Carol Hornsby, a fifteen year veteran with Norplas Industries in Ohio, recently shed an incredible one hundred pounds. Losing her father to cancer was the impetus behind Carol’s decision to become proactive with her own health. At almost two-hundred and seventy pounds, she knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Joining Weight Watchers and utilizing a fitness center was the beginning of the long and emotional journey to a self-confident and active life.
Before beginning her weight loss journey, Carol admits to doing little or no exercise. Getting her doctor’s approval to begin a fitness regime took multiple visits, but her persistence paid off and she finally received consent. Now she works out two to three times per week, incorporating treadmill, elliptical machine and weights into her routine. Due to the nature of her job, Carol is sometimes in the gym before her pre-dawn shift on the factory floor. Once she had an established exercise regime and learned about portion size and making healthy choices, she says, “My biggest challenge during weight loss was finding smaller sized clothes.”
Carol gives a lot of credit to the supportive work environment. “I love my job,” she says. “I don’t think I could have or would have done this without the help of Norplas.”
Since Gail Berning, Ergonomics and Wellness Coordinator, joined Norplas in 2004, she’s been an endless source of encouragement and motivation. “I receive a great deal of satisfaction from watching people make positive changes in their lifestyle habits, both at home with their family, and at work, or learning that someone has been able to reduce or eliminate their medications for high blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes. I approach our employees with the concept that small changes (or baby steps as I call them) can make a big difference in their overall health and energy levels. I am not pushing them to be marathon runners or body builders. It is a ‘you, only better’ philosophy.”
Gail, who has a background in healthcare, has initiated group programs like cold laser, acupuncture and guided imagery for smoking cessation, offers one-on-one guidance, and never gives up on anyone even when they claim that they do not want to make improvements in their life. Of Carol Hornsby, Gail adds, “She has gained self-confidence and always has a smile on her face. She’s a wellness champion, encouraging everyone, young and old, to Commit To Be Fit!”
Her advice for others looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle? “Don’t give up. The weight did not come on overnight so it takes time.” For Carol, joining Weight Watchers proved to be an excellent choice. “[It’s] the way to go!” If she finds herself slipping into old habits, she knows that in order to get back on program, she needs to track her food intake and do more exercise. Her mother and husband have always been stalwart supporters, and now it’s Carol’s turn to be a cheerleader. “My husband needs to lose ten pounds,” she quips. She acknowledges that adopting a healthy lifestyle has its challenges and let-downs, but says, “You have to stop and say, I can do this!”