Linda Barber is no stranger to Ringgold County Hospital. She’s now retired, but for 23 years she was the front desk receptionist and the first person many patients met when they came to the hospital. There have been a lot of changes at RCH since she retired, including the addition of a Health Coach in the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic. Linda has been working with coach Leslie Dredge-Murphy, RN for almost a year.
“As long as I’ve been alive, I’ve been overweight,” said Linda. “I’ve tried just about everything over the years, and I just couldn’t get a handle on it.”
Leslie suggested she keep a journal of everything she eats each day as well as tracking her daily exercise. “I’d never done that before. I bring in my journals every week when we meet so she can see what I’m doing. She keeps me accountable.” It’s working. Slowly and steadily Linda is losing weight and meeting her goals. She currently weighs less than she has in many years. When asked what the real secrets to her success are, she said simply, “Journaling, accountability, and exercise.” She exercises twice a day and averages 6,000 steps each day. “I’m on a low-carb diet, but I eat what I want,” she explained. “I just keep track of it now in my journal. Dieting alone just didn’t work for me. It’s the exercise that’s making the big difference.”
Because she’s retired, she has the time to exercise in the morning and again in the afternoon. Instead of the 4:30 wake-up call she was accustomed to when she was working, she now takes it easy and stays in bed until 5:30. “I have so much more energy now. I don’t get winded when I’m walking anymore,” she said. Linda is a real advocate for the health coaching program and Leslie Dredge-Murphy in particular. “I would definitely recommend her – in fact I already have! She’s been very good for me. I don’t want to quit!” She added that she really appreciates what the hospital is doing by providing this service. “We have a weight loss group that meets once a month and more people are becoming involved. With more encouragement, it makes it even better for everyone!”With two sons and their families nearby, a new house under construction, and plenty of friends and activities, Linda’s new-found energy is helping her stay active.