‘Purdue Pursuits’: Pivio – The Complete Health Enhancement Program
After six years of working in sedentary office positions at Purdue Fort Wayne, Sara Thomas knew she had to start making her health a priority. As a busy single mom, Thomas struggled to find the time to make healthier food choices and exercise frequently until she received an email about Pivio – The Complete Program. improvement in health.
Formerly called CHIP, Pivio is a 12-week program that focuses on overall health of the person by integrating tools and principles of nutrition, exercise and behavioral psychology. Facilitated in a virtual environment with dynamic group discussions and peer support, the program is designed to help participants make lifestyle changes through education, hands-on experience and reinforcement. Pivio supports the five pillars – physical health, behavioral health, social well-being, financial well-being and work-life integration – of the Healthy Boiler program.
“I had a lot of bad habits and needed something to help get me back in the right direction,” says Thomas, associate director of integrated studies at PFW. “I didn’t want to run out of energy and not be able to play with my son, so I knew I had to reduce my weight and increase my energy levels.”
Health risk assessments are provided at the start and end of the program to measure and track A1c levels, lipid profiles and more. Assessments help reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.
Pivio participants also receive a cookbook, a comprehensive tool kit, and reading material that provides information on food preparation and exercise. Thomas used these resources to gradually adapt to lifestyle changes and began buying fresh fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, cooking his favorite recipes, and remembering to get up and moving every day.
It didn’t take long for her to notice how the program was affecting her body.
“It takes a while for your taste buds to adjust to eating more of these whole foods like grains and veggies while eliminating sauces and salt, but I think early on I started to see the weight go down,” says Thomas. “I felt my energy levels increase almost immediately just by making better food choices and moving the way I should. By the end of the program, I had lost 22 pounds.
Although she has little free time in her daily life, Thomas says adding the program to her busy schedule hasn’t been as overwhelming as she had anticipated.
“It can seem like a daunting task to take the time to take care of yourself when you’re a single mom and you work 50 hours a week and then come home and take care of yourself. everything else,” I think being on the program made it much easier for me to focus on those things,” says Thomas.
It has been over a year since she was enrolled in the program, but Thomas continues to use the knowledge she has gained with each session. She says the experience helped her develop a mindset that allows her to pursue a healthy lifestyle even after the program ends.
“If I take a wrong step or choose to eat something that I know I probably shouldn’t, I always keep in mind not to say, ‘Oh, I can’t do this, I just failed,” but to really take it in stride, have some grace for me, and make a better choice next time,” Thomas says. “It doesn’t feel as overwhelming as other programs.”
How to participate
Led by Purdue Fort Wayne health coach Lindsay Bloom, the next Pivio program will take place via Zoom from noon to 1 p.m. EST from September 27 to December 13. Participants will meet twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the first six weeks of the program. and once a week on Tuesdays for the following six weeks.
Individuals must register for the program by August 24 through the Healthy Boiler portal. The registration link can be found in the ‘Healthy Boiler Workshops’ section on the portal’s home page. Hover over the “Pivio Health” square and click “Submit” to register.
More details about Pivio can be found on the Lifestyle Medicine Institute website. Questions about the program can be directed to the Center for Healthy Living at 765-494-0111.
More Healthy Boiler Opportunities
Healthy Boiler workshops and lifestyle programs are free to all benefits-eligible faculty and staff and dependents covered by a Purdue health plan.