New Year New You

January-February 2013

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12A I FRIDAY, JANUARY 11, 2013 The Sentinel-Echo I "Melinda never let her physical limitations keep her from progressing. Her transformation is a daily effort to choose what is best rather than what is easy." SUSANNAH ZAWKO, MELINDA JACKSON'S PERSONAL TRAINER AT POWERHOUSE GYM Her heart problems lead her to heart health BY MAGEN MCCRAREY serve dinner and spend quality time with her husband and 13-year-old son. When she was 29 years old, "I have a pacemaker in my Melinda Jackson received a body and it's not going to stop pacemaker for her heart me," she said. arrhythmia. Six heart surgerJackson keeps a photo of ies and six years later, she herself from six years ago now said it became her saving tucked into the dashboard of grace. her car. Sometimes, she takes "Being 29 at the time and it inside the gym with her as having to have a pacemaker motivation. The photo repreput in was one of the most sents her journey to health, heartbreaking things I've ever who she was and who she is had to do," Jackson said. "I today. decided it wasn't gong to "There would be times that define me or keep me from I'd be in class and I'd be 30 what I wanted to do." minutes in and think, I'm She weighed 240 pounds, going to die, this is going to would hide behind her son for kill me," she said. "Start every photograph and allowed small, build yourself up and her weight to dictate her lifedon't give up." style. Following another heart Through the process, she surgery two years ago, she overcame her pacemaker's made a change and hit the limitations. Not only did she gym, losing more than 112 learn how to exercise properpounds. ly, but she learned how to eat PHOTO BY MAGEN McCRAREY Her physician gave her the clean as well. She doesn't Despite the limitations of her pacemaker and heart arrhythmia, Melinda Jackson works out every day at go ahead to start an exercise drink sugar-filled sodas, or Powerhouse Gym. Jackson made the decision two years ago to improve her overall health and has lost more than routine, and she hit the overeat carbohydrates, such 112 pounds. ground running on a treadas breads and pasta. Her dinmill. Her transformation was ner or snack plate always slow. Her determination was consists of a healthy mound strong, but she realized it's not so of fruits and vegetables. easy making a lifestyle change solo. "The difference between Melinda "I needed some help. You go into and many others is the fact that she things by yourself and don't know the understands that there isn't a quick proper form or technique of somefix. It isn't a one-stop shop. She thing, even though you're exercising, changed her entire life to become that doesn't mean it's working," who she is and turn her health Jackson said. around. She understood the imporJackson enlisted the help of tance of lifestyle change," Zawko Powerhouse Gym Personal Trainer said. Susannah Zawko to immerse her in a "What I find so inspiring and motinew workout routine. vational about Melinda is that she "She quickly let me know her fears never let her physical limitations or and also about her heart condition hectic lifestyle keep her from proBaptist Regional Medical Center and the Sentinel-Echo are and restrictions on physical activity," proud to bring you a five-week long series about getting the gressing. She has truly changed her Zawko said. "I tried to calm her life and health in every way. And I weight off and keeping it off. Follow the series on Wednesdays nerves and let her know that we count it an amazing honor to have a could base her program/class on her and Fridays from now until February 13. part in it, no matter how small it may needs and fitness level. Within a mathave been. Because ultimately, her ter of weeks, she was well on her way transformation is a daily effort to Today, Jackson is 35. She has reached her goal to her transformation." choose what is best rather than what weight of 128 pounds, and her next goal is to be By inducing sweat with positivity, Zawko supis easy." plied Jackson with the uplift she needed to contin- able to run over five miles on the treadmill, heart willing. Everyday, after work, she faithfully heads MMCCRAREY@SENTINEL-ECHO.COM ue her weight dropping quest. She began to love to the gym until 7 p.m. She then travels home to jogging, climbing hills, and cycling class. Staff writer Baptist Physicians Southeast Is pleased to announce a new affiliate to our exceptional network for Primary Care. Akif Ahmad, MD (Center) Janey Phipps, APRN (Right) Margaret Zoellers, APRN (Left) 8706 S US Hwy 25, Corbin KY (606) 258-7035 Formerly WHA Primary Care Office Hours: Monday– Friday 8:30am—5:00pm Member of Baptist Healthcare Systems, Inc. Open House January 23, 2013 1:00pm - 2:30pm

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