By: My Journey Winner, Donna Phillips

Donna Phillips


Personal Story: Donna is a 43 old married mother of two teenage boys who works professionally in an administrative position. She found herself in a rut personally. Donna has had a history of migraine headaches since she was a little girl which seemed to be getting worse. She has great doctors to help her but the rescue medications to alleviate the weekly headaches are extremely expensive. Her journey to better health started about one year ago because she became “mad” at always feeling tired, run-down, or sick with a headache.

Last fall, a local gym was running a membership special. It became a discussion within Donna’s household about everyone joining. Her oldest son joined to condition for his college baseball season, her husband and youngest son joined to stay active over the winter months. Donna was hesitant to join because of the expense and the anxiety of working out with her family and of not being able to keep up. She said “It is truly embarrassing to walk into a gym unfit.” Her youngest son looked at her with a sweet, but stern, face and said, “Mom you need to join the gym.” All she heard from him was “you are overweight and out of shape, GET MOVING!”. So she joined the gym and started a spin class that Monday at 5:30 a.m.. She found a bike in the furthest back corner trying to hide from everyone. She thought the class was a disaster; she could not even keep up the pace and make it through one song much less a whole session, but she persevered. The instructor was great! She realized Donna’s insecurities and provided small bits of encouragement without drawing too much attention. Over time she was able to participate more, gaining strength and self confidence. Now Donna has moved out of hiding to the front of the class and engages in daily conversations with other gym members.

Something else helped maintain Donna’s determination: The Daniel Plan – a ground breaking healthy lifestyle program for Norton employees. Founded on biblical principles, the Daniel Plan encourages participants to focus on five essentials for good health: faith, food, fitness, focus, friends.

Donna didn’t know much about The Daniel Plan but decided it could only help her in her goal. She had no idea it would transform her health.

“The Daniel Plan isn’t a diet program or calorie counter,” she said. “It focuses on you as a whole person, both physically and mentally. It aims to help you create a positive attitude and develop a network of good people in your life.”

Donna knew from the start that she needed a gym that offered classes in the morning before work for her to be successful. The scheduled time of the group fitness provides a sense of accountability and there are no personal or family scheduling conflicts at 5:30a.m., just the self-motivation to get out of bed. The daily exercise does start Donna’s day on a positive note. It helps relieve stress and provides her the readiness to start her work day.

Recently, Donna’s husband has had some health issues that have placed additional strain on the family unit. If it weren’t for her established lifestyle of daily exercise and healthy eating habits she would not have been able to support her husband in his time of need.

Donna is so thankful for her son to providing the wake-up call that she so desperately needed and to her employer for providing resources like The Daniel Plan for healthier living. She is feeling healthier and moving better than she has in years! Her headaches have improved to a point where she no longer needs her expensive rescue medication. One of her new found loves is shopping again to celebrate all of her hard work.

Did you enjoy Donna’s journey? Share your own and inspire others. #lac #mylac #myjourney #louisvilleathleticclub

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