aware of the multiple health issues I was battling.  They keep the program simple…you take one step at a time.”

That is exactly what Darla did…as she started losing weight, she began walking short distances around the Hospital during her break and lunch hours.  “I used to dread having to walk across campus to go to a meeting because it was so physically difficult.  It is such a joy to be able to walk the halls and up and down the stairs. These days, I never take the elevator!  She is now a member of HealthPoint Fitness where she takes an aquatic class, works out on the cardio floor and walks the track.  The fitness center is on her way home, so she has made it a habit to stop there three or four times a week to work out.

With the Starting Point program and her family’s support, Darla has lost 105 lbs. in one year.  She is also completely off high blood pressure medication, no longer needs a sleep apnea machine and her back and rheumatoid arthritis issues have much improved.

“I want to share my story so everyone will know what a positive experience this has been for me.  It is not easy, but it is possible to change your life,” smiled Darla.