All Posts tagged employee wellness

Good Choice, Bad Choice: High school reunion

Ann Loyola

Ann Loyola

Rumor has it that some people made it through high school unscarred. While that may be so, I’ve found that the silly relationship drama, out of control emotions, peer pressure and plummeting self-esteem all come home to roost on a five-year cycle, coinciding directly with the word “reunion”.


Good Choice, Bad Choice: I’m Taking Up Golf

Ann Loyola

Ann Loyola

My best friend had told me what to expect. She predicted that my husband would come up with his own helpful ideas for burning some calories and that I needed to be prepared.

“Husbands always come up with the same brilliant idea about new ways to exercise,” she said with a slight tone of disgust.

She was right. My husband broached the subject just a few days ago, suggesting that:


1. It’s something we can do together

2. It’s fun

3. We already have the right equipment. No need to run out and buy weights, trampolines or a thigh-master when we’ve got all we need right here, babe.

All of the women out there know exactly what I’m talking about, right ladies?

Yup, he wants me to golf with him.

Golf has become my husband’s passion in life. It’s grabbed him by the throat and dragged him from his home and family, separated him from his lawn mower and hunting dogs, and left me with broken tees rattling around in my washing machine.

For my birthday, I got golf clubs. For Mother’s Day, I got lessons with a pro. My husband apparently believes that I should put aside my hostility toward his addiction and join him.

In my quest for less fat and more muscle, I’ve embraced walking, bike riding, and light hiking. I’ve been invited to try Zumba, some of the local fitness centers, and yoga. All of these activities make sense to me. Golf doesn’t make sense.

I don’t find anything physically natural about a golf swing. Let’s see: wrap your hands thisaway with your thumb here and your palm there, twist your body like a spring (a spring!), don’t bend your elbow but do cock your wrist, keep your head down, stick your bottom out, pivot your weight from this foot to that foot, and for some icing on the cake, hit the ball. Are we having fun yet?

The main problem that I have with golf is that I’m a beginner. I feel awkward and I can’t wear the cute golf-girl clothing. So far, the only thing I like about golfing are the spunky little carts and drinking an ice cold beverage on the 8th hole at Targhee Village golf course.

Ann Loyola golfingDo I want to close myself off to learning new things? No, even though my enthusiastic attempt to learn how to snowboard ended abruptly with a double-fractured tailbone and a four-week intimate relationship with a blow-up chair donut, I do want to be open to new experiences. It’s time to swallow my pride.

For the betterment of my mental health by learning something new, I’m going to golf with my husband and take lessons. For my physical self, I’ve set a goal to be able to walk 9 holes by the end of September.

Disclaimer: This blog discusses my personal wellness goals and is in no way a soapbox to tell anyone else how to eat, exercise and/or live their lives.


Good Choice, Bad Choice: Where Did I Park My Car?

Ann Loyola

Ann Loyola

As worried as I am about my physical state of being, I have to admit that I worry equally about memory loss. Like everyone, I forget the occasional name or place or appointment or child, etcetera. Lately, however, I’ve wondered if I should be more concerned.

For example, we all forget where we parked the car, right? Not all the time of course, but sometimes that’s normal, right?

I worry, though, when I come trotting out of Broulim’s grocery store and just as I roll my cart onto the pavement, I realize that I have absolutely no recollection of even parking the darn car. I don’t know what quadrant, what longitude or latitude I should even be considering. It’s as if I was dropped off by flying monkeys whilst I was sleeping.

I’ve developed a location strategy that does seem to work. I simply stride confidently right up the center of the lot pretending to be a woman in complete command of her mental faculties. Behind my sunglasses, my eyes scan for a familiar luggage rack or my trademark dirty rear window as I surreptitiously click my remote door opener and listen for a honk.

It’s no surprise, then, that I was front and center for a recent workshop about Memory Loss taught by Carol Taylor, MSW and counselor at St. John’s Institute for Cognitive Health. Carol discussed the varying levels of memory loss; when it’s normal and when it may be cause for concern. There’s normal memory loss, mild memory impairment, and dementia. Alzheimer’s disease falls under the dementia category and it was interesting to learn that there are upwards of 80 health issues that are considered forms of dementia and that many are treatable.

It was a relief to self-diagnose myself as having normal memory loss immediately after Carol told everyone that stress and multitasking can affect our ability to recall. My goodness, that was an easy fix. Then she answered the question that was on everyone’s mind: How can we retain good memory health?

  • Don’t smoke or drink a lot of alcohol.
  • Learn a new skill: take up a musical instrument, learn a new language, etc.
  • Exercise for 30 minutes at least 3 times per week.
  • Make healthy nutritional choices.
  • Surround yourself with caring friends and family.

As I left the workshop and scoured the parking lot for my car, I was struck by the similarities between retaining good mental and physical health: exercise, eat wisely, keep learning new things and make time for friends and family. If I continue making good choices for myself, I’ll benefit all the way around.

Disclaimer: This blog discusses my personal wellness goals and is in no way a soapbox to tell anyone else how to eat, exercise and/or live their lives.