It’s time to change your life and it might be a matter of lifestyle.
Bev Haluschak was very familiar with the CHIP program, a four-week lifestyle enrichment program designed to reduce disease risk factors through the adoption of better health habits and appropriate lifestyle modifications.
She helped deliver the program in Quesnel and was very familiar with not only what was required but had witnessed first-hand the excellent results.
However, during one of the initial sessions Bev’s lab results were worrisome.
“I gave permission for my results to be sent to my family doctor,” she said.
“I got a call right away, he want to see me right away.”
Although Bev has Type 2 diabetes her cholesterol levels had always been on the normal to slightly higher side. These lab results showed her overall cholesterol levels at more than 7, dangerously high.
“I bargained with my doctor,” she said.
“I told him I was starting the CHIP program and had witnessed good results. I asked him to reserve judgment on adding medications until after the post-CHIP lab results were in.
“The doctor was recommending the same lifestyle changes as the CHIP program and he agreed to the experiment.”
Bev said that with her diabetes, she has regular blood work and usually her glucose levels had also been on the high end of normal.
“This was the first time my cholesterol levels were in the danger zone.”
Despite her familiarity with the program, Bev admitted life gets in the way sometimes.
“I wasn’t as diligent and my levels got somewhat out of control,” she said.
“Now my motivation was strong to make the changes I needed to move to a healthier lifestyle.”
Within the month, Bev’s cholesterol levels had dropped two full points into the normal range and her blood sugar levels also dropped.
“The doctor was surprised and please, so was I,” she said with a smile.
In preparation for the program, facilitator Keith Corbett holds two free information sessions, Feb. 25 and 26, 7 p.m. at the hospital main floor boardroom.
This offers people a chance to see what the program is about and decide if its right for them.
“This program is an intensive first month and anybody can do just about anything for 30 days,” Corbett said.
“I don’t expect people who take this course, will, in 30 days, make all the changes and sustain those changes. But I do expect and I know it’s attainable for each and every graduate to move in a direction that will improve their health.”
The program sessions begin March 4 and run through to April 4, Monday – Thursday, 7 – 9 p.m.
During the sessions, participants learn from the most up-to-date information and research, the why and how of making changes.
“The CHIP program is based on good information and education and gives me what I need to make informed lifestyle choices,” Bev said.
“The program is set up so the participant can do it 100 per cent or make small incremental changes which still provide tangible results.”
She said it’s common for participants to notice changes almost immediately.
“But it’s not just a feeling of wellness, it’s also substantiated by objective lab results.”
Bev went on to say that our health, for the most part, is up to each person but she knows what she wants for her future.
“I want my retirement to be vibrant and energetic, not focused on ill health. I want to be able to volunteer and be involved and don’t want that compromised by something I could have avoided.”
Regular physical activity is also part of the healthy choices promoted in the CHIP program and Bev has also embraced that choice.
“Now I’m walking every day, I work out at the gym several times a week, but the bottom line is that I do something active every day.”
She said every participant receives a pedometer to count every step they take and during the sessions they discuss how far the group has gone based on the total number of steps.
“This can sometimes be a friendly competition but we also determine where we walked in total steps. Once we hit Kenora I suggest we move on because the shopping isn’t great there.
“Seriously though, what that demonstrates is that every step counts.”
She also said that everyone comes to the program at a different stage, but everyone in the program is also on the same journey.
“Together we’re learning regardless of where we are. It’s a supportive environment and everyone of us has something more to learn.
“With the most leading-edge health information and research, we get the tools we need to make effective, life-changing choices.”
For those who think the program can’t work for them, Bev has the answer.
“It’s never too late. We’ve had elderly people see remarkable changes. It’s only too late if you give up on yourself. Remember even small manageable changes can achieve significant results.”
To find out more about CHIP call, 250-992-3444 or 250-991-9297 or attend one of the free sessions. You can also visit www.chiphealth.com.