2 DignityHealth.org/Bakersfield | Summer 2019 ‘A better version of myself’ One woman’s journey to health andwellness In 2014, Donna Winkley was a different version of who she is today. She didn’t exercise, and she didn’t eat nutritious foods. She weighed nearly 200 pounds, which, at 5 feet 7 inches tall, put her health at risk. As she thought about the future, a sense of urgency began to set in. “I felt like an observer in my own life, and I wanted to participate,” Winkley says. “It was almost like a light switch went off, and I committed to making a change.” Winkley, who is the regional director of special needs and community outreach for Dignity Health – Mercy and Memorial Hospitals, began a healthy lifestyle journey. It started with little changes, like buying more produce and learning about nutrition. She started strength training two to three times a week and incorporated yoga into her fitness routine. Before she knew it, she’d lost 50 pounds. But the journey was just beginning. Running for a reason “After I’d lost 50 pounds, I got on a treadmill at the gym and thought to myself, what if I could run 1 mile?” Winkley says. “When I could run 1 mile, I thought, let me see if I can run 2 miles. Then what if I could run 3 miles?” Winkley began competing in 5K and 10K races and then connected with a local running group. She’s run a dozen half-marathons, completed an Ultra 50K race, and been on a relay triathlon team. Now, Winkley is training for the New York City Marathon. Her runs are purpose-filled, as she dedicates her miles to those who can’t run and fundraises for philanthropic causes that she cares about. Winkley has lost a total of 65 pounds. She has more energy, and she makes a choice to feel good about herself every day. What’s more, she knows the journey she continues is making her physically, emotionally, and spiritually stronger. Find your way to a better, healthier life When diet and exercise don’t work, weight loss surgery at Mercy Hospitals may be what you need. The best way to get started is to attend one of our free seminars. Visit us online at dignityhealth.org/bakersfield/weightloss or call 661.632.5117 . Follow in her footsteps If you want to make healthy lifestyle changes, consider five that worked for Donna Winkley: 1. Start with small changes. 2. Put forth your best effort. 3. Move more and drink water. 4. Set goals and celebrate them. 5. Have fun! Fun and free! Mercy and Memorial Hospitals offer free yoga and Zumba classes. Visit dignityhealth.org/bakersfield/ classes .