Toni Schinke

Toni Schinke

How many times have you said, “I just don’t feel right”.  You know you haven’t been taking the best care of yourself, and it’s time to be doing something about it.  Our wellness winner this month is Toni Schinke, the Organizational Development & Marketing/Communications Assistant at United Way Fox Cities, who began her challenge by intentionally self-assessing her existing state of get-up-and-go.

Toni’s belief of “I knew there was a better ‘me’ inside”, led her to start consciously making better food and activity choices.  Much of her success she attributes to being honest and accountable to herself through journaling her food intake and pushing herself to exercise even on days she really doesn’t feel like it.  Garnering support is also important to the success of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Toni found support from her husband and family as well as “a workplace that encourages a healthy environment.”  Each person who dares to start this lifestyle journey encounters challenges at one time or another.

Toni’s keys to changing challenges or obstacles into victories include:

  • “Keep reminding myself what my goals are and why I started this journey.”

  • “When I don’t give in to a temptation I recognize that as another small victory to be proud of.”

  • “Allow myself to live life, and enjoy the occasional pizza with my family but just eat less.”

  • Commitment.  “I battle normal laziness” and “realizing I’m not perfect and I am going to struggle. So if I misstep I forgive myself and start anew.”

Besides the weight-loss, Toni noticed other positive changes along the way too, like “gaining new friends at the gym”, “meeting and learning from other women on the same journey”, and realizing “I don’t focus on the food anymore but rather on the people at gatherings”. She also takes pride in watching her husband make these major lifestyle changes as well. Seeing his great results and enjoying the energy to be active together.

Healthy lifestyle changes are inclusive of your total “you”.  It is not just a number on the scale.  Everyone can take that first step, and as Toni states, “I realize that life happens and gets in the way of progress sometimes, but you have to stick to it.  I believe improving my overall health is really worth the investment.”