I have been a massage therapist working for Jimmy and New Life Hiking Spa for many years.  Having been around New Life during the busy season, as a therapist, I never had time to truly embrace its overall wellness approach.

Since middle age, I have had a potbelly which I never thought I would when I was younger. It kind of crept in and never left. Over time I became less and less active paying no attention to eating food that was healthy and balanced, just grabbed whatever was convenient, quick, and filling.

With New Life Hiking Spa being closed in the summer of 2020, we both had more time on our hands, so Jimmy came over to my home studio for a massage.  I remarked that I did need to make a change in my eating habits.  He mentioned he had begun food consulting with some past guests. I said, “sign me up”.

He first went through food in my cupboards and refrigerator and got rid of much of my food supply. We went shopping and he taught me to read labels, especially concerning sodium and sugars as I have some health issue that I realized I need to be concerned about. He also taught me where to spend the most time in the grocery store.

As I live in a very rural area, he taught me how to do online shopping of healthy products that are convenient and much more cost effective.   With Jimmy’s guidance I began to prepare meals that fit into my schedule. He showed me that buying the deli sandwiches with all the sodium and processed meat where very unhealthy then helped me learn about many healthy alternatives. He suggested convenient preparation strategies that reduced my food budget.   Since making these changes my overall health on many levels has improved, including the size of my belly.   I now cook my own food which I enjoy doing. I actually pay attention and give thought to what I eat and how it affects me.

One afternoon I reverted to my old way of thinking. I’ll just grab a roast beef sandwich from the deli for supper, which had been my old routine. That evening while watching TV, I began to feel bad. I felt light headed, dizzy and weak. I realized that I had been feeling that way for quite some time before I made the changes in my eating. Needless to say, this scared the hell out of me!!!  I’m not eating deli food anymore but what amazed me was how fast and “loud” my body reacted. It was a graphic lesson and well worth it. I tend to be thick headed, but that got my undivided attention!

The most important part of my change is Jimmy and I talk weekly about my progress.  Having him support me in my efforts, continue to educate me about eating strategy and making suggestions on how to improve on what I’m doing is a critical link in all this. I know from personal experience that left to my own devices, I will tend to revert to my old ways and I believe we all do that. Hence the failures of dieting. So, my heartfelt thanks to Jimmy for continued help in turning my life around and helping me feel alive again!!

— Mike G.