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The Catalyst

MUSC Employee Wellness -- Mindful Challenge

by Susan Johnson
director of Health Promotion

Congratulations to our March Mindful Challenge winner Jackie Doscher. Jackie signed up by completing the survey at the beginning and end of the month and then took the challenge of trying a new fruit, veggie, grain and/or lean protein each week during the month of May.

Jackie happily agreed to share some of her experiences with others in hopes that her successes will motivate others:

Why did you decide to sign up for the mindful challenge?  
I am always looking for ways to improve my overall health and this challenge gave me the opportunity to come out of my “comfort zone’ and try new and different food choices.  Also, I just love a challenge.
Did you have any problems or barriers to participating in the challenge?  
Yes, sometime getting past the look, smell or taste of something was a challenge. I’d try different food items for lunch. The evening meal was challenging as sometimes my husband would be willing to try something new/sometimes not. I went on a cruise in March and was able to try different types of foods.  
Do you think that by participating in the challenge that you will continue to make healthy choices and add more variety into your diet?  
I do. I’m always looking for new recipes and different foods to try.  In fact my first experience with Thai chili peppers was on a recent cruise.   I love hot peppers, so I did not hesitate to try them.
Do you participate in other wellness activities at work? If not, do you think you will be more likely after having a good experience with the Mindful Challenge?
Yes, I did the Lunch Time losers.  Had a choice, either lose weight or take blood pressure meds….I chose to lose weight. Since then, I’ve lost 35 pounds and am participating in the Keep It Off program. I’ve also participated in a few of the Monthly Mindful Challenges — still trying to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Participating in these challenges and programs help me to stay focused on my health. Now that I feel I’m heading in the right direction, I want to do things that will help me stay on track.  
Motivated by Jackie’s story? Why not take the May Mindful Challenge, Adventure Out? Get outdoors and enjoy the many benefits of green exercise. To begin, take the first May Monthly Mindful Challenge survey at A link to the final survey will be sent at month’s end to those who take the first survey.

To learn more about the Adventure Out program, visit our website at

Wellness Events

  • Chair massages: Free massages are offered to employees midday on Wednesdays. Look for broadcast messages for locations and times.
  • Farmers Markets: Enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers on Tuesdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Harborview); Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (ART); and Fridays, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Horseshoe).
  • Adventure Out: Throughout May, enjoy more than 25 fitness classes in Charleston City Parks taught by MUSC Wellness Center instructors. Visit

Urban Farm

  • Lunch and Learn — 12 to 1 p.m., Stay as long as your schedule permits. Like us on Facebook and email to receive the farm newsletter Adventure Out shirts will be on sale.
  • Third Saturday Family–friendly  work and learn — 9 to 11 a.m., May 17. Bring a plastic bag and take home fresh produce in return for your work efforts on the farm.
  • Early bird maintenance — Wednesday,  7:30 to 8:30 a.m.

For information, contact Susan Johnson, Ph.D.,




May 5, 2014



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