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Mary Kay Pinkham

I learned how to make my body and soul work together

I’m a cancer survivor. I knew I needed to lose weight to reduce the risk of the cancer returning. I wanted to lose the weight but nothing worked. Then, I signed up for the Berkshire Health Systems (BHS) Canyon Ranch Institute Life Enhancement (CRI LEP) program.

I met a great group of people in the BHS-CRI LEP at Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington, MA. We were all on a new adventure together. Everyone was so supportive. I felt safe talking about what I needed. The staff is genuine and enthusiastic. The one-on-one sessions with a nurse, a physical therapist, an exercise person, and a dietitian were exactly what I needed. You could talk about anything and ask any question. No shame, no worry, just straight truth about my health.

At the beginning of the BHS-CRI LEP, we talked about how your life needs to be in balance, like a car with four tires. So your soul, your mind, your body, and your sense of purpose have to be in balance. If they are balanced, life is good. You can manage stress. You can deal with things. You can get out and take a walk, and you can make life good for yourself. You don’t need to go eat a cookie to feel better.

What I had to figure out wasn’t just how to lose weight and keep it off, but also how to do what I need to feel good. The BHS-CRI LEP helped me give myself permission to do what I need to get my life in balance. I learned how to make time for me. Then, with the support of everyone else in the program, everything just fell into place. The weight started to come off.

Now, I make a point of exercising to relieve stress, and I am very aware of what and how much I eat. I start most days with yoga and meditation. There is a sticky note on my mirror with a small manageable goal, just to give myself a daily push. Though I’ve had a lot of stress this year, I have a better attitude. I sleep better, and I don’t worry as much.

I learned how to make my mind, body, spirit, and emotions work together. I’ve lost 15 pounds, but it’s not just that. I’ve changed the way I look at my life. I get up in the morning and smile. I’m ready for every day and the wonderful things that are going to happen.

Mary Kay Pinkham
Program Participant
Berkshire Health Systems-CRI Life Enhancement Program at Fairview Hospital
Great Barrington, MA