YMCA of Greater Louisville


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Sandy’s Weight Loss Journey with the Y

Sandy Campbell has been a member and participant in the YMCA Weight Loss Program at the Oldham County Family YMCA since January, 2012. She has seen great success through this program, and has Imagegraciously shared her views on the program, her success, and her overall attitude with us.

Sandy, how has your life changed since beginning the YMCA Weight Loss Program?

I’ve been on every diet in the world and I was mislead on how to lose weight. The difference that I have seen since January in my life is night and day. I have figured out what hungry means and my body is now in charge of telling me what I need.

When losing weight in the past, what led to gaining the weight back?

Once I had reached my goal, I thought I was done. I went back to eating more, back to the TV, and back to eating while watching TV. I didn’t really think or know much about maintenance.

What is one of the main health improvements you have seen?

I was actually told by my physician at one point that I was a Type 2 Diabetic, but my last fasting glucose was 78 and my Hemoglobin A1C  was 5.1%.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

I always have a goal in mind. My next goal is to eliminate artificial sweeteners. Also, I am not a water lover, so I am still working on that. I will never give up my creamer, though. 🙂

What part of this program makes it work for you? Image

I have learned to set goals that I can reach. This program’s focus on goal setting and counting fat grams is great. I was taught about the macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. I have now found the perfect formula for me!

What would you tell someone who was thinking about joining the YMCA Weight Loss Program?

If you want back your youth, you’ve got to get yourself back. The person inside has a lot of self worth, you have to get back that self worth to compete in this world. You’ve got to want it. You’ve got to want it bad.

Any last words of wisdom?

My lifestyle has changed and I will never go back. I am throwing out my fat clothes. I stopped listening to what I wanted and started listening to what I needed.


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Here’s to life, more life!

My turn to blog this month happened to land on my birthday. Today, I am 25 years old–old enough to rent a car–and am up for celebrating!

I’ve seen people reach this age and commence to freak out because of all they were supposed to have done by 25–get married, have kids, land the dream job and dream house, and so on–but that’s not how I want to spend this day or this year. Sure, there’s a whole slew of milestones on a life list I would have liked to reach by now (oh, salary and benefits, one day we will meet) and aspects of my life I want to change, but I want to spend more time celebrating what I do have in my life, not lamenting what isn’t.

This morning, I kicked off the day with a bowl of cereal and a challenge: to jog the full loop at Iroquois Park non-stop, twice. Last year on this day, I huffed and puffed those hills and completed the full route jogging non-stop for the first time, so I thought I’d up the ante a little this year. My knees didn’t like it, and I was sweating glistening like crazy, but I pushed through, and 6.4 miles later, made it to the end. While my pace was nothing to write home about, I was excited just to finish and not pass out at the end.

Whatever your age, keep on challenging yourself and celebrating yourself.

Running past the woods today, I was thinking about people I’ve known in my life who never reached 25 and how incredibly lucky I am to be healthy enough to still be here, running. Today, I celebrate my health and my community–friends, family, neighbors, social justice allies, and YMCA palsYou should go celebrate something today! I plan on celebrating by crossing the bridge and having the best ice cream in all of Kentuckiana at Mom & Pop’s Cone Corner in New Albany later today. Maybe I’ll see you there.


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Greening My Thumbs

Warning: three months ago I would have just about killed everything under my watch. GARDENING, y’all, I’m talking about gardening. Don’t get wound tight. Seriously, though, I couldn’t understand how both of my parents and my sisters totally understood the science of simply keeping plants alive. I’d water too much, I wouldn’t water at all. I’d leave them out in the sun too long, I’d basically tie them up in a black garbage bag. I’d fertilize the right amount, or I’d just short of dump the whole container of blue chemical on them. What on earth was I doing and how come I couldn’t get it right? It just wasn’t my thing. I just wasn’t made to get along with nature, I guess. Plants were happier, more lively (understatement of the century), and just plain better off without my touch. Oh well, on to the next hobby.

…Then my husband and I bought a house. Enter hallelujah chorus. Suddenly my interest in gardening peaked. I wanted flowers and I wanted them badly. Our back deck needed some C-O-L-O-R. Homeowner’s pride, according to my Mom.

Housewarming gift(s) #1 were two gorgeous hibiscus bushes from my Mom and aunt B. Deep breath. I can do this. I’m not going to let these babies die (hibiscus are p-p-p-pricey!). The tag says full sun. Check! The deck gets nothing but sun. Hot, 12-hours-a-day, full-exposure sun. We’re on to something. The tag says to keep them moist. Mental note: water every day. The tag says fertilize monthly. They include a scooper for a reason, Joan, don’t get chemical happy. My hibiscus are gorgeous! Every day I notice a new bud and I’ve got the most amazing, coral pink blooms as big as my palms. Extra excitement: my hibiscus look even better than my parents’ (sorry Mom)!

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Next up: planters. Don’t laugh, I’m not confident enough to plant in a ground bed yet. I found some perfect rectangle planters to sit on our deck banister, bought some Miracle-Gro potting soil (side note: Costco’s got an amazing deal on a giant bag of this), and went to town. Marigolds, Celosia, Vinca, Impatiens, Verbena, Zinnias, and Viola now litter our back deck and front porch. They’re blossoming, blooming, trailing, volunteering, and in all their glory are big, beautiful, but most of all, mine. And you know what? Caring for and watering our plants is quickly becoming one of the most enjoyable and relaxing parts of my entire day.

Me. This girl. The one with (remember?) zero gardening talent.

ImageCelosia (Love these! I think they look like feathers.)

ImageVinca (These guys grow like weeds!)

ImageMarigolds (Easy-peasy to grow and their blooms are, say it with me, vi-brant!)


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The Summer to Shine!

It’s that time of year again! Our kiddos are finally out of school, and excited to get started on their summer activities. This is my first year directly involved with the Southwest YMCA’s Summer Camp program. I finished up our first week of camp just hours ago, and I can truly say that I LOVE it. I am working with our Kamp Kermit, the 4/5 Year old group. I encourage summer camps to just about anyone that I come into contact with. I think attending a summer camp should be a part of each child’s youth. I believe attending a summer camp program will help your child become more independent, build their confidence, and make new friends. Whether your child attends one week, or all summer, I can personally assure you that parents will be impressed in all of the skills that your child will accomplish. It’s amazing to work with a group of youth, and see how they progress. I can tell you that I can already see a difference in our kids from Monday to Today. It’s an awesome experience. Whether it’s a YMCA, church, or 4h camp, I encourage all parents to urge your child to participate in a camp program! You and your child will love the outcome!


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The Y and Education?

At the Y, we respond to a lot of needs in the community.  When you think of us, certain things always seem to regularly come to mind.  Health, wellness, sports, swimming, camp, a safe place for teens…and the list goes on.

However, who would have ever thought put the Y and education together?  Is that really something anyone would think could be a good pairing?  After all, what does the Y really know about that realm?

Well, I think you might just be a little surprised when I tell you we are doing a lot.  For instance, our Y sponsored a program at Moore Middle centered on college access and awareness, and culminated in a group of middle schoolers attending the largest Model United Nations Conference in the US.

We also operate the largest childcare system in the state of Kentucky and are partnering with JCPS on several education initiatives, focused on reducing the “summer slide” that students and teachers contend with each new school year, improving classroom performance, reading at grade level, and providing the necessary data to help set future educational policies.

The Black Achievers program, in partnership with our business community, along with countless volunteers and mentors, has provided millions of dollars in scholarships for deserving young minority students who earned their way to college through their classroom performance.

The programming that our Safe Place Services Branch provides to teens in crisis and families needing help to stay together is invaluable in giving kids the second chance they need to restart their life on a positive path.

We are also an active member of the Louisville College Access Network, whose regular meetings provide a networking opportunity for organization focused on education from across our area.

These, along with many other programs the Y offers, are already helping to prepare our children for school and life, and are promoting the importance of education.

However, given everything we are currently doing, we still saw a need to step our game up a bit, and that is exactly what we are doing.

We are starting to embark on a very intentional and enthusiastic journey deeper into the education movement with the adoption of an “Education Cabinet.”  This cabinet will consist of staff and partners involved in education from across the city, in the hopes of guiding our future educational endeavours.  The task of this group will be to chart our course as we respond to another need identified by our community…..and perhaps our greatest need.

It is extrememly exciting to bewhat can only be called a pioneer, as our organization moves forward, and expands the horizon on who we are and who the community needs us to be.  As a part of our collective local family, we take the trust that is given to us seriously, and have pledged to always respond when called to do so.

Please visit our webpage at http://www.ymcalouisville.org/youth-development/education-leadership/college-preparation-exploration.html  to link to some valuable partner resources and see what we are doing as an organization right now.  Also, be on the look out for more great news to come.

Have a great day, and read a little bit to a child today if you get the chance.  I am pretty sure they will love it…..and so will you.

My favorite day of the year ….

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As a YMCA staff person, we all probably have tasks, assignments, and times of the year that we like more than others.  My favorite day of the year is the beginning of YMCA summer camp. It is filled with excited kids, nervous parents, well trained staff, and a (slightly anxious) Director.  It’s hard to explain my excitement and anticipation.  We started planning for camp last summer…… before the summer was even over.  We began putting together promotional stuff in December.  We began hiring in January and we’ve been full steam ahead since then!

The beginning of camp is an important day for our YMCA.  It’s a chance to live our promise to our community and that we will impact youth in a positive way.  We’ll help our camp kids learn and grow, with caring adults right by their side cheering them on.  We’ll teach them about healthy decision, make fitness fun, and role model good behavior.  We’ll help them make friends and find their missing lunch, all in the same day.

The day that camp starts is a great day. Hands down, the best day of the year.

I can’t wait to go to work!