Your Bahamas Wellness Connection
With the CGI Wellness Program expanding to reach more members, local coordinators have been put in place to ensure the program is operated effectively and embers are able to make the most of the program. Look out for your wellness coordinator at the next health fair, or attending a Virgin Pulse fitness class.
Tell us a bit about your experience in the health and wellness field.
I have had a growing experience in the field of health and wellness. I attained my Associates of Science in Biology with Chemistry from The College of the Bahamas, a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Dalhousie University and a Master’s of Science in Applied Human Nutrition at Oxford Brookes University. Since my final degree I have worked as a nutritionist for almost 2 years. In this experience I was able to work with a range of individuals that are chronically ill, from hypertensive, diabetic, cardiovascular rehabilitation, cancer, to even individuals with digestive issues and individuals with nutritional needs to aid rapid physical rehabilitation. I have worked diligently to promote proper nutrition at health fairs, radio segments, television segments and corporate presentations. In my experience I have learned that clients who are self-reliant and self-motivated achieve the best success. Many times individuals get caught up on the idea of weight loss and not enough on non-scale victories and get easily discouraged. Increased energy/stamina, reduced pants sizes, better blood glucose or cholesterol values, reduction in medication should all be celebrated and are by far the apex of success stories when it comes to health and wellness.
What challenges are you looking forward to in the position as Wellness Coordinator?
As a Wellness Coordinator I anticipate that a major challenge will be increasing the excitement of our corporate wellness program from quarter to quarter. A lot of people see wellness as a short term goal and not enough strive to make it a lifestyle change. It is my role as Wellness Coordinator to remind all clients and colleagues of the importance of embarking on a lifelong change. As part of this life-long change short term goals will be important to set markers along the way. Another challenge I anticipate is the desire for immediate physical changes. As the saying goes “Rome was not built in a day!” we must constantly remind our populations that small incremental changes have been scientifically proven to be longer lasting.The more an individual gets into a routine, the greater their chances of achieving success without getting bored or discouraged. In the Bahamas, our cultural diets are even bigger challenge as the typical Bahamian diet is high in carbohydrates and fried foods. Changing the mindset of a traditional habit has been a challenge but is not impossible! I have and will continue to work to encourage the adaptation of unorthodox recipes and encourage proper meal planning to limit last minute binge eating.
How do you see yourself making a difference in this position?
I hope to make a difference in this position by adding that nutritional influence most people tend to neglect. A lot of times individuals get caught up in a wellness program by joining a fitness club or increasing their physical activity but limit the extent of their success by not following a changed eating pattern.Time after time individuals start a ‘diet’ or make requisitions to nutritionist/ dieticians to receive a ‘diet plan.’These tabulated recipes are not only limiting to the ‘dieter’ but cannot keep them enticed long term. I believe in the old saying ‘teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.’ I will work to not only encourage increased physical activity levels but also the implementation of proper nutrition habits for meaningful develop and change. Nutrition can be easy, breaking old habits will be the difficulty and I am prepared in every way possible.
Do you see health and wellness as a growing field?
I strongly believe health and wellness is a growing field that will never have an end! Just as our battles with non-communicable diseases and weight management never ends, so shall the need for health and wellness never end.The end of the last century brought about the ‘Era of Technology.’ While there is no dispute that that era has contributed to the increased attention to health and wellness it has also assisted with highlighting its importance. Because the attention to prevention is so high, many industrial and commercial avenues have catered to this growing market and have made major strides in cashing in on this new found attention.The media, food companies, agricultural agencies, electronic programmers/graphic designers and even government agencies all have a role in the development of health and wellness. Because of this growth and attention the ‘Era of Wellness’ is well upon us. Individuals have to be careful of the noise in the market and seek truthful information. We here at Colonial Group have been added as Wellness Coordinators to ensure that our clients and colleagues get the MOST accurate information and all programs we engage in are organized for optimal success. I look forward to the journey ahead and hope to inspire as many people as possible.