The Wellness Warriors program is designed to help faculty and staff achieve their health goals.  Who better to let you know about the program than the very co-workers that you work with each day?  We believe in sharing in the success of all Wellness Warriors, celebrating them and getting inspiration for our own healthy choices.  Below you will find actual letters about the program, received from participating Wellness Warriors.

If Wellness Warriors has helped motivate you,
we want to know your story!
Click here to submit your testimonial.

Dawn Bielawski: Went vegan and doing great!

I've been a member of Wellness Warriors since it was first offered at Wayne State, and have found it to be very beneficial. I've taken advantage of many opportunities offered by the program, initially working with my wellness coach, Shila Wu, who I've also worked with as a personal trainer and would highly recommend. I did the Walking Warriors program, walking with friends on a regular basis during lunch breaks. I also did the Colorful Choices challenge, which I found really helpful for increasing the variety of plant-based foods I was eating. I met with a nutritionist through the program, and was told to keep doing what I was doing - that was reassuring.

Over time, I changed the way I eat so much, I decided to become a vegetarian. I did that for about 5 months, then decided to be a vegan a few months ago. My cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight have all gone down, and I've lost 2 pants sizes. This year I've been talking with my Wellness Guide Michelle at TEAM, which I've found helpful for keeping focused on goals. I find I'm more likely to exercise and schedule a physical exam when earning Wellness Bucks toward prizes for it, including massages with Ola Jordan - so wonderful to earn free massages for taking care of yourself!

-Dawn Bielawski (Back to Top)

 Dawn: Working at a place so focused on her health and well being

Wellness Warriors has been one of the most positive experiences of my new employment at WSU. I feel grateful for the wide depth and variety of opportunities available and to just generally work for an organization that is so focused on my health and well being.

-Dawn A. (Back to Top)

Cindy: "One of our best benefits"

I love being a Wellness Warrior and think of it as one of our best benefits.
It encourages me to take time out of my busy day to care for myself.  In doing that, I am better able to care for others.  I enjoy attending the Wellness classes and learning how to better care for myself.  Now, every morning I start my day with exercise and I use my lunch hour to take a walk around main campus.  I took advantage of the opportunity to meet with a nutritionist.  I found out that even though I'm eating all the right foods, I was eating too much of them.  I used my HAP benefit and joined Weight Watchers, learned exactly how much I should be eating, combined that with my daily exercise, and have lost over 20 lbs. in 12 weeks.  I feel better mentally and physically. I have about 20 more pounds to lose but am confident that I will be thin by the end of this year.  I'm so grateful for all the opportunities being a Wellness Warrior has given to me and even happier that I decided to take advantage of those opportunities.

-Cindy (Back to Top)

Rose Mary: A Nudge Toward Consistency

Me?  Exercise?  No way!  Too busy, too old, not enough time… Do these excuses sound familiar?  Well, they were mine a year ago.  Interesting thing is I have since found a way to squeeze in some work-out time.  Wellness Warriors provided just the nudge I needed – even if I could devote only twenty minutes each day.  A message from Daily Guideposts writer, Gina Bridgeman, reinforces what I learned through the program. 

Go.  Make an effort to get started, even if it's only a baby step.
Stay.  Don't quit that first day; stick with it, even if you can't keep up.
Return.  Keep going back and making one more try. Soon all those "just one more day" attempts pile up, and you've made a lot of progress.  -- Daily Guideposts, November 12, 2009

Commitment and consistency are important for success, but having someone there to provide guidance and support is a key motivator.  My Wellness Coach, Teresa, helped me try a variety of exercise options until I found one that worked.  Joining the Fitness Center with its member classes turned out to be the most convenient and inexpensive way for me to get into shape.  And…surprise!  I'm having fun!  I may not be able to do all the exercises my younger work-out companions' do, but that doesn't mean I won't "kick butt" someday.  That's my goal!

This valuable program offers opportunity, guidance, and encouragement in addition to rewards for making healthful choices.  I know I would not have begun exercising at all had it not been for Wellness Warriors.  Here's to feeling good…and having fun along the way!

-Rose Mary  (Back to Top)

Cathy: Winning After Becoming a "Loser"

I really enjoy the [Greatest Loser] competition. I am not doing it necessarily to win, although healthy competition is good. I feel that just the weight I have lost and kept off is reward enough for the program.  Just by being around others who are trying to lose weight helps to keep me motivated.  I also hope that I can motivate others as well.  I have lost 30 pounds and two dress sizes since I started The Greatest Loser competition (Round 1).

I like it because working with Shila has helped me; I was exercising before the Greatest Loser Competition and not losing any weight. When I told my routine to Shila she helped me to take it up a notch to ensure that I was getting the most out of my workouts. I really have!

-Cathy  (Back to Top)

Juliann: More Energy For Scholarly Pursuits

My journey began when I was sitting in my office feeling tired, overweight, out-of shape, lacking both focus and determination in my scholarly pursuits. I received the e-mail from Wellness Warriors asking for faculty and staff to join. I did. I completed the requisite forms and met with my assigned coach, Ken Sills. I set goals for weight loss and daily exercise. I also began personal training at the WSU fitness center with Jeffrey Dart. That was six months ago.

At the time I wasn't exercising regularly, felt self-conscious about my body and was less than optimistic about my success with this. As my journey progressed I talked about Wellness Warriors with department colleagues who have since joined, met other Wellness Warriors and am using all of this support to my advantage. My coach, Ken, contacts me monthly as we track progress toward my goals. It has not always been a smooth progression. I have not always stayed committed and focused. The personal training with Jeff has helped make exercise and movement less of a chore and more enjoyable. He is professional, patient, and fun! I feel accepted and understood, now feeling more than optimistic about my success.

While my journey has just begun, I have lost over 25 lbs and am now exercising daily. I am more focused, have more energy, and am more academically productive. I look forward to my ongoing journey, and all of the benefits that I will gain along the way.

By the way, before I began as a Wellness Warrior, I read testimonials from others. Reading them inspired me to join the program. I hope in some meaningful way, this one does the same for you.

-Juliann   (Back to Top)

Becky: Fifty and Fit

 Back in the fall, I was facing turning 50 years old, becoming an empty nester, being overweight, and dealing with two preventable chronic illnesses.  For the past 20 years I had made sure that I provided my family with nutritious meals, made sure exercise was an integral part of their lives, but I never got beyond the role of spectator and never applied what I knew to be healthy to myself.

 I joined the Wellness Warrior Program because I knew I had to change my lifestyle to improve the overall quality of my life. I signed up for the program, and started communicating via e-mail with my Wellness coach, Heather Glowacz. Heather has been so supportive!  I confided that I was terrified of going to the gym because I was "older," didn't know what type of exercise I could do, and was totally intimidated by the equipment. She walked me through the gym, showed me different machines, and talked me into taking a circuit class with Shila, all the while keeping up with me via email or at the gym.


 I have to say that since I have actively engaged with the Wellness Warrior program I have lost weight (I am 8 lbs from my goal), I feel stronger, I work out 3 times a week, but most importantly, I no longer require any diabetes medication and I am the minimum dose for hypertension. Thanks to both Heather and Shila, I feel confident enough to try new things and know that I can set goals and meet them!

-Becky   (Back to Top)

L.W.: Motivated to Change

Hello, I just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed being part of the Wellness Warriors program. I have been motivated to change my lifestyle. I credit the program for helping me focus on the things I need to change. I find I am more conscious about exercise, choosing to walk stairs instead of using the elevator. I have managed to quit smoking (6 months and counting). I have more tools available to me to use when I choose to eat healthier because of the lectures on reading food labels, choosing foods and portions. Many of the programs were held during the lunch time hour making it easy to participate.

I can't say enough good things about the program and have encouraged others to participate.

Thank you,
L.W.    (Back to Top)

T.V.: T.V. Took Action

Good Morning, I just wanted to send a note regarding the helpfulness of the Wellness Warriors program. I think it is a very good program and should continue, especially the health screening at the beginning and end of the year and the health insurance discount incentive. I was very unhappy with my results at the initial screening and therefore took action towards fixing all of the areas that were sub par, this includes becoming a distance runner! Since the program began, I have run two half marathons, one marathon, a 10K and a 5K. I think this program should continue.

Thank you,
T.V.    (Back to Top)

M.S.: Making Positive Changes

I just wanted to write to express that I have appreciated the Wellness program and would very much like to see it continued into next year. I have high cholesterol and the sessions have helped me to apply specific knowledge to work on my diet and exercise more. I have made many positive changes in my lifestyle since the pilot program started and am starting to see some results in weight loss and feeling better and more productive at work.

Thank you for your consideration of renewing the Wellness program. It is great motivation for the employees!

M.S.    (Back to Top)

J.D.: Making It Happen

I wanted to mention that I have thoroughly enjoyed this program. I have lowered my cholesterol by 20 points, and have lost 45 pounds. My knees and feet no longer hurt and I am not out of breath when I walk from the car to the office door... I am not going to say that it was easy to change my habits or to lose weight, but it feels great to be more in control of what I consume. I have about 60 pounds left to lose and having access to programming makes all the difference.

-J.D.     (Back to Top)