Jody Smallman’s story starts with something we are all familiar with—stress. His unhealthy combination of stress, smoking, poor eating habits and very little exercise were taking a toll on his wellness. Approaching middle age, he was starting to notice aches and pains that hadn’t been there before. As a father of young children who look up to him, his choices weighed on him heavily. He knew that he wanted to be a better role model for his family and look forward to a healthy future, so Jody decided to make some big changes.
Luckily for Jody, he had a strong support system around him, both at work and at home. His wife and young children were a constant source of encouragement and help. And Jody’s place of work is led by a CEO who actively and enthusiastically encourages and supports his employees to adopt healthy lifestyles—an enthusiasm that is contagious throughout the company! He leads by example, showing his employees the exercises he does, posting his workouts on Facebook, sharing smoothie recipes in the office and even creating wellness posters he puts up to inspire his employees to live healthier lives. Seeing how his coworkers’ lives were changing as a result of making healthier choices, Jody decided it was his turn.
Jody turned his life around one step at a time. What was first on his list? To quit smoking. With the encouragement and support of his doctor and his family, Jody tackled his 23-year addiction to cigarettes, which proved to be the most challenging change. Jody had to make some difficult decisions, like avoiding trigger situations like poker games with his friends who smoked, in order to stay on track. He struggled for over a year with cravings. But he persevered. Two and a half years later, Jody calls himself a non-smoker! He felt a new energy that motivated him to build on his first success.
Next he focused on getting into better physical shape since he works at a desk all day and wasn’t doing much exercise. He committed to a 90-day workout routine, one he had tried in the past but had only managed to do for 30 days. This time, like kicking his smoking addiction, Jody committed to it fully.
The 30-minute workout was a struggle every morning but he made it through the 90 days. He felt like a new man with a new lease on life. The biggest improvement for Jody was that the aches and pains he had associated with aging disappeared!
This workout time became a sacred time, something he explained to both his wife and his kids. They not only respected this time, they also started joining in! Even neighbours and coworkers have seen a change in Jody and have started asking him about his workout routine and are inspired to try it themselves.
Jody now feels less stress and when stress does hit, he has new tools to cope. He is proud of his accomplishments and the example he has set for his family. And he’s not done just yet with his wellness makeover! As his next step, Jody wants to clean up his eating habits. He knows from his experience with quitting smoking and exercising that with a positive attitude, the support of family, friends and his workplace, change is possible and so very worth it!