Around the Hill

Rebirth, rejoice!  

Spring sports and activites

Now that Spring - such as it is in upstate New York - has arrived and we're long past the making of those dubious New Year's resolutions, we thought is might be fun to re-visit some of the wellness goals that were the focus of the Resolution Revolution event in January.  Those who attended may recall feeling re-energized by the keynote speaker and the employee panel, as well as the various workshops on healthy cooking and eating, training for a 5K, weight management, and the like.  If you'd like to be inspired anew (or if you didn't get a chance to attend the RR), you can go to: http://www.ezstream.com/play/index.cfm?ptype=sl&id=412099AE14&Org=EZ&CFID=12534011&CFTOKEN=79156461 to hear the keynote and panel again.  See you at the Wellness Fair!

Gretchen Maxam is looking forward to the mild weather of spring so she can start walking outside again. She says to be on the look-out for her and her two golden retrievers logging miles on the local roads and around Campus!


In addition, Erin Glaser is looking forward to the start of Roller Derby season!  She has been training and competing with the Central New York Roller Derby League since 2009. Not only is it great exercise, it is also really fun and the people involved are incredible. Such a diverse group of women who are very supportive of each other no matter what skill level you have. There are actually quite a few employees at Hamilton College that participate as skaters, refs, officials and volunteers. Their season opener is in April at the JFK Arena in Rome, NY.

The Whole Life Challenge: Our New Year’s Wellness Experiment

by Claudette Ferrone

It was January, the time when many contemplate New Year’s resolutions — the most popular being health related: get in shape, eat more healthfully, lose weight, etc. These thoughts were clearly on the minds of seven Hamilton employees and some of their friends, who, rather than making long-term fitness resolutions only to let good intentions fall by the wayside in a few weeks, decided to embark on “an eight-week game-changing lifestyle revolution” that would push them out of their comfort zones.

It was a journey that began with one choice: to take the Whole Life Challenge. When asked how she discovered the Whole Life Challenge, team captain Karen Leach responded, “I am always looking for websites about human motivation and also about health and fitness, so it must be that I just ran into it.” Lucky for me and the rest of our newly formed team, the “Central New York Healthy Wannabes,” that she did! Irene Cornish, Anne Debraggio, Dick and Elizabeth Tantillo, Nancy Thompson, Luann Zaleski, Shari Whiting, and a few more off-campus friends rounded out our group (no pun intended).

I was intrigued by this program that claimed by participating for “eight weeks you will create someone unrecognizable from the person who started.” I wondered how this program could be so transformative in such a short time. The premise for the challenge is that health and fitness become the context for your entire life, instead of something you try to squeeze into your already hectic schedule of daily activities and responsibilities. The challenge allows you to see life through a different lens and develop new lifestyle habits. Although it provides some new information, it’s mostly experiential.

There are five aspects to the program: nutrition, exercise, stretching, supplement and lifestyle. Each component is put into practice and you log into the website daily to record your progress. You choose foods that not only nourish your body but also taste good. You begin to think differently. You are a part of a community that keeps you accountable through competition and camaraderie. Although you are keeping track of your progress, it’s no problem if you have a low-scoring day. The idea is to keep going because the challenge is not about perfection; it’s about learning to make better choices, and that is what we did.

Our final results speak for themselves: 111.5 pounds lost (an average of 1.4 pounds lost per week per person for each of the 8 weeks); 37.25 inches lost (average of 3.7” per person); 36% average increase in fitness!

Moreover, we had these thoughts at the end: Shari Whiting noted, “I can’t believe we are coming to the end of this challenge! I really feel it’s helped me to make conscious decisions about what I eat, instead of eating mindlessly.” Elizabeth Tantillo said, “I just realized how really good I feel! What a lovely insight. High energy, and lots of ailments have gone away...Wow! I think I am evolving away from the sugar addict I was. Yahoo!” Irene Cornish recalled, “I learned that the support and encouragement of a team are priceless. I always struggle to do things on my own, but this was so much better. And I learned I can change and be a more fit and active person. I feel rejuvenated by this challenge. My greatest success over the past 54 days was seeing a real improvement in my heart rate and breathing during exercise. I learned that I am stronger than I ever thought possible and I can change life-long habits.”

We posted some amazing results by the end of the eight weeks. We all feel better and have more energy. We’re thrilled with our new level of fitness and greater awareness of a healthier way to live. All of us want to keep the positive momentum going. If you want to learn more about our WLC experience, join us on April 10 at noon in the Blood Fitness Center for a panel discussion. You can even step out of your comfort zone and join TEAM HAMILTON for the next challenge that begins on May 3. The WLC website boldly states, “It all starts with commitment. Draw a line in the sand. Tell the old you to take a hike. Literally. You got the will? We got the way.” We loved WLC so much we want to do it again, and we invite you to take the next Challenge with us!