Health risk assessment sparks journey to 80-pound weight loss and better health

Health risk assessment sparks journey to 80-pound weight loss and better health

Patrice Myles
After a surprising revelation that her cholesterol and blood-pressure numbers were out of control, Patrice Myles successfully changed her lifestyle to be the healthy person she wants to be.

Patryce Myles works the overnight shift as a cardiac monitoring tech. But she didn’t think there was any reason to be concerned about her own heart until she took Christiana Care’s Health Risk Assessment two years ago.

“Everything was elevated: my cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar,” she recalls. “I was only 29, and I was shocked when I saw those numbers.”

Determined to improve her numbers, she joined Christiana Care’s Employee Fitness Center, which includes two facilities, at Wilmington and Christiana hospitals.

The facilities are open 24/7, so it wasn’t difficult to find a convenient time to exercise. Still, building her endurance was a challenge in the beginning.

“The first time I worked out on the elliptical, I lasted one minute,” she says. But within two weeks, Myles started seeing results.

“I lost five pounds,” she remembers. “My pants weren’t as tight—and that was a great feeling.”

Those small milestones motivated her to keep on track. Alisa Carrozza, Wellness Program coordinator at Christiana Hospital fitness center, regularly measured Myles to record lost inches on her waist and hips.

Over time, she increased her workout, going from walking 20 minutes on the treadmill to running for 40 minutes. She also runs outdoors now and recently began lifting weights.

Myles started fueling her body with healthy food, focusing on chicken, fish and vegetables rather than beef and pork. Instead of high-fructose fruit juice, she drinks water with a splash of lemon.

She starts each day with a breakfast of oatmeal, sweetened with vanilla or strawberry nonfat yogurt and mixed with raisins, chopped apple or nuts. The oatmeal is filling and also helps to reduce cholesterol.

“It’s not a diet,” she says. “It’s a lifestyle change.”

To make certain she keeps portions small, Myles serves her meals on a saucer rather than a plate.

“If it doesn’t fit on the saucer, I don’t eat it,” she says.

Two years after resolving to get fit, Myles is 80 pounds lighter, which translates to losing 15 percent of her body fat. She has gone from size 22 pants to size 12 and has lost 6.25 inches around her waist and 7 inches around her hips.

She is even more pleased with other numbers. Her cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar are all now in the normal range.

“Exercise is part of my life now, and my energy level is through the roof,” she says. “If I don’t exercise, I feel out of sorts.”