The Quarterly | DCS Employee Newsletter Issue 14 - Page 23

On April 22nd , 2021 , Chief Wellness Officer Reginald Hughley sent an email out to the Department congratulating the winners of the 21-Day Step Challenge . Coming in second place was Nicholas Mahoney , Community Supervision Officer III of the Gainesville Day Reporting Center , Northeastern Judicial Circuit . Mahoney stepped 117.4 miles in just 12 days .
We know that getting and staying active is one of the best ways to keep our bodies healthy and improve our overall wellbeing and quality of life . An individual that has had the courage to stand up and take charge of his health during the pandemic , Mahoney serves as a prime example of the success of our agency ’ s Health and Wellness program . Mahoney shares his own story of acceptance , motivation , courage , and perseverance in hopes that it encourages someone else to embark on a health journey of their own .
“ I didn ' t focus on any specific health goals until the start of the pandemic , during March of last year [ 2020 ],” starts Mahoney . “ I have worked high stress jobs for years in public safety , and my health and wellness had dramatically declined over time . I had more time at home during the start of the pandemic and that eventually led to me walking about 30 minutes a day .”
During April of 2020 , Mahoney saw his doctors at Kaiser Permanente ( KP ).
“ My blood pressure was high and I weighed approximately 331 pounds ,” he notes , honestly .
The doctors said he would eventually end up taking blood pressure medications and having multiple medical procedures if he did not make some lifestyle changes . Mahoney then set his focus on lowering his blood pressure and his weight as personal health and wellness goals for the upcoming year .
“ I continued playing with different exercise routines outdoors shortly after getting that news . A little while later , I decided that I wanted to be able to walk the inaugural Cumming Half Marathon . I made training for this event one of my key fitness goals and participated in community events across the state sponsored by North Georgia Running Company .” *
At the start of 2021 , Mahoney began heavily using Apple Fitness + every week to aid in organizing a half marathon training plan . He began to diversify his cross training with yoga , functional strength training , core training , dance , HIIT , elliptical , cycling , rowing , and the stair stepper , in addition to participating in his KP Health Insurance Wellness Program and our own departmental challenges .
“ I read well-researched articles about nutrition and tinkered with my diet over time , phasing out my consumption of red meat , white bread , and sugar ,” he says .
“ I limited my consumption of alcohol and caffeine and drank more water .”
When asked about managing the stress of the situation , Mahoney explained that walking quickly became an essential part of his self care routine each week .
“ It helps me process the stress in my life in a calm and healthy way .”
Not only does walking have countless positive effects on his mental health , Mahoney adds that with consistency in his daily walks , his pace and endurance skyrocketed , clothes started to fit looser , and his waist size shrunk .
“ Eventually , even my blood pressure numbers dropped !” he exclaimed . “ I could sprint and run easily if I wanted to , and consistently completed longer distances every week .”
Mahoney has completed two virtual half marathons this year , both sponsored by North Georgia Running Company , and plans to walk a third one . He ’ s now experimenting with implementing a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet as he continues to work toward his goal of walking the Cumming Half Marathon on November 7th 2021 .
“ I ’ ve lost 90 pounds [ since March 2020 ], my blood pressure has gone down , and I ’ ve had a few new opportunities open up for me at work !”