Spotlight On: Joanne Samuels
Year Started at UNH: 2003
What does health mean to you?: Health means that I can do what I want, when I want.
How do you stay fit?: I life an active lifestyle. I spin two to three times per week and lifet weights twice per week. On weekends in the summer I bike and kayak, and in the winter I will bike if there is no ice on the roads. I also cross country ski and snowshoe. I try to eat right, especially during the week, but on the weekends I have to admit to a few extra calories.
Do you have any tips for eating healthfully?: Just do the best you can. I started by weighing and measuring everything to obtain a sense of portion size. Unfortunately, I have to admit that there is more than ½ cup in a large bowl of ice cream. Next I eliminated all saturated fat and salt, and minimized as best I could white flour and white sugar. I also bring my food to work – even coffee. It takes a little bit of planning, but it not only saves calories but a whole bunch of money.
How do you find motivation to stay healthy?: Truly, I don’t think I have the strength or courage it takes to be sick. I could never stick to a regime of medications, doctor visits, etc. Rehabilitation is hard work. I also really like the feeling of being strong.
Have you made any tangible improvements to your physical or mental well-being by making positive changes in your life?: Absolutely. After lifting the veil of denial (mirrors lie, pictures don’t) I started to address my eating habits. The fight continues, but I did manage to get my blood pressure down without medications. I also started taking supplements like omega 3 and 6 and daily vitamins. I have been exercising since college, so that was a plus.
Anything else you would like to add?: Changing your lifestyle and resisting the ever present temptations requires daily vigilance. The important thing is that people get back on the wagon after they may falter occasionally. Changes happen slowly despite our need for immediate reinforcement, but the rewards and the feeling of accomplishment is great and can fuel future successes. I do some of my best thinking when at an exercise peak. It is very cool. Ride like a girl!