No matter how old you may be, you can always change your health for the better. That’s the message that Vina Dean, senior administrative support assistant in the computer science department, wants her peers at OSU to understand.
“I feel better now than I did 20 years ago,” said Dean. “You can always change your health for the better, no matter what age you are.”
Dean credits the health and wellness benefits that OSU offers faculty and staff for making a difference in her life.
Her only regret is that she waited so long to take full advantage of those benefits.
Though she’s worked at OSU for 22 years, it wasn’t until after she was diagnosed with diabetes that she started participating in the Biggest User Program, about five years ago. “The diagnosis was a big wake up call for me and the program gave me some basics to build on. I knew that diabetes wasn’t a legacy I wanted.”
Soon she transitioned into the Balance Program, which taught her about nutrition and how to incorporate an exercise program into her life. “That gave me a practical formula and showed me what I needed to do personally to benefit my health,” Dean said.
Since she started taking advantage of the wellness program, Dean has lost 30 pounds and is taking minimal diabetes medication. She has also seen improvements in her mental well-being. Her confidence has skyrocketed and the fears she used to have about going to the gym are long gone.
“You don’t have to have a degree in health education, the experts are already here and they are more than willing and pleased to help in any way,” said Dean. “OSU offers a wealth of experts who can answer your questions.”
Dean now works with a personal trainer at the Colvin Recreation Center three days a week. Working out and eating healthy are part of her daily routine.
She says she’s excited to be a part of a school that is striving for the goal of being America’s healthiest campus. “Not all schools offer these programs. I’ve been given this opportunity to be a small part of this campaign just by changing myself for the better. I fully encourage everyone to do the same.
“There are so many people to thank that are a part of this program,” Dean said. “The people that are behind the scenes don’t get enough recognition for their commitment. They are committed to this program, so we as faculty and staff should be too.”