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Don Smallidge


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Healthy Lifestyle

This is my place to organize the various links and notes about nutrition, fitness, and overall health issues. It is also turning out to be a wonderful technique for sparking conversations about my goals with others; this leads to information sharing and increased support. It also has inspired a few people to get off the couch!

Selah Tea Cafe

Let me add my voice to the growing sounds of approval and enthusiasm for the new Selah Tea Cafe in Waterville. I agree with James D. of Benton but I would go further and thank them for the helpful advice and overall knowledge of tea and the health benefits of drinking tea (not to mention techniques and equipment to make your own tea at home). Despite knowing for years that green tea is good for me, I did not enjoy the taste enough to drink it. Until the good folks at Selah Tea Cafe showed me the best way to brew it (and have such tasty varieties of green tea available). Now I am drinking green tea nearly every day and I suspect that frequency will increase over time.

ME First

Rome was not built in a day, but every long journey begins with the first step. The ME First program was designed to support Maine government employees and retirees who are serious about their commitment to becoming healthier (by invitation only); it helps remove common barriers that come between one and a healthier lifestyle. The program consists of three phases:

  1. Learning Healthy Habits - attain sustained lifestyle changes that incorporate regular cardio and strength training, nutritious meals and an appropriate weight (that's where I am now: learning)
  2. Internalizing Healthy Habits - work on maintenance, energy balancing and strengthening new habits from the first phase
  3. The Safety Net - keep in touch with fitness specialist and wellness coach 3 times a year to ensure that you stay on course

Side benefits of the program include (but are not limited to) financial incentives for losing weight, stress reduction, increased self-confidence, better overall health and improved outlook (which leads to a more productive life at work and at home, and to fewer sick days)!

I ran out of time with the list, but that is the 20,000 foot view. In the end, I found the program too demanding and dropped out after about a year. I did manage to lose 30 pounds and keep it off, but still have room for improvement! I am very grateful to the program (and to Liz, Mary, Becky and Wayne in particular) for their help getting me this far. I am still using some of the lessons learned in the program. Trying to not allow life and old habits to hold me back from continued progress.

TDES2

I would just like to say "Thank You" to the folks at Maine General and Inland Hospital, and to all the folks in the TDES and TDES2 programs who helped me adjust to my diagnosis of diabetes. I have not always been an ideal patient and I would just like to publicly acknowledge how supportive they have been as I learned how to deal with this disease. I am particularly grateful to Phonse Laney and Sue Palumbo for keeping me focused during a difficult patch in 2009 and to Mary Alberty who gave me so many insights about nutrition and how I can get a better handle on food choices.

My participation in this program ended in January 2010. I offered a suggestion to Sue in our last telephone consultation: it would be helpful to provide a hotline service to people who need occasional advice and support, rather than a formal check-in process. This service could be more broadly available to the general public, with funding from the local, state and federal government. Such a service would be about improving the overall general health of the population, giving people access to valuable information without the overhead of a formal program, and helping to keep down healthcare costs. I think such a service could also guide people into more formal programs if it became clear that their issues could not be resolved by a phone call.

Everything Else!

I have a lot more work to do on this page. I am continuously accumulating useful information about health and nutrition, but never seem to have the time to organize it yet. Over time I will be adding and polishing this section. This area of the site will help me on the way to a healthier me, but the buck stops here! By sharing my goals and aspirations with family, friends and colleagues, I have also increased the support I will need to stay on track.

Healthy Lifestyle Page - XHTML Transitional - last updated 5 July 2011