Stefany Esparza is our June wellness spotlight award winner! Stefany is a Medical Assistant at Almaden Family Physicians. She was nominated by three of her colleagues — Monique Zodiacal, Alejandra Andonaegui and Sara Lurker. She’s the first employee to receive three separate nominations!
Excerpts from her nominations:
“Stefany really motivated all of us here at AFP not only to start living a healthier lifestyle, but also to get to bond with each on something other than work. I really would like to thank her on all that she has done.”
“…she is doing a new challenge for our clinic which is Weight Watchers and so far it’s awesome. She makes this clinic a better place to work, not only does she motivate us, but I look up to her in many different ways. She is a very caring person and has helped me in my personal life & at work. STEFANY YOU ROCK! YOU MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN OUR CLINIC & WE ALL THANK YOU!”
“We are all becoming more engaged and the staff is really enjoying the support from each other. Stefany also sent an email where she had the perfect message: ‘With all of us participating in this, let’s give ourselves and others the motivation we need to keep together as a group, be positive, throw the negative vibes out the door, let’s keep our head up and strive for our goal as a team.’ I am so proud of her motivation and her willingness to help others! She has been fantastic with this and I would love to nominate her for the Wellness Spotlight award!”
WELL@UHA asked Stefany to share more about her wellness journey and what inspired her to mobilize her clinic towards a greater sense of well-being.
Q. Your nominations all mentioned how you’ve not only motivated yourself to be well, but have also motivated your whole team. What inspires you to promote wellness at work?
A. I try and keep myself motivated, so my cousin had mentioned to me how Weight Watchers helped her lose 13 lbs. in one month! I thought to myself “oh wow, I’ve been wanting to lose weight and eat healthier and we have a discount through work, so why not put it to use and give it a try?” I previously did a steps challenge – so I didn’t think it would be much of a difference since we were already eating kind of healthy. Then I thought about everyone in the clinic and how we have all been trying to lose weight/change our lifestyles. A few months back, we had weight loss competitions and when I mentioned Weight Watchers to everyone, they seemed pretty ecstatic about this! I said, “Let’s work as a TEAM and give it a month trial.” I first looked up all info about Weight Watchers and asked questions to family and friends who have used it. I then let my co-workers know and so there it began! Working as a TEAM motivated me more knowing they wanted to be part of a change, for themselves. If I can help in any way, then so be it — I am here for them and for myself.
Q. Your clinic has really embraced our Weight Watchers discount – how has joining Weight Watchers as a group brought your clinic together?
A. It brought us together more, we became stronger, we keep motivating each other, we share ideas often on what to eat and what not to eat, what exercise to do at work (lunches and breaks) and we talked to our supervisor Sara to see if we use our break to fit in a neighborhood walk. It was like we were almost competing against each other, but also helping each other at the same time!
Q. What is your favorite way to stay well?
A. It’s tough to even think about eating healthy, doing the prepping, and finding time to exercise being a mom of a 11 month old and a 2 year old, and a full-time employee! I just try to make healthier choices, try to use my kids as weights and do some arms exercise (LOL), getting home running around making dinner and playing with them is my exercise. I have been doing late afternoon walks with the kids if it is not too cold, but now that summer is around the corner and summer daylight is longer, I will be doing power walks and running.
Q. For other clinics looking to improve their wellness and positivity, what would you suggest?
A. Having a strong mindset is where it starts, you have to want to be healthy in order to be able to actually follow through with your diet/health mindset. If you feel you can’t make changes on your own, look for a buddy to team up with to go on walks/runs on your lunch or after work. Find dates to go on hikes. This is how I find myself being more active — finding someone to do these things with keep each other motivated. The hardest part is when you have done everything “right,” but see no results in weight loss! Remember, it’s not always about losing weight, but how you feel and how many sizes you drop. It’ll take time to lose the weight as your body is getting sculpted, it takes anywhere between 4-8 weeks to notice a change for some. DON’T GIVE UP!
Q. What brings you joy?
A. MY KIDS & MY FAMILY. I am a big family person, knowing I have to keep healthy if I want to live longer, grow old to see my kids get older and raise a family themselves. This motivates me to squeeze in more time one way or another to do 5-30 min of any sort of type of exercise, in between patients or bathroom breaks. I’ll squeeze in squats, jumping jacks, etc during the day.
Q. What is your hope for the wellness program at UHA?
A. I hope everyone doesn’t lose hope it’s tough to get started. Any employee is more than welcome to reach out to me for anything. Keep striving for better, hope this Wellness Program is around for a long time, its been helping me and others to feel better and want to be better.
Thank you, Stefany, for showing the power of engagement on well-being at work! And thanks to her team for taking the time to recognize her great work.