In June of this year, Kirby employee Hilda Crystal joined Get Fit, an exercise
and wellness program run through CrossFit KMC and designed especially
for those who have had lengthy absences from exercise or simply want to
get in better shape.
Could you share a bit about your health journey?
I have struggled with my weight since I was a child, and moreso as an adult.
I am a stress eater, especially comfort or sweet foods.
As an adult, my weight struggle continued, and as I got older, it was harder
to lose weight. Ten years ago, I joined a hospital-based weight-loss program
using meal replacement shakes and was successful in dropping 86 pounds.
Then after a disagreement with one of the coaches, I quit the program,
thinking I could lose the weight on my own. I regained every bit of the
86 pounds plus 20 pounds more over the past 10 years.
Earlier this year, I was not feeling very good about myself and was determined
to lose at least 100 pounds without surgical intervention such as LAP-BAND®. When hospital week came along this year, I felt it was an opportunity
to regroup and get back to the business of weight loss, but in a healthier
way. I spoke to my primary care provider, Jay Lamb, PA-C, and he encouraged
me to make lifestyle changes for long-term success, reminding me I didn't
get heavy overnight and would not lose weight overnight. He suggested
I start by walking daily.
Hospital week was just starting, and Josh Newton was encouraging all hospital
employees to join him on a daily walk at lunchtime using Kirby's Wellness
Trail. While walking, Josh would engage in conversation with employees
about the soon-to-open CrossFit box at Kirby. He invited anyone to email
and meet with him privately to ask any questions about CrossFit and explained
how everyone could benefit from exercise. I met with Josh in early June
at CrossFit KMC with the primary goal of losing weight through participation
in their Get Fit Program.
The word "CrossFit" was intimidating. I did not like going to
a gym with other people who were already fit, feeling I couldn't keep
up. Josh explained how Get Fit would work similar to CrossFit, but at
a slower pace. The short session consisted of determining what my specific
goals were, how I would obtain my goals, the relevance of my goals and
the time frame in which I hoped to achieve them. There was a short physical
test to see where I was in my core strength. Before I committed to the
program, Josh reminded me that I will only get out of the program what
I put into it.
June 14, 2016, was my first Get Fit class. There were approximately 10
people in the first class from various walks of life and a range of ages,
weights and health issues. Josh explained to everyone that no one was
there to judge anyone's capability, but every day you come to get
fit is another day of success toward meeting your personal goals. We started
out with simple core exercises and progressed from there. I have been
exercising with the Get Fit group every Tuesday and Thursday since. The
comradery shows with each class. At the end of the class, everyone gathers
in a group with hands extended to the center, and something good is said.
If someone misses a class, we tell them at the next class that they were
missed and make sure everyone is OK. I never felt that at any previous
exercise classes I've attended. Everyone encourages each other in
every Get Fit class. Many of us in Get Fit like to walk the Wellness Trail
following our Get Fit session as our "cooldown."
As of October 31, 2016, I have successfully lost 30 pounds without surgery.
My goal is to be down 60-80 pounds by June 13, 2017. If I accomplish this,
great. If not, I will continue to work toward my goals for not only myself,
but my family.
What does wellness mean to you?
Increased flexibility and having an increased stamina to do activities
with my nine-year-old granddaughter and any future grandchildren I may
have. I am learning to make healthier food choices, which will benefit
me with gradual and maintainable weight loss.
Have your ideas of health and wellness changed at all?
Definitely, with the encouragement of class participants and coaches (Josh,
Casey and Steve), I feel I am getting stronger physically and healthier
every day. I love that coworkers are very supportive of my weight loss
goals, and several have commented that I look better and seem happier
since beginning this journey to wellness.
How has Kirby helped you with your health goals?
During the 13-plus years that I have worked at Kirby, I have seen so many
changes that I cannot recall all of them. Kirby's administration is
setting the example for workplace wellness like no other. Before CrossFit
KMC opened, I had every excuse not to work out: I didn't want to drive
anywhere, if I got home I was not going back out to a class, the hours
were not good for me, and so on and so forth. By Kirby providing CrossFit
on campus, I don't have any excuse not to work out after leaving work.
The Wellness Trail is great for me, as I come to work 30 minutes before
my shift and walk the mile. It helps wake my body up for the day's
What would you say to others who are interested in getting involved?
You'll never know if you like it unless you try it. We have had a few
people start the Get Fit program who chose not to return after a class
or two for whatever reason. Some of the Get Fit participants have also
moved up to the full CrossFit program and love it. For me, Get Fit is
just where I need to be at this time. Who knows, maybe I someday I will
progress to CrossFit.
Any other words of wisdom for us?
I am very happy that we now have the opportunity for Saturday morning Get
Fit and CrossFit classes. I felt awesome working out Tuesday and Thursday
evenings, but didn't always continue that motivation at home on the
weekends. Several of the nurses have verbalized they would love to do
Get Fit, but the class hours are not always appropriate for those working
12-hour shifts and without a set schedule. Hopefully as Get Fit and CrossFit
grow under the direction of Josh, there will be more open times for Get