Sedalia Weight Watchers instructor Janet Kindle says goodbye after 35 years
Life takes twists and turns for everyone, but one local woman’s journey into self-confidence brought her to a 35-year career of helping others lose weight and a exploring healthier lifestyle. Janet Kindle, of Sedalia, said it’s all about taking the lemons one is given and making lemonade.
Kindle, a respiratory therapist at Bothwell Regional Health Center, retired Tuesday from Weight Watchers after 35 years of teaching classes in the local area. Her journey into the the Weight Watchers program came about due to an injury years before, and like pieces to a puzzle everything else fell into place.
“I had some surgery on my neck, and it went a little awry,” she said. “I ended up with some paralyzed vocal cords, (and) pneumonia. So, I ended up with respiratory therapy treatments.”
After her injury she began to gain weight rapidly and knew she needed help in losing the extra pounds.
“I knew I couldn’t get it off by myself,” she noted. “So, I went back to Weight Watchers. I already knew it worked, I’d been to them before. I got the weight off and in those days it was a very rigid plan.”
At that time participants ate fish five days a week, and meats such as liver.
“But, you know we were willing to follow it because it did work,” Kindle said. “My leader at the time was Betty Blakely, who was another farm wife.”
Both women are still close; Blakely attended Kindle’s retirement party Tuesday at Parkview Christian Church. Kindle said after she lost weight, Blakely invited her to become part of the staff.
“Little did I know I’d be here over 35 years later,” she added. “I truly turned it into a lifestyle. I gained my confidence back by losing just even 25 pounds. So when State Fair (Community College) offered a new respiratory therapy class back in ‘84 or ‘85, I jumped at it. It seemed like the perfect match and it was.”
She noted that she has met “marvelous people” both at BRHC and through the Weight Watchers program. Kindle encouraged others by saying people often feel like giving up when hit with adversity, but the journey of turning negative events into productive events can have a surprising and rewarding twist.
Since her surgery, Kindle has gained a full-time career at Bothwell and a part-time career at Weight Watchers. Her weight Watchers career led her to teach classes in both Sedalia and Warrensburg.
“I was doing six to seven meetings a week between Warrensburg and Sedalia,” she said. “On top of working full-time.”
She noted that over the three decades she has spent with the program, many things have changed.
“People used to come to us, because they had it in their mind that they wanted to lose a certain amount of pounds, in a certain amount of time,” Kindle said. “They were willing to follow any diet that you told them they would succeed on. When they came to the meetings and if they followed it, they did well.
“But now, Weight Watchers has changed their entire focus,” she added. “It’s not just about losing weight anymore. It’s about looking into why you eat, what you eat. It does make a difference, it’s a lifestyle now. It’s not just about weight loss. So they have evolved immensely.”
Her work with Weight Watchers also linked her to the community by being involved in such events as 5K walks and runs, the local Healthy U program, and work meetings.
Retiring has been bittersweet for Kindle. She said she needed to “take a step back” to spend more time with family and with her husband Leonard, who has some health issues.
“It became a sign that it was time to make some changes,” she added. “Nobody believed me at first when I said I needed to step back, they really didn’t think I was going to do so.”
She noted that the surprise retirement party Tuesday was “delightful.”
“About a dozen people that I worked with over the years came,” she said. “They baked my favorite Weight Watcher cake, it’s a mandarin orange cake.”
Kindle offered tips she’s gained over the years for those who want to lose weight successfully.
“You’ve got to do more than just think about losing weight,” she said. “You’ve got to move more, you’ve got to get a new mindfulness about what’s going to work for you. It’s got to be foods you like to eat. In my classes we believe in food, fun, humor and I believe in snacks and desserts.
“A happy person is one who is going to reach their goal,” she added. “If you are happy you make healthier choices.”
Although she won’t be teaching classes anymore, she will still be involved with the program.
“I told the members this week, I’m not leaving Weight Watchers, I’s just changing where I’ll be sitting in the room,” Kindle said smiling.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 660-530-0289 or on Twitter @flbemiss.
Published at Sun, 30 Jul 2017 23:39:07 +0000 from Google News