Basin Electric’s Intranet features several blogs written by employees. One, called “Energize,” is written by Nicole Perreault, graphic designer and multimedia specialist II.
She just featured Paul Mindeman. He is a systems administrator III at Basin Electric Headquarters. Read about what he found most difficult about getting in shape, and watch the video.
When did you start incorporating wellness into your life?
I started getting serious about my health about a year ago.
What motivated you to make your health a priority in your life?
I had went to the clinic to get a cold treated that motivated me to make my health a priority. The routine checkup painted a pretty grim picture. My weight was the highest I’d ever seen it, and my blood pressure and cholesterol were both high. My family has a history of heart disease and I could see I was already going down a path that would end in long hospital visits.
How has your health, weight, energy level, etc. changed since you started living a healthier lifestyle?
Since I started living a healthier life, I just feel better all around. Depending on the day of the week, I’ve lost between 45 and 50 pounds. Before I started running and getting serious about my health, I had a hard time waking up in the morning and I usually felt like I needed a nap after work each day. Now I have to make an effort to sleep in and I have the energy to go all day.
What was the most difficult part of changing your lifestyle?
I would say the most difficult part of changing my lifestyle is a tie between the first two weeks of getting into a workout routine and having to closely watch what I ate.
When I started putting new physical demands on my body, it felt awful for the first couple weeks. I was sore all the time and trying to move faster than a quick walk felt like torture. As I kept at it, the soreness went away and my stamina increased. Now, it almost feels worse not to get that workout in each day.
Adjusting to a new diet was also difficult. I lost weight by tracking how many calories I was taking in each day and trying to keep that count below a certain amount. This meant weighing out my portions for each meal to make sure I was getting an accurate count. Fortunately, there are a number of apps that can help you keep track of this, but it was still a lot of bookkeeping that I didn’t do before. After keeping track for a few months, I had a better understanding of how much I was actually eating and how much I could eat before my weight started creeping up again.
Describe your weekly workout routine.
Generally, for my weekly workout routine I’ll try to do a long run sometime during the weekend that will take about two hours. The day after the long run, I’ll get an easy three-to-four mile run in, or go for an easy bike ride. The rest of the week, I’ll run six-to-eight miles a day, and try to take one or two days off. If I can find time, I also try to lift weights a couple times a week.
What is your favorite workout?
The long run is my favorite workout. I get to see things that you normally miss when you’re zipping by in a car and go places that you can’t get to by car. It also gives me time to slow down my mind and think about life.
Do you have a family? Any children? Pets?
I have a dog, a German Shorthaired Pointer.
How have they responded to your healthier lifestyle?
I think she enjoys the new lifestyle because I have more energy to take her out for walks now. I’ve tried taking her along on my runs when the weather is cool enough, but her need to stop and closely examine a patch of grass every couple hundred feet made it tough to keep a good pace going.
How did you find time to incorporate exercise into your schedule?
I had to decide what was more important, watching TV and playing video games, or my overall health. Once I made my health my priority, it was relatively easy to find the time.
What is your advice for other employees looking to improve their overall health and wellness?
My advice to other employees is to start out slow, set realistic goals, and to keep things simple.