#TransformationTuesday: THD Edition spotlights members of The Healthy Dispatcher community who have made positive changes to their physical or mental health while working in the demanding field of 9-1-1 telecommunications.
This week, #TransformationTuesday: THD Edition features Julie F., who has been a dispatcher for 11 years.
What unhealthy (physically or mentally) habits did you used to keep?
I’ve always been one of those people who would eat anything and I love quick, easy meals I don’t have to clean up after. So my go-to meals were almost always fast food. Before shift, after shift, during shift…couple that with the mental drain and the shift work and all I would do is work, eat crap, and sleep.
When did you notice these habits were negatively impacting your life, at work or at home?
I never had any energy. I would literally sleep all day on my off days. I’d come home from day shift and take a nap. I didn’t gain the dispatch 15 in the first few years, but I definitely picked it up over the course of 10 years.
How did you change these habits?
I started taking the stairs, standing up at my console, and little things like that. Over time I got into an exercise routine with accountability partners. Now I’m usually up working out before work, eating a healthy lunch while I’m at work, and not binge eating crap when I get home.
What are some of the ways you stay healthy now?
Now it’s a work in progress. I don’t work out every day, I don’t always eat healthy. But I practice moderation. I may have junk food once a week or so, but I try to work out more than I’m stationary and eat better more than just eating crap.
What’s the biggest difference you’ve noticed in yourself as a result of these healthy changes?
I’m more active. I have energy. I’m generally happier — which reflects in my work life. I’m not snippy and I can let things go much easier. If I have a bad day, I don’t go home and indulge in bad food, I go for a walk or run. I do something to get my heart pumping and my mind off of it.