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TAMMY ALBRECHT Residence: Marshall Age: 63 Background: “I’m a widow, living alone, and my children are busy.” Member since: January 2010 Joined because: “I was on oxygen full-time for a period of time about three years ago. … My arthritis drugs were causing pulmonary problems, and I had lung problems. I talked to my myriad of doctors and asked them if they’d object to my coming in.” Results: “I feel better. My knees and legs are stronger so I can get up out of a chair easier. … Some days it hurts to get out of bed – but I know that, if I come here, get into the water, get the weight off of my joints and do the moving, eventually it will get better. … I know it’s helped with my weight. I know my lung capacity is better after having pulmonary problems.” Goals: “I’m not perfectly healthy, but I certainly think I’m going in the right direction.” OLIC overview: “I’ve met a lot of people through swimming here. … I try to get here at least three times a week and often as many as five. I know I feel better. … I’m very protective of this time that I come here to swim. I really try to make sure that I schedule appointments in the afternoons rather than in the morning. That’s my time to be here. I really try to be protective of that. … [At OLIC}, it’s nice to have other people watching out for you. … I volunteer at the hospital [Oaklawn] and it was really nice when they started giving us the perk of having a [cost] reduction … that was a really nice ‘thank you.’” TRENTON CRAWFORD Residence: Marshall Age: 19 Background: Came to OLIC through a family membership. “My dad encouraged me to come out here, and I followed his example.” Member since: Early 2009 Joined because: “I came for the fun of it, really. They’ve got the [basketball] court in there and you can play in the wintertime. I wanted to get stronger for sports.” Results: “There’s a lot of stuff to learn. It’s not just about going in there and putting your time in. There’re techniques involved, and eating right, and just having a goal in mind – not just mindlessly putting time in. … I try to pick up good techniques and learn more efficient ways – that kind of working smarter, not harder idea. I want to get the most out of my time here.” Goals: “I want to see improvement week by week. … It’s kind of that pushing-yourself idea where you start to like to see results. … [I like] Being able to control your body and know that you’re in good shape, developing those good habits so that, later on down the road, when I’m not in my prime, so to speak, I’ll have some good habits to fall back on.” OLIC overview: “I’ve gotten more serious about it once I got out of high school. … Now I come about four to five times a week. … I consider the staff to be friends. I can go up and talk to them and ask whatever’s on my mind, and they’re helpful.” CARL DEWAR Residence: Albion Age: 62 Background: “I was a food person. I worked in food service, so I was constantly around food – cooking and eating. And the pounds kept coming on and on.” Member since: February 2011 Joined because: “I’d just gotten so big that I wasn’t comfortable with myself. I was having trouble with my knees and my legs because I was on my feet all the time. My brother’s diabetic. My dad’s diabetic, and I was borderline. I had sleep apnea. I couldn’t sleep and had to wear a mask and all that stuff. I just got fed up with it.” Results: “I feel 100 percent better than I ever did. … I dropped 60 pounds. … Once I started coming here I decided that this was going to be my new job. … I do a minimum of an hour cardio every day – a minimum of an hour on the elliptical every day. Then I do some weights and I usually hit the steam room and the sauna, shave, then go into the pool for a little while to cool down.” Goals: He has reached 240 pounds, and wants to lose another 20, so he doesn’t foresee tapering off. “I took a day off last Sunday and I didn’t feel good. I was miserable all day long, sitting at home twiddling my thumbs and thinking, ‘Why didn’t I go to the gym?’ … I was doing the water aerobics for a little while and I’m thinking about getting into that again.” OLIC overview: “I think it’s great. The people are so friendly. The staff is friendly and helps you out if you need it. And I’ve made a lot of friends since I’ve been here.” VIRGINIA KECK Residence: Marshall Age: 71 Background: A registered nurse, Virginia often visits OLIC with her husband Don Member since: May 2001 Joined because: ”My husband needed to lose some weight and he was at that age when activity level starts going down.” Virginia advised Don to join OLIC, which he did. “Then he said to me, ‘I’m doing it. What about you?’ … I had been on an airplane lifting my carry-on bag up, and a young man had to help me. I realized I didn’t have enough strength. … [Also] I became concerned about the strength in my bones.” Results: “I have osteopenia, and I’ve been able to maintain that for all these years…. After I retired, I realized that, if I didn’t get out and do active things, I tended to be not that active. … That’s when I started coming more often.” Goals: Now visits OLIC almost daily with Don, and intends to keep doing that. “It’s a way of staying strong and preventing [poor health].” OLIC overview: “The staff is terrific. They are really nice people. My husband and I have had contact with all of them at one time or another, in asking for help or direction. I think they’re a real asset. … There’s a wide variety of people here. It’s multigenerational. There are young people here as well as people my age and older. I like the mix of ages.” TOM and CONNIE PALMER Residence: Marshall Age: Both are 66 Background: Connie had sciatic trouble and Tom, a diabetic, has had heart issues. “I’d gotten to where my legs would get fatigued going up and down stairs,” Tom said. Member since: Summer 2012 Joined because: Prompted by the sciatic issues, Connie first discovered OLIC through a two-week trial. “I thought, ‘What do I have to lose?” Then Tom came on board. Results: Both achieved quick results. “My fourth day I was here,” Tom said, “my glucose reading went from 240 down to 98, and I went, ‘Wow,’ and I thought ‘maybe there’s something there.” Connie said, “Within that first week I knew I was going to go more than the two weeks. I was getting the exercise I needed. … I immediately started feeling mentally and physically better.” Connie now does almost an hour of cardio exercise regularly, plus 50 laps in the pool. Tom, who has dropped 22 pounds, said: “Now I find I can go up and down the stairs. I wake up in the morning and feel fairly rested. The big thing was watching my triglycerides come down. My LDL, my cholesterol came down to normal.” Goals: One is to see their grandbaby when it’s born in August. Tom said: “It’s something we started together and, now that we’re going to be grandparents, we want to be active and not be sitting on couches somewhere.” By paying more attention to their overall health, “We eat different, too,” Tom said. “We don’t seem to eat large meals any more. We’re cooking different.” OLIC overview: “Once you get going, you know that you feel so much better when you leave,” Connie said. Tom added, “I’ve been impressed with the whole facility here. The equipment they’ve got, and the sauna, the pool and the gym, and the classes that are available. … The staff puts up with me – what more could you want?” They also appreciate the senior discount. BOB VERAMAY Residence: Albion Age: 48 Background: As he approached a weight of almost 450 pounds, Bob became a candidate for bariatric surgery. However, after losing some weight on his own, he resolved to do the rest without the surgery. Member since: September 2010 Joined because: “I had become a diabetic and my health was spiraling out of control. My physician said, ‘Wake up!’ When your blood sugar is stabilizing, there’s a lot of motivation to keep going.” … “I weighed 443 pounds when I started. Now I’ve lost 127 pounds.” Results: Lately, Bob has come to OLIC daily. “The first 100 [pounds] is easy. The last 50 are the toughest. … “There are little tricks I do. I took all the soap and shampoo out of my bathroom at home so, if I want a shower, I have to come here.” Goals: “I would like to weigh 280 [he has about 45 pounds to go], but the number isn’t as important as the way I feel. I learned a lot through the bariatric seminars … and the tips I got from people who had the surgery.” OLIC overview: “When I get bored with something, I take a class, or I swim. I’m always able to find something that I do for a while and I keep switching. I do the fall walk, and all the little motivating things that they do, like the Walk through Winter.”