Linda Pitney

The CRI Life Enhancement Program helped me find my voice.

Before the Berkshire Health Systems-CRI Life Enhancement Program, I struggled with severe depression and other issues that I carried with me from childhood. I was overweight, and I had high cholesterol and high blood pressure. I had experienced heart attack symptoms that put me in the hospital. I knew I was too young to have these issues, but no matter what I did, my cholesterol and blood pressure numbers didn’t come down. So when my therapist referred me to the CRI Life Enhancement Program, I signed up.

There were many times I didn’t want to go to the sessions, because I had a long day at work, the weather was bad, or I just wasn’t motivated. Because I had made the commitment, I still went to every single session of the CRI Life Enhancement Program. I never spoke in any of the sessions. But I listened. Then one day, something clicked.

Before the program, I had read a lot about nutrition, exercised, and monitored my health, but I didn’t know what I didn’t know. The program taught me that progress happens through small changes that I can manage and maintain. Because of what I learned, I started drinking coffee without cream and sugar, and I incorporated strength training into my exercise routine. I also learned that my body mass index and other measurements are more important than numbers on a scale.

At one point during the program, I had bloodwork done and my cholesterol had gone down by 43 points. It was the greatest day – I was ecstatic! Even though I hadn’t lost much weight, I realized that I was getting healthier on the inside.

The CRI Life Enhancement Program gave me the guidance, focus, and support I needed to transform my life. Now I understand how the different areas of my life – physical, emotional, behavioral – all impact my well-being. The small changes that I incorporated made a big difference and became habits.

I had always been shy, but now I’m more outgoing and confident.

Recently, I shared my journey with a new group of Berkshire Health Systems-CRI Life Enhancement Program participants. I want them to know that they can change their lives for the better. The CRI Life Enhancement Program starts where you are, and when you slip, just start again and keep going – because it’s worth it. I couldn’t imagine my life any other way, and now I want to help other people in my community get healthy and stay healthy.

Linda Pitney
Program Participant
Berkshire Health Systems-CRI Life Enhancement Program
Pittsfield, MA