Nancy Keith’s Health Journey: “The Beginning of an Amazing New Way of Life”
June 26, 2017
As Nancy Keith, a universal banker at the Peoples Bank Snohomish branch inside Fred Meyer, contemplated the approach of her 50th birthday, her thoughts turned to her health. "My mom passed away at 59, and I didn't want that to be me,” Nancy shared. “That was the beginning of my health journey." Nancy's health journey, which included dramatic changes to her diet and physical fitness, has yielded impressive results. But the fundamental way in which Nancy changed her views about her body and her health is perhaps the most striking part of her story.
Like many people, Nancy had tried an array of weight loss diets. A few years ago, she lost some weight for her daughter's wedding, only to see some of it return when she went back to her usual habits. When she decided to commit to her health and physical fitness in 2016, however, Nancy was ready for a holistic change. "I wanted to make lasting health changes, as opposed to going on a diet. I started incorporating better daily health practices in terms of exercising regularly and being more focused on intentional choices, which included changing my whole view on food and its function in my life," she explained. The results of this new approach are impressive. Since undertaking to improve her health and fitness, Nancy has lost about seventy pounds. But as she sees it, this “journey” has been about much more than numbers on a scale. A focus on regular exercise and on fueling her body with healthy and nutritious foods has helped Nancy feel her best mentally and emotionally, as well as physically.
Nancy has also become a source of support for others who are working to make similar changes in their own lives. At work, she has participated with several co-workers in bank-wide step challenges, which encourage employees to incorporate extra movement into their days by tracking steps and creating a bit of friendly competition. Nancy has also taken advantage of Peoples Bank's $150 annual employee wellness voucher for health and fitness-related expenses, putting these funds toward the cost of items such as weights, workout clothes, and running shoes. Being able to get these costs reimbursed has helped Nancy stay on track with her fitness goals. Moreover, she says, working in an environment that encourages employees to look after their physical well-being has made her feel supported in her personal goals. “The wellness benefits show that the bank’s management cares about the whole person,” Nancy observed. “Peoples Bank understands that a healthy person contributes more positively to the work environment, both physically and emotionally."
In addition to her personal health journey, Nancy finds inspiration volunteering in the community through her church, the Snohomish Kiwanis Club, the Snohomish Senior Center, and the Snohomish Boys and Girls Club. “It's fulfilling to be part of something that's bigger than yourself or to do something that is not just for your own benefit,” Nancy explains. “We can all make a small difference, and volunteering in the community is a simple way to do something for someone else.” Nancy is grateful for the eight hours of paid time offered by Peoples Bank to volunteer in the community, noting “it’s definitely a generous perk,” that complements much of her own personal time as well.
In all that she does, Nancy's positivity and dedication serve as inspiration for those around her. Asked what she would tell others who are facing challenges of their own, Nancy offers this advice: "I just encourage people not to get down on themselves for what happened yesterday, and to remember that today's a new day that can be the beginning of an amazing new way of life. You just have to believe in yourself and not be afraid to imagine and work towards being a better version of yourself, whatever that may be."