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Schaljo Gets His Pep Back

July 14, 2016 10:47 a.m.

Mike Schaljo was missing the “pep in his step” when he decided to join the Center for Healthy Living (CFHL) as a medical patient in January.

Schaljo explained that his children are now older and at the beginning of the year he decided “it was less about taking care of others and more about taking care of myself. I wanted to get some pep back in my step.” He asked his doctor for a referral to the Center for Healthy Living.

A tool setter for Anamet Electrical in Mattoon, Schaljo made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and get back in shape.

The Center for Healthy Living offers a 120-day Healthy Living Medical Exercise program in which participants receive a custom-designed exercise and lifestyle program to help them achieve their goals and manage chronic illness. The exercise program is tailored to their limitations and goals, with options and tools to make meaningful, positive changes. The overreaching goal is to instill lifelong healthy behaviors that foster independence and encourage participants to transition to a long-term community-based exercise program.

“The experience has been wonderful,” he concedes. Schaljo started working with exercise specialist Nikki Gardner at the beginning of the year and lost 17 pounds in the first four months. He continued to lose weight and is working on a maintenance program. He meets one-on-one with Gardner every six weeks to help him stay on track. “She’s great. I can’t say enough good things about her. My body fat is down, muscle is up and I’m not feeling sluggish anymore.”

Schaljo monitors what he eats. While he doesn’t count calories, he is very conscientious about meals at home and when dining out. Additionally, he tries to limit his intake of fried foods and noted that all these changes in habits have been very positive in terms of his overall health and wellbeing. “I want to watch my kids grow, and take vacations. It was time for a change.”

He gets a little extra help and motivation from family members who are fitness trainers and looks forward to more progress on his path to improved fitness and health.

To find out how you can join the Center for Healthy Living at Sarah Bush Lincoln, click here.