Irene Jajko

The amazing thing is how good I feel now!

Now, I know that I was depressed, but then I didn’t know. You see, when I retired a few years ago, I found myself spending more and more time at home, not doing much at all. At the end of one long winter day, I realized I had been sitting the entire day. I knew that wasn’t right.

Then, I saw a little article in the Berkshire Eagle that the Canyon Ranch Institute Life Enhancement Program (CRI LEP) was going to be offered here in Pittsfield, MA, at Berkshire Health Systems (BHS). I knew right away that I wanted to join.

Now, thanks to the BHS-CRI LEP, I have new energy and reasons to get out of the house. The program told me hard truths about my health that I needed to hear. I started to move my body and to work on myself. It’s so good to have other people to talk with. The BHS-CRI LEP staff is so dedicated and has so much to share. When you speak with them, you think of all the truly hopeful possibilities in your life.

I have lost some weight since the program, but the most amazing thing is how I feel. I needed to get out of the rut I was in. I needed to better understand myself. The BHS-CRI LEP introduced me to great health professionals like a psychologist and a nutritionist – people I didn’t think I needed at all. But they helped change my way of thinking. I am now open to trying new healthy foods, and I started to exercise. That has helped me a lot. For me, starting to move my body again after a long time of just not doing anything was a challenge at first, but I am doing it! Now, I take a Silver Sneakers class for seniors twice a week, and I’m in a community walking program where we track our steps.

One thing I truly learned about myself is that my motivation comes and goes. I need a reason to get up and do things. That’s why I never miss a BHS-CRI LEP reunion. Staying involved keeps me going. Just being there with people I know and who know me helps keep me motivated. I’m not going to let myself get isolated and depressed again, thanks to the BHS-CRI LEP.

Irene Jajko
Program Participant
Berkshire Health Systems-CRI Life Enhancement Program
Pittsfield, MA