Do you know a wellness superhero? We want to hear from you!

Published on September 30, 2019

Heather Goins, Outpatient Registration ARMC

Heather Goins

Tell us about your Wellness Superhero journey.

I am nominating myself because I have taken the time to begin my journey to get healthy. I have lost 60 pounds since the birth of my baby in February and am still losing. Not only have the pounds come off, but my lab work is better than the previous year. I am physically in better shape and signed up to run my first 5k in August. I signed up for the WellZone at work and will go down after my shift most days and work out.

I feel like since I had my first child in 2013, I "lost" myself in a way, and have not put my health as a priority. But after several health complications with my last pregnancy and being at my all-time high with my weight, I decided to take the time to get healthy and it is paying off. I had gestational diabetes and have had blood pressure issues (pregnancy related and not pregnancy) related in the past, but no longer need medication for those and have noticed a significant decline in my numbers. Overall, I am taking the steps to make conscious decisions about the foods I chose, purposefully making an effort to get moving even on the days I do not want to and setting small goals for myself to continue working towards a healthier me to feel better and be more involved with my family and activities.

What inspired you to get healthy and stay healthy?

My inspiration to get healthy was the multitude of health issues that I encountered in my last pregnancy and how horrible it made me feel physically. I suffered from subglottic stenosis -  my airway was closing and I had to have surgery to reopen it. I gained a lot of weight from steroids and not being able to physically do much without getting short of breath. I had gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, ultimately resulting in several stays in the hospital and even preeclampsia post-delivery.

After my airway surgery and after delivery, I knew a change HAD to be made. It felt so wonderful to be able to breathe well again, I made the decision then I wanted to be out of breath only because I pushed myself physically with exercise, not just because of a health ailment or my weight. I know the chances of having diabetes is higher for me after having gestational diabetes. I knew I had to make a conscious effort to eat better. Being diabetic is difficult with having to manage foods and insulin. My blood pressure was finally lowering, and I felt better overall. I wanted to continue to feel better with the small changes I was making. Noticing the weight coming off, the compliments from friends and family and feeling better about myself has kept my motivation up to stay healthy.

Which Cone Health wellness program did you participate in?

I participated in the healthy pregnancy program this year.

Are there activities or hobbies you now participate in that you didn’t before?

I used to not go to the gym, now I enjoy taking the time for myself. I do not always feel like going, but afterwards, I am so glad that I did. I have signed up for my first 5k and I cannot wait to accomplish this goal coming up this year. I spend more time outside with my kids and look forward to it.

Have your doctor, family, friends and co-workers provided support along the way? If so, how?

Absolutely. My doctors have encouraged my healthy decisions and encouraged me to exercise more. My family helps me with my healthier eating habits, as they all are eating better with me. One of my best friends has agreed to run the 5k with me, and she motivates me weekly to keep up the good work. My coworker’s compliments and positive feedback about my healthier lifestyle keep me feeling good about myself and my choices. It pushes me to continue to do better.

If you could say one thing to other employees to inspire them, what would you say?

Do this for yourself! It is not always easy or something you want to do, but it is well worth it! Making small goals and small changes ultimately leads to bigger ones.