University of California, Riverside


Success Stories/Testimonials

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Share Your Experiences and Wellness Journey

Do you have a success story you want to share around weight loss, healthy eating, fitness or any other health improvement success you've made?

Please send a short summary along with a photo (optional)  to Please indicate that you would like your summary posted on the UCR Wellness website.

Cassie Taan, Dining Services

I have been meaning to email you about my mini goal and main goals that I set from healthy habits for life, thanks for the reminder!  I believe my main goal for the program was to get in shape for my first 5K Run and to be able to at least a mile without stopping.  I didn’t lose the weight that I wanted at that time but I did very well during the run.  I was able to almost run the whole 5k with the exception of a few stops.  It was an amazing feeling and I rewarded myself with new tennis shoes J  I would not have been able to run as long as I did if I didn’t stick to my schedule.   As for my long term goals, so far I have lost 23lbs!  I am still far from where I want to be, but HHFL really helped with achieving what I have accomplished.  Many aspects of the program has helped me out like the best way to look at nutritional facts and eating habits, but the most that has helped me a lot was the exercising.  Before HHFL I would just do cardio,  an hour of the elliptical 3-4 times a week and that was it!  Since then I have added a lot of muscular strengthening to my exercise as well as flexibility.  On top of my gym membership,  I enrolled in a yoga & Pilates studio and I am in LOVE!  There I get great cardio and strength training with zumba and barre pilates which are CRAZY compared to classes at a regular gym.  I also have to say yoga is my new best friend!  I find myself to be more successful in this studio because they are very catering to their members and they want to see us succeed and focus on each and every one of their students.  I just wanted to thank you and Kristie Holt and the rest of the wellness team with providing us with such and AMAZING program.  I am looking forward to the next update and more wellness programs!

Linda Sanada, Graduate School of Education

The UCR Weigh Well Program really works! I lost 10 pounds and 1" off my waist and my hips in only 9 weeks! Setting goals and being accountable for my progress by the end of the 10 week program gave me the push I needed to get to a healthier me. The presentations by Riverside Medical Clinic nurses and nutritionists covering healthy shopping, cooking, dining-out without pigging-out, controlling cravings, and the importance of building muscle to burn more calories made a big difference in the way I approached mealtimes and yes, even the dreaded exercise. I especially appreciated the customized meal plan that the nutritionist made for me. The plan was easy to follow and I was always full. We were also given resistance bands for strength training — awesome! I also took advantage of the FREE work-outs through the campus MobileFit program.

Julie Chobdee, the Wellness Coordinator, is such a wealth of health and fitness knowledge. She and her assistant, Bryanna, were so supportive every step of the way. They even offer optional, 3 month progress checks after the program is over so that I'm still accountable for staying on track. I strongly encourage everyone to join!

Tanya L. Wine, Department of Economics

Good morning Julie -

I just wanted to send you a note to let you know how much I have benefitted from the Wellness Programs here at UCR as well as the programs funded through UCOP for continuous wellness.  I have seen a tremendous improvement in my health and over all well being. 

I first started with the WalkingFit Program in 2007.  I was really surprised how little I was getting up and moving around during the day.   Since then, I have implemented a more balanced diet and increased my daily activity to include at least 60 minutes of hard-core cardio and 20 minutes of strenuous walking each and every day - 7 days a week.  Since April 2008, I have lost over 160 pounds and dropped my BMI from 60.25 to 40.  I still have a long way to go to reach my goal weight, but I wanted to thank for you sending out those emails, reminders and for overseeing the program.  It has been very encouraging to me.  I am living proof that it's working - you just have to work it! Thank you - from the bottom of my heart.

Cyndi Crump, Housing

Having been on every diet and now life change program IN THE WORLD. Weight watchers and this program have helped me keep in check with that I am eating, how much I am eating and changing up thins I can do to help me be healthier and feel better about myself. I have struggled most of my life with my weight. At one point in time I weighed over 265 pounds and through the years with changing my portions, eating healthier, increasing my activity I have maintained somewhat of a good weight. I have learned to be proud of what I have done, be supportive to anyone who is struggling whatever it may be. Not to beat yourself up if you blow it but to just get back on track. Taking little steps at first are much easier than BUG GIANT strides and surprisingly the little changes you make whatever they may be to live a healthier lifestyle that works for you is your success. It worked for me at least.

Zaid K. Ghori, International Education Programs

Thought I would share my success story. I attended your Physical Wellness workshop some weeks ago. I used to grab breakfast at Starbucks and coffee almost everyday. It was my New York habit. Since your workshop, I am having all my meals at home and have not skipped breakfast-I have whole grain cereal with fruit and skim milk. I did not completely cut off caffeine or Starbucks but limit it only to Sundays (kind of my reward for being good for the week!). Saved about $5/day I was spending at Starbucks.

I think the key to consistency is to start slowly. I'm slowly adding in physical fitness.

Thanks, your workshops have been truly helpful to me as a new employee at UCR. I look forward to the Social Wellness one next week.

Julia Ree, Library

I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know what kind of an impact something as simple as measuring ones steps can be.

Tomorrow will mark my one year anniversary with a pedometer.  It hasn't been completely first the pedometer I had kept "zeroing" out, and I didn't even dunk that one in the water!  I lost a lot of steps in those early weeks. There were times when I forgot to wear the pedometer, or would have a dress on, preventing me from attaching the pedometer to something. Mostly, though, I wore that thing as I do today, measuring and walking and wondering just how far I could go.

When I first joined the walk(ing) fit program, I had no idea how many steps it took to go through my daily life.  I don't wear it (generally speaking) on the weekends, unless we are power walking (like at Disneyland!) and sometimes, when you are not feeling well, who wants to walk?!? But having said all that, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that one year later, I could say that I've been able to officially count over 2.5 million steps!  WOW!  I'm even in the top 10 for year and career (and, over the Summer, I was even in the top 10 for the quarter!)  This goes beyond anything I could have imagined. 

I battle with weight issues, and with diabetes, but thanks to the incentive of health, my numbers are better than when I started with the walking fit program.  I'm not at my ideal weight yet, and there are days that are better than others, but this kind of self-awareness, this self-acknowledgment that even I can do as satisfying as anything else I've done for myself - health-wise.

My thanks to you and to the walking fit staff for setting our feet upon the path, every step does count!

Share Your Experiences and Wellness Journ

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Program Information

Julie Chobdee, MPH
Wellness Program Coordinator
Human Resources

1201 University Ave., Suite 208
Riverside, CA 92507

Tel: (951) 827-1488
Fax: (951) 827-2672

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