friends cooking togetherBy Rosabeth Kissman, Branch Executive, Middlesex Family YMCA

Have you ever been sick and not known what to eat to feel better? The decision to find just the right thing to pull you through can seem arduous and the answer elusive. It’s like we can’t help ourselves! Our bodies wait patiently for fuel while our minds sort through a myriad of questions. These human brains, always thinking and sorting, even with something as fundamental as food! Usually, the answer is right in front of our face. It’s chicken noodle soup!

People are to each other what chicken noodle soup is to so many things.  The bestselling book series is certainly on point with the metaphorical elements of comfort and assurance that this food provides. Extrovert, introvert. Young, old. Happy, sad. Whatever the circumstance – people need people.

As with your favorite soup, there exist certain varieties of people who have the ability to comfort and encourage us most. They give us the fulfilling broth to build strength and perseverance. They are there when we need it most, even if we can’t find our way out from under the covers. The brands of soup and people abound. It’s up to us to sharpen our palate and choose wisely.

Bonnie Armentrout chose her recipe in the Summer of 2015. With her body telling her it was time, she committed to a program of water aerobics, walking and calorie counting. Her doctor said her blood pressure was very high; she felt her weight was out of control, and she knew the decision was hers to make. It was time to align her body and mind, and choose. Bonnie picked a better life for herself.

She has kept her recipe and now is 42 pounds lighter! Bonnie said the hardest part was the first 30 days and coming up with a routine to which she could stick.  In the beginning, she could hardly bend over to tie her shoes and couldn’t jog more than 2 minutes.  But she persevered and was starting to show progress.  She was so excited about getting fit and losing some weight that she decided to join the Team in Training program and run the SunTrust 8k in the Fall of 2015.  She accomplished this, too.  Bonnie not only started walking long distances, but now she could jog for 10 minutes.  She ended up finishing the race in 12th place in her age group!

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of Cheryl Holleran and Rosabeth Kissman and other members of the YMCA.  They were so encouraging and genuinely cared about how I was doing,” said Bonnie.  “Without the encouragement from the team, I would not have gotten this far.”  She had lots of support from her friends and family and her new friends at the Y.

What’s next for Bonnie? She plans on joining the team in training program again, this time running in the Ukrops 10K! She has found a manageable rhythm for her life, and she has stuck with it. “The first 30 days were very hard.”  Now she is proud of her accomplishments, and she looks and feels great about herself.  Her self-esteem is over the top!  She knows that it is not a short journey, but a total lifestyle change!

As Bonnie courses through the wintery roads in preparation for the Monument 10K, she does so alongside a variety of people that nourish and support. Bonnie’s team provides the nutrients for her new, sustaining lifestyle. She has chosen to pull off the covers and take the reins of what her body needs. She has chosen people to be her brand for fulfillment.

Along with the many wellness opportunities available at all YMCAs, the greatest asset the Y provides is our people. We are here for you.

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