Wellness 180: Joseph's Story

Joseph Restarki, Lake Bluff

Developed an active lifestyle following back surgeries, lowered blood pressure

"I ran around a lot as a kid, but as an adult who had four back operations, I became pretty sedentary. Then I had some poor results from a stress test, and my doctor said I needed to move more. I was in a catch-22—how could I get active without hurting my back?

"I thought, ‘what the heck—I’m only 63, and I want a good life.’ A neighbor told me about Wellness 180°™, and it seemed like a good fit: I could start out slowly and push a little harder each time. Working gradually and knowing the hospital was connected to the program made me feel less anxious about my back.

"I lost weight initially and then plateaued, but my Wellness 180°™ exercise specialist, Amiee Weber, is very encouraging; the trainers keep you going, get you to work a little harder and emphasize the positive. The camaraderie of the group—combined with one-on-one training—is very effective. The nutritionist helped me a lot, too. I learned about hydration and what foods to cook (I’m the chef at home).

"Now I think about what I want to do, not what I want to eat. I feel like a teenager—all of my measurements have dropped, I’m more toned, and I can work six to eight hours around the house without stopping."

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