Murray Hospital Shares Another 'Face of Wellness'
By KT Lough
MURRAY, KY - Faces of Wellness at Murray-Calloway County Hospital is a program that tells the story of an employee who has made a difference in his or her health lifestyle. This "face" is Marty Pace.

“You need to do something or you might not make it another year.”

These chilling and sobering words were told to Marty Pace by her doctor, and were the final words she needed to hear to make her own health and wellness a priority. At the time, Marty said she couldn’t walk or stand for very long and she had diabetes, lymphedema and high blood pressure.

“I couldn’t even watch my granddaughter play soccer. I knew if I sat in a folding chair it would definitely fold,” she said.

So what the doctor said made sense. And it was enough to push Marty past her tradition of dieting, losing a little weight and then putting it back on. This time, she went for a total lifestyle shift.

It started with the decision to have Lap Band surgery from Dr. Brian Swain at Bariatric Solutions in August 2008. However, she said it took her nearly a year to realize the surgery was not a “magic fix.”

“It was a tool, but it was the best tool I could have to help me succeed,” she said. “I moderate what I eat much better now. I still have treats occasionally but in very small portions.”

Complications with Marty’s lymphedema made her wait six months before she was cleared to exercise, but she eventually got started at the Center for Health and Wellness. It was there she learned to overcome what many call “gymtimidation.”

“I was so intimidated by the ‘maintainers’ at the gym, but the exercise specialists wore me down and got me in there,” she said. “Outside of the bariatric surgery, that had the biggest effect on me.”

Marty started out with 30 seconds on the elliptical and 5 minutes on the treadmill. Her goal was to be able to simply walk from the hospital to the wellness center. In April 2010, she walked a 5K in the Murray-Calloway Endowment for Healthcare’s Centennial walk/run event, and said “it took forever, but I did it.” Three years later, in April 2013, she walked the 5K portion of the Murray Half Marathon in just under an hour, earning a third place finish in her age group. She now works out 5 days a week, alternating cardio and circuit training, and walks ½-1 mile six times a week.

It started with a grim message from her doctor but now Marty has taken control of her health journey and said she’s doing great.

“I turned 60 this year and I feel 100 times better than when I turned 50. I am happier, physically better, no longer diabetic and my lymphedema is under control,” she said.

Published 03:00 PM, Saturday May. 04, 2013
Updated 07:57 PM, Friday May. 03, 2013